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Australia 27-19 Wales, Brisbane, June 9
Wallabies return to winning ways
June 9, 2012
Date/Time: Jun 9, 2012, 20:00 local, 10:00 GMT
Venue: Lang Park, Brisbane
Australia 27 - 19 Wales
Attendance: 42788  Half-time: 10 - 3
Tries: Genia, Higginbotham, McCabe
Cons: Barnes 3
Pens: Barnes
Drops: Barnes
Tries: Cuthbert
Cons: Halfpenny
Pens: Halfpenny 4
Australia's Will Genia celebrates scoring a try, Australia v Wales, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, June 9, 2012
Australia's WIll Genia celebrates scoring an outstanding individual score against Wales at the Suncorp Stadium
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Teams: Australia | Wales

Australia bounced back from their shock mid-week defeat to Scotland with a 27-19 victory over Wales in their clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Story of the Game

  • Man of the Match: There was one man head-and-shoulders above the rest, and it was Australia scrum-half Will Genia. On his home track and eyes glinting with mischief, the Reds halfback tore Wales apart in the first-half and put it beyond them with a try and an assist in the second.
  • Key Moment: After Wales showed great heart to rally to 20-16 midway through the second-half, fly-half Rhys Priestland - who had a poor game - bombed a certain try with a knock-on. Leigh Halfpenny kicked the resulting penalty, but the Wallabies didn't fall behind.
  • Hero of the Game: After a rare strong kick-chase from the tourists, Alex Cuthbert looked odds on to score only for Scott Higginbotham - perhaps the only rival to Genia in terms of Man of the Match - to chop him down short.
  • Villain of the Game: Wales needed their experienced heads to perform and Mike Phillips lost his. Gave away 10 yards with backchat in the first-half and conceded possession with quick taps when Wales should have been building territory from penalties.
  • Talking Point: Are Wales pretenders or the real deal? Yet again they narrowly came up short against southern hemisphere opposition, despite this being touted as their 'best chance yet' to record a big away win. All eyes on them for the second Test, as well as George North's injury report.
  • Play of the Game: Genia's try just after the break took the game from Wales. The scrum-half skipped between two front-row forwards in timeless fashion before wrong-footing James Hook to score.

Alex Cuthbert crossed for a try and Leigh Halfpenny kicked 14 points as the Six Nations champions threatened to pull off an historic win. But it was not enough to recover from early scores by Rob Higginbotham and Will Genia before Pat McCabe crossed to snuff out the Welsh recovery.

Tri-Nations holders Australia recovered from the defeat to Scotland to end Wales' run of six wins in a row and leave caretaker coach Rob Howley facing an uphill task for the rest of the three-Test series.

Australia took an early grip on the game when Berrick Barnes opened the scoring in the ninth minute after Wales prop Adam Jones was penalised for not rolling away at the tackle and the Wallaby fly-half kicked the resulting penalty.

Halfpenny and Scott Williams showed glimpses in midfield, but Australia dominated the first half with David Pocock edging the contest at the breakdown. The Wallaby skipper stole possession close to the Welsh line after Rhys Priestland fumbled a high kick by Barnes under pressure from Digby Ioane.

Australia looked to have created a certain try when Rob Horne darted to the left, but Cuthbert prevented the scoring pass with a crucial tackle. However, just moments later the Wallabies crossed following a series of drives from their forwards that ended with Higginbotham crashing over for his first Test try. Barnes converted and Australia led 10-0 after 16 minutes.

Halfpenny finally got Wales off the mark on 23 minutes, but the Six Nations champions were struggling to find any momentum against an Australia team playing with their tails up.

Scrum-half Genia pulled the strings for Australia and went close to extending their lead but Cuthbert again saved a score. Wales suffered a blow on 29 minutes when George North was forced off with a leg injury, forcing a re-shuffle with Halfpenny switched to the left wing and James Hook introduced at fullback. Barnes had the chance to extend Australia's 10-3 lead before half-time, but hit the post with his effort.

However, Genia needed less than a minute of the second half to grab the Wallabies' second try. Australia burst forward from the kick-off and the Queensland scrum-half darted between two Welsh front-rows and past Hook to touch down under the posts and hand Barnes a simple conversion.

Wales attempted to shake-off the early blow with a second penalty for Halfpenny. Barnes responded with a 50th-minute drop goal, but Halfpenny again nudged Wales closer with a third penalty after a heavy head-to-head collision with Wallaby hooker Tatafu Polota Nau that saw both players leave the field.

Ashley Beck replaced Williams for his first cap and was immediately involved in creating Wales' first try. Hook and Priestland shipped the ball to Beck who flicked possession to Cuthbert and the wing finished in style for his fourth Test try.

Halfpenny converted and added an excellent penalty from out wide to cut the deficit to 20-19 on 63 minutes. Wales were eying a remarkable turnaround, but Australia showed their clinical edge when they needed it most. Genia was again the creator, picking his pass to McCabe who crashed over on 67 minutes. Barnes converted and Australia were once again eight points ahead.

Twice Cuthbert threatened to break clear for a second try that Wales desperately needed, but was denied as Australia recovered to hold out for victory.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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