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As it happened: Australia v Wales, Rugby World Cup

We followed all the action as the two heavyweights of Pool D clashed in Tokyo.

  • Australia A. Ashley-Cooper 20', D. Haylett-Petty 45', M. Hooper 61'
  • Wales H. Parkes 12', G. Davies 37'
  • eir Sport 1
Image : Adam Davy
76,433 Views 26 Comments

Good morning, rugby fans! Welcome along to our live coverage of this Pool D clash between Australia and Wales from Tokyo Stadium. Get the kettle on, and settle yourself in, for what promises to be a fascinating clash. Kick-off is fast approaching at 8.45am. 

The scene is set in Tokyo.

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: David Davies

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: Adam Davy

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: David Davies

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: David Davies

Just a reminder that both of these sides opened their campaign with victories, while earlier today Georgia got their World Cup up and running with a 33-7 win over Uruguay. 

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 08.40.00 Source: World Rugby

TEAM NEWS: Michael Cheika has made four changes to his Australia XV that started against Fiji. Will Genia, Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dane Haylett-Petty all start tonight, while Wales are unchanged from their opening win over Georgia. 

Australia: Haylett-Petty; Ashley-Cooper, O’Connor, Kerevi, Koroibete; Foley, Genia; Sio, Latu, Alaalatoa, Rodda, Arnold, Pocock, Hooper (capt), Naisarani.

Replacements: Uelese, Slipper, Kepu, Coleman, Salakaia-Loto, White, To’omua, Beale.

Wales: L Williams; North, Jonathan Davies, Parkes, Adams; Biggar, G Davies; Wyn Jones, Owens, Francis, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Wainwright, Tipuric, Navidi.

Replacements: Smith, Dee, Lewis, Shingler, Moriarty, T Williams, Patchell, Watkin.

Right, we’ve had the anthems (and two brilliant ones at that). Referee Romain Poite has got the thumbs up and we’re pretty much good to go in Tokyo. Call it?

Poll Results:

Wales (350)
Australia (196)

1 mins — Drop goal! Australia 0-3 Wales (Biggar)

Oh, what a start from Wales. Hooper gathers the kick-off but Wales come flying through and force an early turnover, before Biggar drops back into the slot and nails a drop goal inside 38 seconds. 

2 mins – Wales have come flying out of the blocks and they’ve already shown real intent to run the ball. Parkes and Davies are involved down the left to release Adams and while he’s eventually stopped, the Wallabies are penalised at the breakdown. Biggar has called for the tee.

4 mins – Biggar snatches at his first penalty attempt slightly and while it was from a difficult angle right out on the left touchline, he will have been disappointed to spurn the opportunity. Here’s the out-half’s early drop goal:

6 mins – This game has started at a million miles an hour in Tokyo. Australia get their hands on the ball for the first time in the opposition half and Kerevi makes a meaty carry, but then Davies steps up and picks off Foley’s pass in midfield. Brilliant from the Welsh scrum-half.

7 mins – Absorbing stuff. Wales look to strike on the counter-attack and Ken Owens shows superb hands to get the ball wide and North has space on this near side. Brilliant retention and patience from Gatland’s side but the door is eventually shut as it’s knocked on. 

12 mins — TRY! Australia 0-10 Wales (Parkes)

Wales’ fast start pays dividends. Gatland’s side continue to apply pressure on the Australian defence as they hammer away and with a penalty advantage, Biggar looked cross-field where Parkes gets up above Koroibete to finish in the corner. And then Biggar nails the conversion. 

16 mins – The Wallabies look dangerous in attack but they’ve lacked accuracy once inside the Welsh 22, while Gatland’s side are really motoring inside the opening quarter. 

Another strong period of ball retention sees Biggar drop back into the pocket again but this time the out-half is just wide with his long-range attempt. Meanwhile, Poite is going back to check a late hit on Biggar in that previous passage of play. 

17 mins – The officials agree that Hooper was late on Biggar but it’s just a penalty against the Wallabies captain and nothing more. Wales are managing the contest brilliantly so far and the Australians are frustrated. 

