Bradley Davies of Wales takes a lineout ball during the international test match between the Australian Wallabies and Wales at Suncorp Stadium on June 9. Photo: Cameron Spencer
It was close, but Six Nations champions Wales have held on for a 10-point victory over the ACT Brumbies at Canberra Stadium tonight.
In the only mid-week match of the Welsh tour, the visitors held on for a 25-15 triumph against a baby Brumbies outfit.
Wales almost suffered the same embarrassment of previous touring sides. In the three times the Welsh have visited Canberra, they have lost twice - once in 1978 and again in 1996.
But they ran in three clinical first half tries and the gap proved too big for the Brumbies to overcome.
Brumbies flyhalf Zack Holmes booted five penalties to give his team a chance of victory, but they couldn't break the line for an elusive try.
The Brumbies will have a nervous wait after fullback Robbie Coleman left the field at half-time with an injury in his right shoulder.
Thanks for joining The Canberra Times blog for another match. We hope you enjoyed it.
AT A GLANCE
WALES 25 (James Hook, Justini Tipuric, Alun Wyn Jones tries; James Hook 2 penalties, 2 conversions) bt ACT BRUMBIES 15 (Zack Holmes 5 penalties) at Canberra Stadium last night. Referee: Ian Smith. Crowd: 7248.
Full-time: The Brumbies can't get over the line to finish the game. They did their best, but credit to the Wales' defence. Jake White's team definitely gave the visitors a scare though. Wales win 25-15.
78th: Everyone in the Brumbies' squad has done something impressive tonight. Wales were just too strong in the first half with three tries. Brumbies have one last attacking chance now ... give it to Cox or Crawford..
74th: PENALTY GOAL. The Welsh feel the heat. They get a penalty 36m out and Hook steps up. All night Wales have gone on the attack, but they're showing the Brumbies some respect. Jake White has turned everything at the Brumbies around. There's a belief they can win every game, even against the Six Nations champions without their 11 best players. Wales 25-15.
73rd: Crowd just announced, 7248 out here tonight. Not bad for a Tuesday night.
71st: Good to see JP Pradaud and Beau Mokotupu on. Both play for the Tuggeranong Vikings in Canberra's first grade competition.
71st: Crawford and Cox must be reading the blog! The Brumbies get in some space and this time it's Crawford with a chance. But he throws a pass out and the Brumbies can't convert.
70th: Glad I came to the rugby tonight, it's been an entertaining second half. Update from the Socceroos' World Cup qualifier, Socceroos 0, Japan 0.
68th: PENALTY GOAL. Wales are worried. They get a penalty and for the first time tonight they go for a shot at goal from in front of the posts. Will the James Hook goal end the Brumbies' run of momentum? Wales 22-15.
65th: Here's an interesting question ... if there's a contentious try, can referee Ian Smith go to the video referee if the game isn't covered on television? I don't think so. Hoping it doesn't come down to that, Brumbies can sniff an upset.
65th: PENALTY GOAL. Good attack from the Brumbies. If they got the ball out quickly, they would have scored in the corner. Instead they get a penalty and Holmes takes the shot. Holmes converts. Wales 19-15.
63rd: There goes orange-boots Cox! Like on cue, Cox makes a break from inside his own 22m and shows his speed in open play. He puts the Brumbies on the attack, Colby Faingaa gets into space and the Brumbies can score here!
61st: PENALTY GOAL. The Brumbies take another shot and Holmes makes no mistake. We've got a contest here all of a sudden. If the Brumbies can hold the ball, don't rule out a comeback. Wales 19-12.
60th: Great work from the Brumbies' forwards. They put the Welsh defence under pressure. But let's be honest, they're not going to win an arm wrestle up front. Give orange-boots Cox or Cam Crawford some ball. Unleash the flyers!
57th: Siliva Siliva replaces Anthony Hegarty at hooker. Big game for Siliva. His year has been dogged by injuries, but the Brumbies have big plans for the former Australian under-20 rake. He's only played about five or six games in club rugby this year.
