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Deans bounds out of jail


Greg Growden

Australia 27 Wales 19

Wycliff Palu looks to get an offload away as he is tackled by Gethin Jenkins. Click for more photos

Wallabies down Wales in Brisbane

Will Genia laid claim to the mantle of best halfback in world rugby as he inspired the Wallabies to a morale-boosting 27-19 first Test victory over Six Nations champions Wales on Saturday night. Photo: Chris Hyde

The Wallabies' pressure valve was momentarily eased as they rediscovered their ability to win tough, dramatic internationals, rallying at the right time to defeat Wales in the first Test at Suncorp Stadium last night.


The under-threat Wallabies coach Robbie Deans was breathing far more easily when his team kept its head against the Six Nations grand slam champions, thwarting numerous dangerous charges to win a quality international. And Deans will be forever grateful to Will Genia, David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham, Berrick Barnes and co for getting him out of the mire, enabling them to rebound after being humiliated by Scotland on Tuesday night.

Clear skies and a vastly improved effort at the breakdown enabled the Wallabies to use the first half and most of the second to dominate possession, get clear of their opponents and eradicate the memories of Newcastle.

As the Scotland Test emphasised, the Wallabies are no mudlarks. But when the weather is fine, the track is dry and they don't have to cope with a slippery ball, they show they actually have some idea about Test football.

The first half wasn't perfect. Rob Simmons and Cooper Vuna missed easy tackles while Rob Horne was guilty of hogging the ball when a try would have been scored in the opening quarter if he had just passed along the line. But overall the standard of Australian play was encouraging because the Wallabies again discovered the benefits of playing fast, front-foot ball. You can control possession, determine exactly where the game will be played, and manipulate your opponents. You also look decisive. Points become a lot easier to tally.

The most critical difference between Newcastle and last night was the Australian breakdown work was far more effective. Pocock reigned supreme, showing yet again the best way for a Wallabies captain to get his team to rally is to lead by example. With his fellow back-rowers Wycliff Palu, Higginbotham and replacement Michael Hooper near his shoulder, they worked as a hit-man squad, often winning contested possession, and making their halfback Genia's job so much easier.

Whenever a team gets on top of the Wallabies, it invariably involves them effectively hassling Genia and nullifying his space. Scotland did that. Wales didn't in the first half and, for a change, Genia had the advantage of having time on his side and vast territory to roam.

Suddenly Genia was able to snipe away at the advantage line, make occasional breaks, and repeatedly change the team's direction, because he wasn't being hassled by opposition marauders. This had the effect of allowing the Wallabies to play far more cleanly, play with better rhythm and ensure that for most of the first half they were hovering near the Welsh goal line.

There was only one try in the first half, when Higginbotham burrowed over in the 15th minute following a succession of pick and drives, but there should have been another a few minutes earlier when Horne ignored an overlap and opted against passing to winger Digby Ioane who was in the clear. Horne was bound up by the Welsh defence and the moment was lost. Then Genia provided the ideal start to the second half by producing a stunning dummy to get through the Welsh defence and charge off, bouncing off defenders, to score an exceptional solo try that gave the Wallabies a 14-point lead. Barnes continued with a field goal - something he couldn't do in Newcastle.

Then came the Welsh revival. A succession of Welsh penalty goals was followed by winger Alex Cuthbert scoring in the 58th minute following a classic pop-up pass from Ashley Beck, and the Test was again in the balance. In the final quarter, it came down to which team made the fewest errors and handled the big moments. The Wallabies did that - especially when centre Pat McCabe ran a great attacking line to take advantage of a precise pass from Genia to give the Wallabies their third try in the 67th minute and some breathing space. Enough breathing space to lead to a good Test victory.

AUSTRALIA 27 (Will Genia, Scott Higginbotham, Pat McCabe tries Berrick Barnes 3 cons pen drop goal) bt WALES 19 (Alex Cuthbert try Leigh Halfpenny con 4 pens) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert. Crowd: 42,788.


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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