‘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

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Rugby -

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

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