Dan Biggar celebrates after kicking the profitable factors as Wales beat Australia for the primary time in 10 years
Dan Biggar hit a late penalty to assist Wales edge Australia 9-6 on Saturday and buck a 10-year, 13-match shedding streak in opposition to the Wallabies.
Psychological one-upmanship was up for grabs in a costume rehearsal of what had been billed a pool-deciding match at subsequent 12 months’s Rugby World Cup.
However neither aspect shone from an attacking perspective in what was a real defensive slugfest, albeit intense, at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium the place there was little reward for all of the hard-hitting hustle and bustle.
The rating at half-time was locked at 3-Three thanks to 1 penalty apiece by Leigh Halfpenny and Bernard Foley, the misfiring Welsh full-back including yet another earlier than going off injured.
Matt Toomua hit Australia’s second penalty late within the recreation earlier than Biggar knocked over the profitable rating with two minutes to play to increase Wales’ profitable streak to seven video games — the most effective for the reason that 2004/5 season.
“There’s some actual momentum in the meanwhile, that is seven in a row,” mentioned Wales coach Warren Gatland.
“From a defensive perspective we seemed very snug.”
Gatland’s Australian counterpart Michael Cheika insisted his crew would take the defeat “on the chin” forward of video games in opposition to Italy and England.
With an eye fixed on the World Cup in Japan, Cheika additionally careworn that Check rugby was all concerning the second and never a “large recreation of dominoes”.
Wales dominated territory and possession within the opening 15 minutes, however the well-drilled Australian defence remained resolute in an indicator of what was to come back.
That might solely final so lengthy, nevertheless, earlier than somebody infringed and so it proved with forwards straying offside from a ruck. Halfpenny went broad with the comparatively straightforward alternative.
Either side appeared eager on operating every thing, however for all of the earnest endeavour it was not essentially the most entertaining spectacle.
Errors had been few, Australia seemed by far the extra skilful aspect and Wales appeared restricted in assault as defence stored its iron grip on a recreation that was nothing if not intense.
– Defensive iron grip –
The Australian set-piece began to look considerably creaky and a deliberate wheel at scrum time gifted Halfpenny a second probability, the full-back making no mistake from the tee this time round.
An Adam Coleman knock-on put pay to Australia’s finest displaying in assault, the lock spilling the ball deep within the Welsh 22m space with the house aspect beneath the cosh. Foley equalled the rating within the 33rd minute after Dan Lydiate strayed offside in midfield.
The Wallabies had been on high instantly after, however Coleman was left remoted after one other succession of phases within the so-called “pink zone” in what Cheika would put down as a missed alternative to seize some extra factors.
An uncharacteristically off-target Halfpenny was left clutching his head when he missed his second penalty on the stroke of half-time after Wallaby hooker Tolu Latu performed the ball off his toes at a ruck.
Halfpenny was on the coronary heart of the motion early within the second interval, nevertheless, first with a wise chase and catch off fly-half Gareth Anscombe’s up-and-under after which latching onto George North’s intelligent tapdown from an Anscombe kick-pass.
Nevertheless it was all to no avail because the Wallaby rush defence picked off the Welsh attackers.
Foley spurned a second kickable penalty within the 49th minute, however there was a knock-on from the following attacking nook line-out. The Australian fly-half once more opted for contact a couple of minutes later, however Latu overthrew and Wales rushed downfield.
Substitute hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was then at fault, pinged for taking part in the ball on the ground and this time Halfpenny made no mistake at hand Wales the lead.
However amid deafening whistles after Halfpenny was seemingly taken out late, Toomua levelled the scores with seven minutes to play.
And it was not over as Biggar stepped up after Ned Hanigan did not roll away from a ruck to fireside house the profitable penalty.