18 mins – Biggar kicks for the corner and while Australia manage to steal the lineout, Wales do brilliantly to then turn it back over and they’ll have the attacking scrum. 

19 mins – That’s a big, big response from Australia. They get a huge shove on against the head and with the Welsh scrum under all sorts of pressure, Pocock and Hooper both get over Navidi and the Wallabies win the pressure-relieving penalty. 

20 mins — TRY! Australia 5-10 Wales (Ashley-Cooper)

Cheika’s side pull something out of nothing and it’s absolutely superb. Off that lineout, O’Connor links with Kerevi, who again makes the linebreak and brings the Wallabies into the red zone. With Wales scrambling and a penalty advantage coming, Foley looks right and picks Ashley-Cooper out brilliantly with a kick-pass, and the winger steps inside and despite a stumble manages to get over. 

23 mins – Cheika’s reaction — a punch of the air — in the coach’s box tells you how much Australia needed that, but Foley’s conversion attempt is woeful. Wales lead by five. 

25 mins — Biggar is on it this evening and again Wales open up the Wallabies with quick and slick hands down the left, with Adams again invited to run into open space before he kicks ahead and puts the retreating Latu under pressure. It’s so fast and loose which is making this game so eventful and exciting. 

26 mins – And now it’s Australia’s turn to attack, and they’re just so dangerous on the counter. Kerevi bursts through Davies’ tackle on this near touchline and Wales are exposed here but Biggar shows huge bravery to put his body on the line and make a try-saving tackle. We’re going back for an Australia penalty. 

27 mins – Biggar is actually going off for a HIA after that tackle, with Rhys Patchell on in his place. Wales won’t want to lose their out-half.

28 mins — Penalty! Australia 8-10 Wales (Foley)

It’s not the sweetest strike from Foley but it’s between the sticks and Australia are back to within two. 

32 mins – Another really good response from Wales as they hammer away around the fringes and their patience and precision is eventually rewarded when Hooper is pinged by Poite for hands in the ruck. Patchell is going to have a shot at goal here. 

32 mins — Penalty! Australia 8-13 Wales (Patchell)

And he makes no mistake! Sweet, sweet strike from the replacement out-half and Foley’s three-pointer is instantly cancelled out.

36 mins – Romain Poite is again asking his TMO to go back and have a closer look at a potential act of foul play involving Kerevi and Patchell. The Wallabies centre may have led with his forearm here.

36 mins – As the initial contact was with Patchell’s chest, the officials agree it is a penalty to Wales and no further punishment for Kerevi.

‘Just be careful,’ Poite tells Kerevi but Hooper is not happy. ‘That’s just terrible tackle technique,’ is his riposte to the referee. 

37 mins — Penalty! Australia 8-16 Wales (Patchell)

That’s another brilliant strike from Patchell as he extends Wales’ lead from almost halfway. 

37 mins — TRY! Australia 8-23 Wales (Davies)

Oh my word. From the restart, Genia throws a pass inside but Davies reads it all day long and intercepts to streak clear unopposed. Patchell adds the extras and Wales have struck for 10 points just before the break. 

Half-time! Australia 8-23 Wales

Right on the stroke of half-time, Wales strike and it could be a game-defining moment. It had been right on a knife-edge up until that point as the sides traded blows in absorbing fashion in Tokyo, before Davies followed up Patchell’s second penalty with a huge score for Gatland’s side.

All of a sudden, they lead by 15 at the break!

What did you make of that half of rugby?

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: Adam Davy

australia-v-wales-pool-d-2019-rugby-world-cup-tokyo-stadium Source: Adam Davy

wales-fans-before-the-game Source: Craig Mercer/INPHO

Can Wales hang onto this lead or will Australia mount a second-half comeback? History, it seems, is against the Wallabies as no side has ever come back from more than 13 points behind at half-time to win a Rugby World Cup match (Argentina v Samoa in 1999).  

44 mins — Drop goal! Australia 10-26 Wales (Patchell)

Now it’s Patchell’s turn to nail a drop goal. The first score in this second half was so important you feel and it’s Wales who keep the scoreboard ticking over.

47 mins – Michael Cheika has made a couple of changes at this start of this second half. Foley and Ashley-Cooper are replaced by Toomua and Beale.

