Australia’s World Cup campaign is all but over after the Wallabies suffered a humiliating 40-6 defeat to Wales in Lyon on Monday morning AEST.
After an evenly-contested first 20 minutes at Parc Olympique Lyonnais, Wales scored 33 consecutive points to run away with the thumping victory, cementing their spot in the quarter-finals. It was Wales’ biggest Test win over Australia, bettering their 28-3 triumph over the Wallabies in 1975.
Meanwhile, Eddie Jones’ Australians, who didn’t register a point in the second half, are staring down the barrel of an early exit following their heaviest defeat in World Cup history.
“Don’t have much to say really,” Wallabies captain Dave Porecki said after the match.
“Just embarrassed … it wasn’t good enough tonight.
“This one hurts.
“I’m just gutted at the moment.”
MATCH CENTRE: Australia vs Wales live score
The Wallabies created opportunities in the first half but were utterly outclassed throughout the second stanza. They were dominated in the scrum and lineout after halftime, with discipline at the breakdown once again a cause for concern.
“I apologise to the supporters,” coach Jones said after the defeat.
“I take full responsibility for it. My coaching hasn’t been good enough.
“I don’t need to worry about the future; just the Portuguese game.
“I have a contract, and at the end of the World Cup my performance will be reviewed, and at the minute it’s not good enough.
“Australia has always been a trough and crest situation. We’re in a bad period now but we have to fight our way out of it.”
The Australians now rely on Fiji losing to Georgia or Portugal, which seems unlikely, for any chance of qualifying for the knockouts.
Australia got their must-win World Cup contest off to a horror start, with the Wallabies conceding a try in the third minute. Welsh captain Jac Morgan barged through a gap in the defensive line, setting up halfback Gareth Davies for a five-pointer under the sticks, with Dan Biggar slotting the regulation conversion.
The Wallabies returned serve almost immediately, getting within a few metres at the other end before settling for a penalty kick after Biggar was pinged for off-side. The Welsh sharpshooter was substituted off a few minutes later with a suspected shoulder injury.
Australia was awarded another penalty in the 14th minute after Wales crumpled the scrum, with Ben Donaldson reducing the deficit to just one point.
Welsh substitute Gareth Anscombe botched a penalty kick after Tom Hooper’s ruck infringement in the 19th minute, hitting the posts from directly in front. However, he made no mistakes on the second attempt, awarded after the Australians collapsed a driving maul.
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A few minutes later, the Wallabies turned down a simple penalty shot and instead kicked for the corner flag, only for the forwards to bottle the subsequent attacking lineout in disastrous scenes. To rub salt into the wounds, Wales almost immediately booted a three-pointer at the other end for an off-side infringement to extend their lead to seven.
“Tell me why we wouldn‘t take the kick?” former Wallabies captain Michael Hooper asked on Stan Sport.
“I can‘t see too many reasons why you wouldn’t. I’m sure the team on the field maybe felt the momentum was in their favour, we can go big, score seven … it doesn’t happen and then Wales gets an absolute lift from it.”
Moments before halftime, Anscombe booted his third penalty kick to give Wales a ten-point lead going into the break. However, the Australians avoided an almighty scare in the 40th minute, with Welsh captain Jac Morgan held up after a scintillating break on the right wing.
It didn’t take long for Wales to extend their lead once the second half got underway, with Anscombe nailing a penalty kick after referee Wayne Barnes called up a scrum infringement.
Wales produced their second try in the 48th minute after Nick Tompkins chased down a gorgeous chip kick from Anscombe, scoring near the pegs. Wallabies fullback Andrew Kellway was nowhere to be seen.
The deficit increased to 23 points after Wallabies centre Sam Kerevi was penalised for a high tackle, with Anscombe successfully slotting the attempt. The final result was beyond doubt when Anscombe booted his umpteenth penalty kick a few minutes later.
To rub salt into the wounds, Anscombe nailed a drop goal in the 70th minute, heaping pain on the wounded Wallabies. Fans draped in yellow started trudging towards the gates.
Morgan twisted the knife by scoring Wales’ third try off the back of a driving maul in the dying moments. The massacre was finally over.
Nick Frost was in tears after the 34-point defeat, as were many of his teammates.
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au