Saturday, July 20, 2024

Australia 25-16 Wales: Stunning late Tom Wright try crucial as Wallabies go 1-0 up in series -Dlight News

Tom Wright scored a wonderful solo try with 11 minutes to go as Australia made sure of victory vs Wales in Sydney

Tom Wright scored a wonderful solo try with 11 minutes to go as Australia made sure of victory vs Wales in Sydney

A stunning late Tom Wright try proved crucial as Australia beat Wales 25-16 in Sydney to move 1-0 up in their summer series, live on Sky Sports.

The Wallabies scored further tries through tighthead prop Taniela Tupou and wing Filipo Daugunu in either half, but failed to shake off a stubborn Wales team in a tight contest.

Indeed, the Welsh driving maul proved potent throughout the Test, earning a penalty try for a Wallabies collapse in the first half, and a match-levelling James Botham score with 23 minutes remaining – only for it to be ruled out by the TMO due to obstruction.

Australia – Tries: Tupou (21), Daugunu (52), Wright (69). Cons: Lolesio (22), Lynagh (70). Pens: Lolesio (7, 15).

Wales – Tries: Penalty Try (25). Pens: Thomas (3, 46, 66).

The boots of young fly-halves Noah Lolesio and Ben Thomas kept their sides in play, with only two points separating the teams approaching the final 11 minutes. That was until full-back Wright stepped up to score a fabulous solo try from deep on transition to ensure victory.

Story of the match

Wales took the lead inside the opening three minutes, after vastly experienced Australia loosehead James Slipper was penalised for a no-arms tackle and Cardiff fly-half Thomas impressively struck over from distance.

A clever tactical kick into the Wales 22 by Thomas’ opposite number Lolesio eventually saw the concession of a breakdown penalty by the visitors in response, allowing Lolesio to level the game up.

Noah Lolesio kicked two penalties and a conversion off the tee in the victory

Noah Lolesio kicked two penalties and a conversion off the tee in the victory

An Andrew Kellaway-led linebreak saw Wales push up offside by their own 22 before long, but Lolesio produced a shocking miss off the tee for the lead.

The Wallabies continued to be on top, however, and when a dominant scrum drive against the head – with both Tupou and Slipper powering forward – brought another penalty, Lolesio did land the simple effort this time for a 6-3 lead.

With Welsh penalties totting up and providing Australia with easy 22 access, Gatland’s side were ultimately punished again when a series of Wallabies pick-and-go carries near the try-line gave way to prop Tupou forcing his way over from a yard out.

Wallabies tighthead prop Taniela Tupou proved too powerful from close range, scoring the first try

Wallabies tighthead prop Taniela Tupou proved too powerful from close range, scoring the first try

Welsh loosehead Gareth Thomas was also sin-binned once the try was awarded for the concession of another penalty during the move, but it was the men in red who were next onto the attack despite having a player less.

A TMO review for a possible Wales try ruled scrum-half Ellis Bevan had knocked on first, but it wasn’t to matter as 14-player Wales kicked to the corner and a dominant maul was collapsed by the Wallabies pack just prior to the try-line for a clear penalty try.

Wales, despite going down to 14 players after Australia's opening try, responded with a strong driving maul to force a penalty try

Wales, despite going down to 14 players after Australia’s opening try, responded with a strong driving maul to force a penalty try

Openside Fraser McReight was sin-binned for the act, but Wales could add no further points before half-time as hooker Dewi Lake knocked on in the 22 after a Liam Williams 50:22 had given them a good opportunity.

Wales were level six minutes into the second period, though, as Thomas struck over when Australia were penalised for failing to roll away.

Lock Christ Tshiunza won a huge breakdown turnover on top of his own try-line shortly after, as Wales’ Tommy Reffell got away with a tackle off the ball, but the Wallabies were soon over for their second try anyway.

Wing Daugunu was the man to score it as he looped around to the opposite flank, took on Mason Grady for pace, and was slightly fortunate to slide in on the wet surface for four metres to reach the line.

Filipo Daugunu looped round from his opposite wing to score Australia's second try

Filipo Daugunu looped round from his opposite wing to score Australia’s second try

Wales thought they were level almost immediately when another maul saw Botham over the try-line, but a TMO review showed obstruction in the maul’s formation.

With 14 minutes to play, Thomas reduced the Australia lead to two points via a penalty that crept over via the post, but Wright then stepped up for the moment of the match: collecting the ball deep in his own half, before stepping and accelerating through and past a number of defenders in front of him to score.

Tom Lynagh – son of former Wallabies great Michael – converted the score. Wales were unable to respond, bringing up victory for new Australia head coach Joe Schmidt in his first Test in charge.

What they said

Wales head coach Warren Gatland, speaking to Sky Sports…

“I just need to get some clarity on the disallowed try in terms of the decision which was made, I’m not 100 percent sure.

“We know where we are at the moment. We’re developing this team and we’re going to have to learn from these experiences.

“There were some real positives out of there in terms of what we are trying to do.”

Wales captain Dewi Lake, speaking to Sky Sports…

“Unfortunately, resilience doesn’t win games. Credit to the heart and the dig-in the boys showed – that’s going to get us far.

“But a young team, we’ve got to learn how to win games, put points on the board, and see games out. Credit to Australia, they put points on the board and made us chase the game.

“There were a couple of opportunities we missed and that’s probably the difference on the scoreboard.”

Former Wales captain Sam Warburton, speaking as part of Sky Sports’ coverage…

“There were probably chances to win that game, but we don’t know how good Australia are either until we see the Rugby Championship later in the year, when they play South Africa and New Zealand.

“If Australia front up really well, we can look back on this result in a few months’ time and think ‘Wales were playing a different Australia outfit to what we’ve seen in the past few years’.

“Wales definitely had their chances. Maybe a more experienced team might have recognised when those moments were.”

What’s next?

Wales now head to Melbourne for the second and final Test of the series against Australia on Saturday July 13. That match is live on Sky Sports Action from 10.30am (10.45am kick-off) – with England vs New Zealand live on the same channel just prior.

Watch England, Wales and Ireland’s summer rugby union internationals exclusively live on Sky Sports. Stream rugby’s summer internationals in 2024 and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership. No contract, cancel anytime.

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