Huge result for Wales, ending a 13-game losing streak against the Wallabies.
Huge result for Wales, ending a 13-game losing streak against the Wallabies.

‘That hurts’: Wallabies crumble to new low

AUSTRALIA'S spring Tour is off to a nightmare start, continuing the Wallabies poor season.

The Australian's campaign crashed to a new low with Wales inflicting their first win over the Wallabies in 10 years.

The pressure will continue mount on Wallabies coach Michael Cheika with Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle last week saying Australia could "win all three games" which was "the pass mark from their perspective".

The Wallabies held an incredible record against the Welsh with a 13-game winning streak dating back to November 30, 2008.

Wales had only beaten Australia twice in 28 matches dating back to 1991.

But in a dour tryless match, the Welsh were never behind, winning 9-6 off penalty kicks.

When Matt Toomua pulled the Wallabies even with five minutes left, the Australians had hoped to pinch the result.

But Wales' Dan Biggar's late penalty goal was enough to secure victory at the Principality Stadium.

The British and Irish Lions representative sealed the win with a close-range kick two minutes from time to send the 64,000-strong home crowd into delirium in the Welsh capital.

The defeat means Australia have won just three of their last 13 games less than a year before the start of the World Cup in Japan.

Australia ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline today.
Australia ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline today.

The two sides will meet again in Tokyo next October and organisers will be hopeful of a better spectacle, with defences very much on top in a match that lacked spark and creativity.

Australian captain Michael Hooper spoke after the match.

"Obvious that hurts," Hooper said. "Our preparation was really solid this week and I thought our defence was great. It felt like we were able to repel a lot of what the Welsh threw at us but a credit to them, they stuck at it really strong.

"It's been a long time between drinks for them playing us and you could see how happy they were to get on top of us. It was a real grudge match, a real test match where it was grinding back and forth."

The Wallabies just about edged a tight opening period but the scores were level at 3-3 at the break with Leigh Halfpenny and Bernard Foley exchanging penalties.

Samu Kerevi spurned a glorious opportunity in the fourth minute to open the scoring when he spilled the ball under pressure from Gareth Anscome following a sweeping move involving Will Genia, Kurtley Beale and Michael Hooper.

The Welsh side and fans erupted at the final whistle.
The Welsh side and fans erupted at the final whistle.

Although the Wallabies had more of the ball than the hosts, they struggled in the scrum in the first half with New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe penalising Scott Sio twice for pulling down Wales prop Ken Owens.

One of those led to the usually reliable Halfpenny then missing a relatively easy kick just right of the posts from 30 metres out.

The fullback did open the scoring on 21 minutes before shanking his third effort from in front of the sticks on the stroke of halftime.

The Wallabies started well after the interval with back to back penalties putting them in great field position deep inside the Welsh half. But after winning the line-out, the swarming Welsh defence forced the ball loose from Allan Alaalatoa in the maul and the chance was lost.

Foley again opted against kicking for three points from in front of the posts but hooker Tolu Latu, who had been on the money with 10 of his previous 11 throws, lost his second at the worst possible time as the Welsh line-out turned over the ball to thwart the attack.

A Halfpenny penalty 12 minutes from time edged the hosts back in front but a clutch penalty from the right touchline from Matt Toomua four minutes from time levelled the scores once more.

Matt Toomua kicked Australia even with five minutes left.
Matt Toomua kicked Australia even with five minutes left.

But almost immediately the home side surged deep into the Wallabies half and when the tourists were penalised for not rolling away in the maul, Halfpenny kept his nerve to win the match.

Welsh flanker Justin Tipuric was named man of the match and said it was a huge result, which gave his side seven straight wins.

"It's obviously a big result for us, we've been wanting this for a while and we'll take any win whatever way it comes so we're happy with that," he said.

"In the past, we've had many losses against them so it's nice to get a win finally over Australia and I think we're seven wins in a row and we're building some nice momentum."

- with AAP


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