Wal­la­bies con­tinue dom­i­nance over er­ror-prone Wales

Marlborough Express - - SPORT -

Aus­tralia fed off Wales’ er­rors and ran in four tries in a clin­i­cal 29-21 vic­tory in Cardiff yes­ter­day, ex­tend­ing their win­ning streak over the Welsh to 13 test matches.

The Wal­la­bies have played seven tests since their op­po­nent’s last, and their match sharp­ness told in the first half when Wales paid the price for fail­ing to clear their lines at restarts and for their am­bi­tious, high-tempo game plan.

Hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau rolled over at the back of a maul, lock Adam Cole­man crashed over from close range, and flanker Michael Hooper squirmed over the line at an over­lap to help Aus­tralia to 22-13 at half­time.

Wales had the bet­ter of the sec­ond half un­der the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium roof, but was hit by a sucker-punch when on the at­tack at 22-16 down. Wal­la­bies full­back Kurt­ley Beale stole the ball from St­eff Evans and raced 60 me­ters to ground be­tween the posts in the 63rd minute.

The Aus­tralians stretched their un­beaten run to seven testsin­clud­ing a vic­tory over world cham­pion New Zealand last month - and haven’t lost to Wales since 2008, a run that in­cludes eight straight wins in Cardiff. They also play Aus­tralia and Scot­land this month.

The match fin­ished on a sour note for Wales as scen­tre Jonathan Davies was taken off on a stretcher af­ter the full­time whis­tle with an ap­par­ent an­kle in­jury.

Evans and re­place­ment winger Hal­lam Amos scored tries either side of half­time for the Welsh, whose new-look style ush­ered in by coach War­ren Gat­land - fea­tur­ing play­mak­ers at No. 10 and No. 12 to mark the end of the so-

called ‘‘War­ren­ball’' ap­proach - led to a re­fresh­ing pos­i­tiv­ity be­hind the scrum, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half.

But they will rue their poor exit strat­egy from kick­offs, when they coughed up pos­ses­sion in their own 22 be­fore Aus­tralia’s sec­ond and third tries.

Evans’ try on the left wing, fol-

low­ing a dart­ing break from half­back Gareth Davies and then a sweep­ing cross-field pass­ing move, was con­verted to put Wales 10-7 ahead but Aus­tralia were op­por­tunis­tic for the rest of the half.

Hooper’s try was his 15th - the most scored by an Aus­tralia for­ward - and came in first-half in­jury time, leav­ing the Welsh a big task

in the sec­ond half.

Leigh Half­penny kicked a 52nd­minute penalty and Wales was only three points be­hind when Beale stripped Evans in­side his own half, near the touch­line. Re­plays showed the full­back might have knocked on in do­ing so, but it wasn’t spot­ted, al­low­ing Aus­tralia to push 13 points clear af­ter Bern-

ard Fo­ley’s con­ver­sion.

Hooper was sent to the sin-bin in the 68th af­ter re­peated team in­fringe­ments by Aus­tralia and Amos squeezed over in the left cor­ner just af­ter the flanker re­turned to the field. It came too late for the Welsh, who haven’t won their open­ing game of an au­tumn se­ries since 2002.

Aus­tralia’s Adam Cole­man, No 5, comes to grips with Dan Big­ger dur­ing the Wal­la­bies’ win over Wales.

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