Beale brilliance gives Australia vital edge

Wales 16 Australia 25: Wales wallop the Wallabies in the scrum and breakdown but tourists' back three have too much creativity for Gatland's men

Has a Wales side ever been so dominant in the scrum, in the error count and in the number of turnovers and still ended a match without coming within a score of a result? This was the nagging question last night as Warren Gatland's men ticked off the positives after their eighth defeat in 10 Tests.

The Welsh front row will wonder how they were anything other than winners. The Wallaby scrum was walloped so conclusively it went way beyond the embarrassing. Wales also, in Gatland's words, "did a job on [David] Pocock" at the breakdown, where they "won" eight turnovers to three.

So where was it lost? Well, the visitors had creativity in abundance, while the home side had creativity in bandages. How they missed the likes of Lee Byrne, at full-back. Gatland said he expected to have the Osprey back for next week's fixture against South Africa and he will be mighty glad of it. James Hook can then return to outside-centre and Wales will have a cutting edge. That is the overwhelming hope.

Such optimism is understandable. Shaun Edwards, the defence coach, expressed it most vehemently. "This was a full-strength Australian side who had beaten New Zealand the week before and we were without four or five players I'd like to think are British Lions," he said. "We'll get them all together one day."

Gatland was critical without being his raging self; not against his own team anyway. He declared himself "furious" over an offside decision that led to the first of three Australian tries and also wondered why the collapsing Australian scrum did not elicit a yellow card. That was a genuine gripe, as every scrum seemed to see Wayne Barnes awarding a penalty.

"We were beaten at the hit on numerous occasions, that was the greatest problem," said Australia's coach, Robbie Deans. "It's obviously a concern. We will revisit it."

With Twickenham looming they should do, particularly as England's win Down Under in the summer stemmed from a similar scrum mauling. "We've always found that when we place great emphasis on something we will grow," said Deans. "And that's what we'll be doing."

But while the England props will be licking their lips, their defenders will be scratching their heads. For this Wallaby outfit are little short of sensational with ball in hand and on another day, with the ball sticking, they would have touched down a couple more. The pace of pass is almost as rapid as the speed of thought and with a back three of James O'Connor, Drew Mitchell and Kurtley Beale, they have some firepower.

It was the last-named who scored the game's most important try, to pull his side away in the 47th minute. That came after what Edwards called a "fortuitous ricochet" , although he conceded the finishing was clinical. Wales could have gone into the break ahead but Stephen Jones missed a few penalties and an O'Connor penalty (the 20-year-old ignoring the disgraceful booing on an accomplished afternoon from the tee) and Pocock's fourth-minute try were enough for Australia. It was a lead they perhaps did not deserve.

But then the game opened up and so did their stride. There were some sublime moments from the Wallabies, not least when Beale collected an up-and-under before putting in an audacious grubber kick. Only some fine defence denied Beale one of the more memorable individual tries; Hook forced a knock-on in the shadow of the posts. The prop Ben Alexander then made up for his ineffectiveness in the set-piece by being on hand to finish a wonderful cross-pitch move on the hour and when Tom Shanklin was shown the yellow card for an early tackle on Pocock a few minutes later, it seemed ominous.

But to their credit Wales dug deep and Richie Rees, the replacement scrum-half, went over for the try they deserved with 10 minutes remaining. It came after two re-set scrums on the Australia line. It was the one time Wales managed to capitalise on their outrageous scrummaging advantage. At least it gave a two-thirds full Millennium Stadium something to cheer.

Wales J Hook (Ospreys); W Harries (Dragons), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), A Bishop, S Williams (both Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), M Phillips (Ospreys); G Jenkins (Blues), M Rees (Scarlets, capt), A Jones (Ospreys), B Davies (Blues), A W Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Dragons), J Thomas (Ospreys), S Warburton (Blues). Replacements M Williams (Blues) for Warburton, 66; D Biggar (Ospreys) for S Jones, 66; R Rees (Blues) for Phillips, 66; P James (Ospreys) for Jenkins, 71; D Jones (Blues) for A W Jones, 75; C Czekaj (Blues) for Shanklin, 75, H Bennett (Ospreys) for M Rees, 75.

Australia K Beale (New South Wales Waratahs); J O'Connor (Western Force), A Ashley-Cooper, M Giteau (both ACT Brumbies), D Mitchell (Waratahs); Q Cooper, W Genia (both Queensland Reds); B Robinson (Waratahs), S Faingaa (Reds), B Alexander, M Chisholm (both Brumbies), N Sharpe (Force), R Elsom (Brumbies, capt), B McCalman, D Pocock (both Force). Replacements H Edmonds (Brumbies) for Faingaa, 54; B Slipper (Reds) for Alexander, 62; B Barnes (Waratahs) for Giteau, 68; L Burgess (Waratahs) for Genia, 74; D Mumm (Waratahs) for Chisholm, 75

Referee W Barnes (England).

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
arts + entsBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
people
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices