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Wallabies write another chapter of Welsh woe

Date

Greg Growden

Wallabies 20 Wales 19

Tough match ... Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled.

Tough match ... Will Genia of the Wallabies is tackled.

You almost expected Alfred Hitchcock to appear out of the mist from the Wallabies' dressing room last night and utter: ''Good evening.''

MATCH STATS/BLOG

The Wallabies are certainly the masters of suspense. And Wales are now suffering from vertigo and feeling as disorientated as Cary Grant when chased by a crop duster in North By Northwest as they ponder what on earth they have to do to win an international on Australian soil.

Wallabies vs Wales. Allianz Stadium. Action from the game. Click for more photos

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After the three-Test series ended with another drama-soaked international at Allianz Stadium yesterday, you have to feel sorry for Wales because they smashed the Wallabies up front, probably deserved a few more penalties to go their way, but missed out on victory because their opponents have taken over the All Blacks' mantle as the most blessed international team running around.

Yet again the Wallabies somehow held on, relying on a Berrick Barnes penalty kick in the 74th minute for an important series whitewash over the Grand Slam Six Nations victors. It showed the Wallabies, as their coach Robbie Deans put it last night, have acquired the required level of discipline and composure to now consistently win the big ones. And that is so important if the Wallabies want to be the No.1 team in the world. As is luck going your way.

Even though it was the third tight Test in a row, as a spectacle it was far inferior to the first or second international. You could understand the Waratahs in the line-up being spooked by the occasion as they're not used to playing in front of a capacity crowd at their home ground. These perennial losers are more attuned to appearing in front of only the hungry and lost.

But not Wales, who are accustomed to Millennium Stadium mania in Cardiff. However they were way out of whack in the opening half, and that was when they lost the game. The visitors turned the restarts into a Keystone Kops caper, fumbling virtually every kick that came their way. It was as if some gorilla had thrown a pile of banana skins on the field. The Welsh could also find no peace at the tackle, as referee Craig Joubert constantly pounced on them for not releasing.

Joubert and the touch judges then started penalising Wales for offside play. Then they found another reason to stop the play, and another, and another. No wonder an exasperated Welsh coach Rob Howley said at one stage he thought ''there were three referees out there''.

The capacity crowd, so excited to be back in rugby heartland on a sunny afternoon, wanted plenty, but it didn't come because Joubert was a dreadful party pooper, an unnecessary breakdown pedant. And he's supposed to be the best referee in the world. Not on that performance.

The audience soon grew sick of Joubert's intrusive nature, which involved 24 penalties and three free kicks, because they had not paid money to see an endless kick-off between Barnes and Leigh Halfpenny. On an afternoon where rugby needed to be seen in its best light, it was obstructed by someone who should have remembered he was there to be seen and not heard. It was as if his prime aim was to impress the IRB referees assessor sitting in the stand. It freed up a little after the break. But not much. Joubert remained the centre attraction. Free-flowing football moments were few and far between, and the Australian scrum continued to degenerate, with the Wallabies' front row putting on Ossie Ostrich suits, constantly going head first into the turf.

Wales found their feet when focused on their scrum ascendancy, making the Wallabies pay after 60 minutes when their No.8 Ryan Jones charged from one set piece to score under the posts. This woke up the Wallabies, taking only four minutes for them to find reward for at last being expansive when centre Rob Horne suddenly found himself in open territory, wedging the ball between his arm and his leg to score their only try to retake the lead. Then came the usual series see-saw, with the lead going this way and that, before Barnes gutted Wales again

You almost expected Alfred Hitchcock to appear out of the mist from the Wallabies' dressing room last night and utter: ''Good evening.''

The Wallabies are certainly the masters of suspense. And Wales are now suffering from vertigo and feeling as disorientated as Cary Grant when chased by a crop duster in North By Northwest as they ponder what on earth they have to do to win an international on Australian soil.

After the three-Test series ended with another drama-soaked international at Allianz Stadium yesterday, you have to feel sorry for Wales because they smashed the Wallabies up front, probably deserved a few more penalties to go their way, but missed out on victory because their opponents have taken over the All Blacks' mantle as the most blessed international team running around.

Yet again the Wallabies somehow held on, relying on a Berrick Barnes penalty kick in the 74th minute for an important series whitewash over the Grand Slam Six Nations victors. It showed the Wallabies, as their coach Robbie Deans put it last night, have acquired the required level of discipline and composure to now consistently win the big ones. And that is so important if the Wallabies want to be the No.1 team in the world. As is luck going your way.

Even though it was the third tight Test in a row, as a spectacle it was far inferior to the first or second international. You could understand the Waratahs in the line-up being spooked by the occasion as they're not used to playing in front of a capacity crowd at their home ground. These perennial losers are more attuned to appearing in front of only the hungry and lost.

But not Wales, who are accustomed to Millennium Stadium mania in Cardiff. However they were way out of whack in the opening half, and that was when they lost the game. The visitors turned the restarts into a Keystone Kops caper, fumbling virtually every kick that came their way. It was as if some gorilla had thrown a pile of banana skins on the field. The Welsh could also find no peace at the tackle, as referee Craig Joubert constantly pounced on them for not releasing.

Joubert and the touch judges then started penalising Wales for offside play. Then they found another reason to stop the play, and another, and another. No wonder an exasperated Welsh coach Rob Howley said at one stage he thought ''there were three referees out there''.

The capacity crowd, so excited to be back in rugby heartland on a sunny afternoon, wanted plenty, but it didn't come because Joubert was a dreadful party pooper, an unnecessary breakdown pedant. And he's supposed to be the best referee in the world. Not on that performance.

The audience soon grew sick of Joubert's intrusive nature, which involved 24 penalties and three free kicks, because they had not paid money to see an endless kick-off between Barnes and Leigh Halfpenny. On an afternoon where rugby needed to be seen in its best light, it was obstructed by someone who should have remembered he was there to be seen and not heard. It was as if his prime aim was to impress the IRB referees assessor sitting in the stand. It freed up a little after the break. But not much. Joubert remained the centre attraction. Free-flowing football moments were few and far between, and the Australian scrum continued to degenerate, with the Wallabies' front row putting on Ossie Ostrich suits, constantly going head first into the turf.

Wales found their feet when focused on their scrum ascendancy, making the Wallabies pay after 60 minutes when their No.8 Ryan Jones charged from one set piece to score under the posts. This woke up the Wallabies, taking only four minutes for them to find reward for at last being expansive when centre Rob Horne suddenly found himself in open territory, wedging the ball between his arm and his leg to score their only try to retake the lead. Then came the usual series see-saw, with the lead going this way and that, before Barnes gutted Wales again

AUSTRALIA 20 (Rob Horne try Berrick Barnes 5 pens) bt WALES 19 (Ryan Jones try Leigh Halfpenny con 4 pens) at Allianz Stadium. Referee: Craig Joubert. Crowd: 42,889.

AAP 

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Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
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Round 3
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
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Round 4
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 5
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
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Round 6
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
LIO 0vs CRU 0 04:00Emirates Airlines Park
BLU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35QBE Stadium
BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
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Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
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Round 8
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
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Round 9
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
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Round 10
Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
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FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
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RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
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STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 11
Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
SHA 0vs HUR 0 23:00GpKP
Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
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Round 12
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
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CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Round 13
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
LIO 0vs Jagu 0 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
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Round 14
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
STO 0vs CHT 0 23:00DHL Newlands
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
BUL 0vs LIO 0 01:05Loftu
REB 0vs FOR 0 16:05AAMI
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Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
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BRU 0vs RED 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
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LIO 0vs SHA 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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BLU 0vs BRU 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
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LIO 0vs King 0 03:00Emirates Airlines Park
CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
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BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
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STO 0vs King 0 01:05DHL Newlands
CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
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