Australia 15 – 6 Wales
Welcome to the rest of the tournament.
Tight. Conservative. About defence. No tries.
Credit to Australia: they defended their line from waves of Welsh attack when they were down to 13 men in the final quarter. Then they broke away, and took a penalty and made the game safe.
Debit to Australia: they were down to 13 men. Genia and then Mumm offended blatantly inside the 22. This is the downside of Cheika’s hyper-assertive self-belief. Brain explosions by players who believe they are entitled.
Weird stuff: Israel Folau had a poor game, except for one break in the 72nd minute. His aerial was absent, and I think he was lucky to avoid a yellow card with a shoulder charge late in the game.
Gareth Anscombe, at fullback for Wales, was good in the air but poor with his kicking. Dan Biggar missed a kick, after 18 consecutive successful kicks in tests. Michael Foley missed a kick, the first time in the tournament.
The winning and losing of this was in the scrum. Aussie dominated, and Wales could not push over even when they had a one man advantage. That is huge, huge credit to Mario Ledesma, their scrum coach, who has turned a weakness into a strength in just 12 months.
Wales will be kicking themselves for letting this one get away. Now they have to play South Africa, while Australia can play Scotland.