JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Kiwi gets Wallabies home


New Zealand-born Mike Harris is an Australian forever thanks to a penalty after the siren that got the Wallabies home last night, writes Greg Growden.

Australia 25 Wales 23

The Wallabies celebrate Rob Horne's try at the end of the first half.

The Wallabies celebrate Rob Horne's try at the end of the first half. Photo: Getty Images

Emblazoned on the billboard outside the Welsh Church in the middle of Melbourne yesterday were the words: ''God shows no favourites. But this church does … C'mon Wales.''


Not surprisingly in a city where sport is a religion, Melbourne churches have a long tradition of pushing smart footy-oriented messages - the most famous being some decades ago when a small church near Glenferrie Oval had on its board: ''What would you do if Jesus Christ came to Hawthorn today?''

Rob Horne dives in to score.

Rob Horne dives in to score. Photo: Getty Images

Underneath it someone scrawled: ''Move Peter Hudson to centre-half forward.'' (For those not obsessed with AFL, and there are some, Hudson, the king of Hawthorn, was probably the code's greatest goal-kicking full-forward.) At Etihad Stadium last night, the gods were certainly not on the side of the Grand Slam Six Nations champions when they suffered the agony of losing by just two points in extra time when a Mike Harris penalty goal allowed the Wallabies to take the most dramatic, exciting of 2-0 Test series leads against a quality opposition. At least no one had to move anywhere to accommodate a messiah. But there were still plenty of attention-seeking naughty boys.

There was tension, aggression, players like Wallabies winger Cooper Vuna sent to the sin bin for ridiculous acts, the high drama of man of the match Berrick Barnes having to rush back from Sydney after the birth of his first child to get to the game on time, and then the tension of his replacement, Harris, having to kick the final penalty to win the game. The Wallabies had it won, then they lost it when they bombed numerous attractive chances in the final minutes, and then won it again with a penalty awarded after the bell. They were stunned as anyone that they were victors.

Barnes, on the most special of days, had kicked 17 points from five penalties and a conversion until his leg went dead. He then missed one, which looked as if it would lose the Wallabies the game, when now hobbling, he was replaced by Harris, who was up to the big moment.

The Wallabies celebrate winning the Test. Click for more photos

Wallabies snatch victory over Wales

New Zealand-born Mike Harris kicked a penalty goal after the siren to seal a two-point win over Wales. Photo: Getty Images

The unusual tone of this match was set early. Infuriated by how much space Will Genia and David Pocock had to perform their magic tricks in Brisbane, the Welsh immediately attacked the fuse box with a sledgehammer. The Welsh forwards didn't take 25 minutes to find their stride, as was the case at Suncorp Stadium, but broke through the barrier and were straight into it, pushing play in the Wallabies quarter to score within minutes following several pick and drives.

That was the important he-man moment, to remind the Wallabies just how good they were, and then it came down to Wales attempting to slow everything down, especially at the breakdown, forcing Genia to fight for the ball rather than having silver service. The Welsh squeeze worked. For a long time the Wallabies were unable to excite the scoreboard attendant. The Wallabies still had plentiful possession in the first half, but there were no gargantuan gaps to take advantage to. They now had to rely on patience, constantly changing their attacking lines, and probing here and there. But they knew if they just stuck at it, something would come, and it did in the 39th minute, when Barnes swivelled the hips and snuck in between Welsh captain and flanker Sam Warburton and centre Ashley Beck. He then timed the pass beautifully to that marvellous finisher Rob Horne, who once again completed the assignment to give the Wallabies a 13-7 half-time lead.

Eventually Genia had to make a mistake. It occurred straight after the break when a Genia pass after a lineout aimed at Digby Ioane instead fell into no man's land, allowing opposing centre Ashley Beck to boot ahead and midfielder Jonathan Davies to regather to once again give Wales the ascendency.

Digby Ioane attempts to break the tackle.

Digby Ioane attempts to break the tackle. Photo: Getty Images

Then came an exchange of penalty goals, with the lead changing virtually every second minute.

The Wallabies, via Barnes and Harris, won that kick-off to be victors of a special Test match, full of spice and stardust. One that will be remembered for years.

AUSTRALIA 25 (Rob Horne try Berrick Barnes con Barnes 5, Michael Harris pens) bt WALES 23 (Jonathan Davies, George North tries Leigh Halfpenny 2 cons 3 pens) at Etihad Stadium. Referee: Chris Pollock. Crowd: 33,888.

Related Coverage

Horne Wallabies snatch victory over Wales

New Zealand-born Mike Harris kicked a penalty goal after the siren to seal a two-point win over Wales.

Live: Wallabies v Wales

Wales attempt to keep the series alive when they clash with the Wallabies under the roof at Etihad Stadium.

Daddy of all days as Barnes delivers man-of-match display

FOR Berrick Barnes, it was probably the greatest day of his life. For Mike Harris, it was redemption.

Barnes arrives in time

Berrick Barnes had quite a few things to be grateful for last night.

Wince of Wales

It was hard to detect a groundswell of excitement for the visit of European Rugby champions Wales.

Beale charged, but cleared for Wallabies recall

Troubled Wallabies star Kurtley Beale is set for some good news with his likely recall to the Test line-up to face Wales in Sydney.

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

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
View All Fixtures
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
View all

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers