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Wallabies steal last-gasp win

Date

Melissa Woods

Mike Harris of the Wallabies celebrates kicking the winning penalty goal.

Mike Harris of the Wallabies celebrates kicking the winning penalty goal. Photo: Cameron Spencer

WALLABIES back Mike Harris kicked a penalty from close to the sideline after full-time to steal a 25-23 victory from Wales in a heart-stopping affair in their Test in Melbourne last night.

Wales looked to have secured its first win on Australian soil in 43 years but a penalty for collapsing a maul in the final seconds gave replacement Harris the chance for glory.

The visitors showed their trademark fighting spirit as the lead changed hands nine times at Etihad Stadium. But the loss meant a James Bevan Trophy series victory for Australia, which took out the first Test in Brisbane last week.

Wallabies flyhalf Berrick Barnes only flew into Melbourne hours before kick-off after being at the birth of his son.

Wallabies flyhalf Berrick Barnes only flew into Melbourne hours before kick-off after being at the birth of his son. Photo: Quinn Rooney

New Zealand-born Harris, playing in only his second Test, said he was excited to be given the opportunity to win the match for his side.

''It's a kicker's dream to be able to win the game,'' said the Queensland Reds player, who missed two long-range kicks in atrocious conditions in his recent debut against Scotland.

Australian coach Robbie Deans said the composure shown by his team was a sign of its growing maturity. ''Fortunately the boys had enough composure when they were under the pump at the death there to get their hands on the ball one more time, produce some pressure and produce an outcome,'' Dean said.

He said he knew the Welsh would be in it at the end.

''They're an 80-minute side, they're very much a second-half side so you've got to work the full 80,'' Deans said.

Wales coach Rob Howley said his team had done enough to win.

''I thought our defence was outstanding,'' Howley said.

''For 79 minutes and 40 seconds we'd done a lot of good. We were hugely disappointed having outscored Australia two tries to one.''

Welsh skipper Sam Warburton said his team should have kept the ball in hand rather than kicking it away in the final minute to give Australia possession and a chance of a penalty.

New dad Berrick Barnes looked to inspire the Wallabies to wrap up the series after making it back to Melbourne just a few hours before kick-off and he was named man of the match.

The flyhalf dashed home to Sydney late on Friday to be at the birth of his first child - a son, Archie.

Barnes set up the Wallabies' only try of the match just before half-time when he threw a superb dummy before offloading to a rampaging Rob Horne.

He also added 17 points through five penalties from six attempts and a conversion before being replaced by Harris with seven minutes remaining.

Wallabies rookie Cooper Vuna, playing only his second Test, made a costly blunder when he took out Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny in the air and was yellow-carded.

Halfpenny kicked that penalty which put his side ahead at the 60th minute 20-19.

Wales started both halves on fire, scoring within the opening three minutes of each.

While he had an excellent game, Barnes made a poor start when he kicked the ball out on the full from outside his team's 22.

Wales then piled the pressure on the home side and, after eight phases hammering the Wallabies defence, winger George North found a hole to plant the ball across the line in the third minute of the match.

The Wallabies threw everything at the visitors as the clock wound down and looked like they would have to settle for a loss, with the series to be decided in Sydney next Saturday.

But then Harris stepped up to nail the kick and break Welsh hearts. AAP

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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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