55th: PENALTY GOAL. I spoke too soon. Holmes are taking a shot from 40m out to get some more points on the board. He slots it. Wales 19-9.
53rd: Twice this half the Brumbies have lost their own lineout for the ball not being straight. It's a big shame, they've dominated territory and possession this half.
52nd: Tom Cox's orange boots are very distracting. Haven't seen him play, but if he gets in open space they say no one will catch him. Maybe he's wearing orange boots so the crowd can see him when he streaks away down the sideline.
50th: The Brumbies' have ditched their penalty goal attempts and are going for an attacking scrum. Good news for the Brumbies is that big Fotu Auelua is warming up on the sideline. For the Canberra rugby fans, Auelua is going to play for Wests this weekend. Hopefully the 124kg No8 doesn't hurt anyone with his damaging runs.
48th: Former Brumby and Wallaby hooker Marco Caputo reckons the Welsh are targeting Scott Sio in the scrum. It's a big test for the former Australian under-20s prop. He's just holding on for now.
47th: The Brumbies get on the attack, but their lineout throw isn't straight. It was the Brumbies' best chance to score, Cam Crawford took an intercept and got close to the line. Instead of going for a try, Wales get a chance to get out of their half.
43rd: Our photographer was spot on with her assessment of Coleman. Word is he's popped his AC joint in his right shoulder. Cam Crawford is at fullback, Tom Cox in the brightest orange boots ever made is on the wing.
42nd minute: We're back, Wales put on a great penalty kick and get an attacking lineout 5m out from the Brumbies' line to start the second half. Lets see if they can hold on.
Half-time: THe ACT team from 1978 is out on the field. Peter O'Neill, a Gungahlin and Daramalan legend, scored the only try in the ACT's upset 21-20 win. It was massive. They don't look too cold out there, They're watching vision of them back in the 70s. Bring back those hairstyles!
Half-time: Meanwhile, the cold is creeping in. There's no ice, that's a positive. I'm supposed to be lining up for the Monkey Knife Fighters in the premier C-Grade indoor cricket competition in Canberra right now, but fingers crossed there's a Brumbies' fightback in the second half.
Half-time: The Brumbies are trying their best, but they just don't have the experience, power and players to match it with Wales. They've been holding the ball, but they can't break the defensive line.
40th: TRY! Wales get another one on the half-time hooter. Lock Alun Wyn Jones gets over. The Brumbies can't hold the continued attack. Hook misses conversion. Wales 19-6.
39th: For anyone interested, just got an update through from the Socceroos' World Cup qualifier against Japan - 0-0 in Brisbane. More action at Canberra Stadium with the Welsh desperate for points.
37th: PENALTY GOAL. The Brumbies are trying to take Wales on in a battle of the forwards and it's taking it out of the young players. They get a penalty and Holmes takes another shot. Maybe the boys need a breather. This Welsh defence just won't budge. Holmes converts. Wales 14-6.
35th: I wonder if the Brumbies' wingers are as cold as I am.. My fingers are working very slowly tonight in this cold. The Brumbies' wingers probably feel the same, Cam Crawford and Kimami Sitauti haven't seen the ball all night.
32nd: A couple of injury concerns for the Welsh. Winger Aled Brew is down and looks in a fair bit of pain. No8 Aaron Shingler is also on the bench with a back problem. Melbourne Rebels skipper Gareth Delve is on the field getting his chance. Brew is back to his feet and is going to play on.
32nd: This time Robbie Coleman kicks it out on the full. Everytime the Brumbies go on attack, they make a mistake. Understandable given this team has never played together.
28th: Ball control killing the Brumbies here. If they don't hold on to it, Wales will tear them apart and we could see a white-wash.
26th: TRY! The Brumbies have the ball, but they lose it and Wales take full advantage. Beck makes a break with Justin Tipuric hitting the ball at speed for the visitor's second try. Hook converts. Wales 14-3.
