Wales thumped Australia to cruise into the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup with a game to spare, leaving the Wallabies and head coach Eddie Jones staring at the humiliation of a first-ever group-stage exit.
An early break from Gareth Davies set Wales on their way to a comprehensive victory and although Warren Gatland lost fly-half Dan Bigger to a concerning shoulder injury, replacement Gareth Anscombe came off the bench to contribute 23 points.
Anscombe also set up Wales’ second try with a clever chip to Nick Tompkins, as Gatland’s side continued to choose their moments in what was a clinical victory, before Jac Morgan crashed over to seal a record 40-6 scoreline for Wales in this fixture.
The result was a disaster for Australia and Jones, who desperately needed a win after their earlier defeat to Fiji in Pool C. The two-time champions are now set to record their worst-ever performance in World Cup history.
Follow all the reaction after Wales recorded their biggest-ever win against Australia to reach the quarter-finals
Brilliant Wales thrash abject Australia to bring Eddie Jones’s world crashing down
As Eddie Jones’s house of cards finally came crumbling down, it fittingly felt like death by a thousand paper cuts in Lyon rather than one swift blow that finished Australia off. It arguably made the pain even worse.
Jones and the Wallabies looked like helpless bystanders as Gareth Anscombe slotted penalty after penalty (and even a drop goal for good measure) and Wales calmly, methodically rode off into the distance. The final score was 40-6, a record Welsh winning margin of 34 points in this fixture, yet the victors didn’t even record a four-try bonus point as instead they broke Australian hearts piece by piece.
For the first time in Rugby World Cup history, the Wallabies have exited at the group stage and Jones looks destined to leave by that same door.
Read Luke Baker’s full match report from Lyon below:
Wales 40-6 Australia: Warren Gatland’s Wales booked a quarter-final spot in style with a record win over the dismal Wallabies
Eddie Jones lashes out in spiky press conference after Australia humiliated by Wales
Australia coach Eddie Jones lashed out at journalists in a spiky post-match press conference following the Wallabies’ record defeat to Wales that saw them crash out of the Rugby World Cup.
Australia were thumped 40-6 in Lyon by a rampant Wales side to all but confirm their exit at the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in their history.
Jones apologised for the record defeat but was unhappy with questions surrounding a report in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the day, which claimed Jones was secretly interviewed by Japanese rugby officials just days before the World Cup about taking over as the country’s head coach.
The Wallabies suffered a record 40-6 defeat to Wales to crash out of the Rugby World Cup but head coach Jones didn’t like journalists’ line of questioning
Wales issue Dan Biggar update after concerning injury against Australia
Wales fly-half Dan Biggar is set to be fit for the World Cup quarter-finals after Warren Gatland confirmed that the 33-year-old did not suffer a significant injury against Australia.
Biggar, who is retiring from international rugby after the World Cup, was forced off just eight minutes into the Pool C clash in Lyon and had to be removed despite efforts to play on through the pain.
The influential No 10 was seen clutching his upper chest area as he was replaced, after receiving treatment on the field. Biggar had converted Gareth Davies’ early try against the Wallabies before he was replaced by Gareth Anscombe.
But after the record 40-6 win over Australia, which confirmed Wales’ progress to the quarter-finals, Gatland confirmed that Biggar had stretched his pec and was therefore only a doubt for their final Pool C match against Georgia in two weeks’ time.
Gareth Anscombe came off the bench to star in the thrashing of Australia before Warren Gatland eased fears that Biggar’s World Cup could be over
‘Rock bottom’: Australian media react to ‘embarrassing’ World Cup defeat to Wales
Australia is at “rock bottom” after a record defeat to Wales left Eddie Jones and the Wallabies on the brink of an “embarrassing” group-stage World Cup exit, as the media turned on the team following a humiliating night in Lyon.
Wales recorded their biggest-ever win against Australia with a stunning 40-6 scoreline, with the two-time World Cup champions the Wallabies suffering their heaviest World Cup defeat. The result also left Australia all-but eliminated from the World Cup with a game to spare, which is set to be the first time the country has failed to reach the quarter-finals.
Much of the anger was directed towards former England head coach Jones, who apologised for the record defeat but then lashed out at journalists during a tense press conference after the match. Jones was unhappy with questions surrounding a report in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the day, which claimed Jones was secretly interviewed by Japanese rugby officials just days before the World Cup about taking over as the country’s head coach.
The Herald called Australia’s defeat “embarrassing”, with rugby reporter Tom Decent writing that the “Eddie Jones experiment can officially be declared a disaster”.
The Wallabies are set to exit the World Cup before the quarter-finals for the first time after a record defeat
Next up for both sides
Wales have the luxury of a bye week and plenty of time to savour this historic performance, one would imagine. They bring their group-stage campaign to a conclusion on Saturday 7 October against Georgia.
Barring a miracle, Australia have just one game left in their 2023 World Cup journey. That is next weekend on Sunday 1 October when they take on Portugal. Could that be the final game for Eddie Jones in charge as well?
Only time will tell...
FULL-TIME: Wales 40-6 Australia
All smiles from the boys in red:
Welsh centre George North speaking to ITV after the game
“It’s right up there [as one of Wales’ best World Cup performances]. As a performance, we are getting towards that full 80-minute performance that we know we can do.
“Still a bit to tidy up but three wins from three in the group stages - the boys are ecstatic. I’m just shattered at the minute to really comprehend it but a huge effort from the 23 and 33-man squad all week.
“After the Portugal game we kicked on again and the result today showed - it was a very dominant performance and the boys are just thrilled.”
Australian head coach Eddie Jones speaking to ITV after the game
“Apart from the first try, we played the first 20, 30 minutes really well. We just had a series of errors; either a set-piece error or a ball-carry error and we just couldn’t sustain any pressure on Wales.
“To get momentum you need to put together two or three really good sets of play and that’s what we were unable to do.
“Congratulations to Wales - they played a really strong game of Rugby. Good at their set piece, their kicking game was exceptional and they defended well.
“We’re going to get ready for Portugal. There’s one game to go and we’ve got to pick up the pieces and put on a good performance. I apologise to all the supporters out there for our performance tonight.”
On his future with Australia: “I remain committed to the Australia project. I still believe I am the person to turn things around. I was put in this job to turn Australia around and I don’t think I could have done it with the players we had.
“This is the most painful time but also the best time to learn for young players.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland speaking to ITV after the game
“It was a pretty good performance. This group of players have experience and if you get a bit of momentum and confidence and you can build on that. The amount of hard work we put in these last few months, I said in life you get what you deserve and we deserved to win today. The guys went out and gave a great performance and I’m really pleased with that.
“We know how much defences dominate and for us not conceding a try today was fantastic. We ended up scoring three tries - the message at the end was go for the bonus point but you can’t be too greedy.”
On Gareth Davies’s performance: “He’s a fantastic individual and person. He was disappointed a few years but he’s come back and shown today how he can defend and what he can do in the game.”
On preparations for Georgia: “We’ve got a little bit of a break so guys can spend two or three days with their families next week before we think about that.”
FULL-TIME: Wales 40-6 Australia
Just one win in eight since Eddie Jones’s return to the Wallabies...
What does his future hold and where do Australia go from here?
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