‘It’s always the same story against the Aussies’: Inside rugby’s strangest hoodoo
As Wales aim to end 13-game losing run to Wallabies, those who have tried and failed share their tales
Wales 16 Australia 25, 2010 Adam Jones, prop
As a prop, I always best remember the games we bossed in the scrum, and this was one of those when at the final whistle you raised your head after going forwards all match, looked at the scoreboard and thought: “How did we lose that?”
We were so dominant, I think we won six or seven penalties. But the Aussies are so clinical and Kurtley Beale scored against us. It always seems to be him. Although Richie Rees went over to make it exciting at the end, they had enough.
It’s funny because in the Noughties, Australia were the one southern-hemisphere giant we could beat. I was on two winning teams against them and one that drew. When we beat them in Warren Gatland’s first year in 2008, we all thought that was an important milestone and if you’d told me we wouldn’t beat them once in the next 10 years and 13 games I would not have believed you.
There were so many close ones. The most frustrating was that 2012 tour in their backyard, when we lost the last two Tests by two points and then a point. People say the flight home must have been like a library. Was it heck! We were in business class in Emirates and it had a bar. The trick was to drink all the way from Australia to Dubai and then sleep it off the next leg. And look miserable when you land. Australia 25 Wales 23, 2012 Ashley Beck, centre
I had made my international debut as a replacement the week before, but that match in Melbourne was my first start for Wales. I’d always dreamt of my first time being in Cardiff with all my family in the stand, but this was not a bad alternative. And after being narrowly beaten in the first Test [27-19], we fancied our chances.
George North scored an early try and we were leading with less than a minute to go and had the ball in hand, but we kicked it away and gave the Aussies their chance to drive upfield from their 22. The clock was deep in the red when they got the penalty. Mike Harris, the replacement, kicked it over from a tight angle from 40 metres.
Of course it was gutting, and I remember the silence in the dressing room afterwards. We still had the last Test to get our first win down there in more than 40 years, but in Sydney it was just as frustrating. This time we lost by a