25th: Some interesting points from this game. It's like to be captain Ben Hand's last for the Brumbies. He's going to France at the end of the Super Rugby season, but doesn't expect to be selected in the remaining three games given the team's form. White is also looking for a new winger with Joseph Tomane suffering an ankle injury in Wallabies camp.
22nd: Brumbies are on the attack now, they have a penalty advantage and they're putting some heat on the Welsh defensive line. They can't break through so they get a penalty and they're taking a shot. Holmes hits the post!
18th: TRY! After so much possession, James Hook slips through the defence and gets over the line. It had to come after 10 minutes of continued attack. Hook converts. Wales 7-3.
18th: Just got a call from our photographer down on the field, Mel Adams. She said Coleman was in a fair bit of pain when he injured his shoulder. He's out there now, but not sure for how long. Before kick-off, White was only going to use Jesse Mogg if absolute necessary.
17th: Brumbies fullback Robbie Coleman goes down after a clash with his teammate. He was down for a while with what looked like a shoulder problem. But he's back in the defensive line. Score reminder, Brumbies 3-0.
16th: After defending for five minutes, the Brumbies finally get off their own line. Jake White has really drummed a good defensive attitude into this team. Despite having 11 players with 10 games or less under their belts, they're still determined not to give away a try.
15th: Had to feel for the corporate box next to the media box. Stadium staff delivered a lovely plate of oysters, but 2minutes later took it back and replaced it with fruit.
11th: Gee Wales are dangerous. They go on the attack from inside their own half through Ashley Beck, but he doesn't get a try with Robbie Coleman and Kimami Sitauti making a brilliant tackle. Flanker Justin Tipuric gets over the line, but drops the ball. Wales get a penalty, and they're going for the try. Forget about the shot at goal.
9th: Maybe I spoke too soon. Zack Holmes line sup a shot from 47m out right in front of the posts. Maybe they just want to get in front and then they'll go for the tries. Holmes slots it. Brumbies 3-0.
7th: The Brumbies have all the ball in the opening 10 on the attack, but they can't get through. Wales are going to run it from inside their own half as well. The Brumbies' forwards are in for a torrid night. This Welsh pack is brutal!
4th: The Brumbies win a penalty and in a good sign for the fans, they go for an attacking lineout and not for goal. Good to see, this isn't a Super Rugby game. Brumbies on the attack.
3rd minute: Brumbies hooker Anthony Hegarty gives away a penalty. Both teams off to a good start. Hopefully there's no shots for penalty goals, this game is about scoring tries!
Kick-off: Tipping most of the Welsh players have never heard of the Brumbies. When the teams last met in 1996, the Brumbies won by 30-odd points. Let's see if there's another upset. Wales kicking off.
7.24pm: The Brumbies choir in full swing on the field for the first time this year. Just about kick-off. Crowd at maybe 5000 for now, maybe closer to 7000. I can never tell..
7.10pm: Cycling champ and London bound BMX star Caroline Buchanan just braved the cold to be interviewed on the field. I think she tipped a Brumbies win. Still no ice on the field. 20minutes until kick-off.
7pm: The players are out on the field. I'm still warm and toasty in the media box. Used a meat pie as a handwarmer ... it didn't last long though. Welsh lock Luke Charteris is the only player backing up from Saturday night's loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane. But the Six Nations champs still have a strong team with more Test caps than the Brumbies have Super Rugby appearances.
6.40pm: It's nice and chilly out here at Canberra Stadium, but ice hasn't started forming on the field just yet. A small crowd starting to form, but probably only 7000 turning out. Looking forward to seeing Tongan Ita Vaea causing destruction, but think the Welsh might have the upper hand here.
Preamble: Join Chris 'Blocka' Dutton from 7.30pm as he takes us through up-to-the-minute action from Canberra Stadium. Wales are on the warpath against the Australian conference leaders, the Act Brumbies, and keen to stamp their authority on Australian turf in the lead-up to their contest against the Wallabies on Saturday night.