464. From The Couch: Match #35

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.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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3 Responses to 464. From The Couch: Match #35

  1. Wales won against England after England turned down a penalty shot. You’d think they would have learned.

  2. Cpt. Tinarse says:

    The aussies sure showed determination, but they have a worrying affection for the professional foul. Wales indeed should have taken the penalties. And kept taking them. It’s about punishing the opposition with points and pressure until they stop infringing, not about showing you can force a try.

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