49 mins — TRY! Australia 15-26 Wales (Haylett-Petty)

Is the comeback on? Toomua, just on for Foley, marks his introduction with an explosive burst down the left and although the Wallabies are held up short, the ball is shifted right and fullback Haylett-Petty goes over.

53 mins – Australia look a lot sharper since the restart but Wales absorb the pressure on that occasion and are able to clear their lines through Williams. We’re in for a fascinating last half an hour in Tokyo. 

54 mins – You just sense the momentum is starting to shift slightly and Wales need to weather this initial storm at the start of the second half. Gatland has introduced fresh legs in Nicky Smith and Ross Moriarty. 

54 mins – Davies picks up at the back of a scrum and tries to snipe but is lined up by Hooper is and is absolutely smashed by the Australian captain. The Wallabies then look to break and they’re offloading game is starting to fire now.

58 mins – Wales under all sorts of pressure now as Australia look to turn the screw. Back-to-back penalties sees Toomua kick for the corner. Attacking lineout five metres out. Big moment. 

59 mins — Australia set the rolling maul in motion but Wales do well to slow it down. The Wallabies pick-and-go around the fringes but there’s no way through and we’re going back for a penalty. Again they kick for the corner — third time lucky?

60 mins — TRY! Australia 22-26 Wales (Hooper)

Relentless pressure from the Wallabies as they use their power up front and having been camped on the Welsh line for the last 10 minutes, eventually find their way over and it’s Michael Hooper who gets it down. Toomua adds the extras and there are just four points between the sides.

Which way is it going now?

Poll Results:

Wales (350)
Australia (196)

65 mins – Here come Australia again and Wales, creaking under the pressure, are conceding penalty-after-penalty. 

67 mins — Penalty! Australia 25-26 Wales (Toomua)

Huge shove from Australia at the scrum and they win the penalty, with Toomua slotting it over from in front of the posts. It’s a one-point game!

68 mins – Toomua and White have made a big impact for the Wallabies in this second half. Cheika’s side have been a different beast since the restart and have all the momentum now as we head towards the final 10 minutes in Tokyo. 

70 mins — Big chance for Wales here. Koroibete is caught offside and Patchell sends it deep into the Wallabies 22. Tipuric rises highest and they look to the maul before Patchell looks cross-field for North, who is just unable to gather cleanly and get it down.

We’re coming back for a Wales penalty, however, and Patchell has called for the tee. Big, big kick coming up. 

72 mins — Penalty! Australia 25-29 Wales (Patchell)

They hadn’t scored since that Patchell drop-goal right after the restart but Wales extend their lead back out to four points. Patchell, who has been faultless since he has come on, sends it between the sticks. 

73 mins – Owen Watkin may just have won the game for his side with a brilliant rip in contact and then Patchell pumps it downfield. As Beale looks to counter for the Wallabies, his pass right is adjudged to have been just forward by the officials. This is exactly where Wales want to be with six minutes left on the clock. 

75 mins – We’ve had a couple of resets and this will suit Wales just fine as the clock ticks down. 

76 mins – And Wales eventually win the free-kick. But it’s just a free-kick. 

77 mins — Wales opt for another scrum but are pinged and Australia are given the opportunity to mount a late onslaught. 

78 mins – This has been a gripping game and it’s going right down to the wire. Toouma looks to have found a booming touch but Tomos Williams shows incredible athleticism to keep it in play. Two minutes to go!

79 mins – But here come the Wallabies! We’re into the final minute and Wales are defending for their lives here.

80 mins – But Liam Williams — YES, LIAM WILLIAMS! — comes up with a match-winning steal as the clock turns red and Wales just need to hold the ball for 20 seconds.

Full-time! Australia 25-29 Wales

And Wales have done it! What a performance from Warren Gatland’s men and what a Test match that was. Wales seize control of Pool D and are heavy favourites now to advance as pool winners. 

A truly brilliant Test match in Tokyo as Wales shut the door on Australia’s second-half comeback to underline their credentials at this tournament. We’ll have a full report and reaction from Tokyo on The42 shortly, but until next time, goodbye!

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