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As It Happened: Wales 18-21 Australia

Updated: Friday, 21 Oct 2011 10:26

Wales v Australia - Quade Cooper is tackled
Wales v Australia - Quade Cooper is tackled

by Brendan Cole

FULL-TIME: WALES 18-21 AUSTRALIA

80 mins TRY! Australia get the restart and kick long down the middle through Barnes. Shane Williams tries a counter but is caught and Wales are again trying attack from inside their own half. But the pedestrian pace from half-back makes it easy for the Aussies and they are losing ground with each pass across the centres.

But then Williams and Halfpenny create a little momentum with a switch and North, with blood again streaming from his head, makes 15 yards down the right. And the plays keep coming off, Stephen Jones is put through by a nice little return inside pass from Scott Williams. And Wales are up inside the Aussie 22m line!

Andy Powell has had been involved a few times now, and Australia are on their heels. And Shane Williams then races for the corner - 30 phases! - but he is just stopped and looks to be in touch.

But the linesman keeps his flag down - sporting call there. And after some more brave crashes at the line - with exhausted players all over the place - Halfpenny gets over down the left side of the Welsh attack and runs around the back towards the posts. Too late to matter in context of this match, but fair play to them.

Stephen Jones kicks this conversion - from a similar spot to the one he missed against France.

Wales 18-21 Australia

76 mins TRY! Wales win the scrum but only get 10m from the kick to touch. Australia win that lineout and start running at Wales and they make breaches down the middle, Slipper making a quick 10 yards off a nice little pop from Luke Burgess - on for Genia.

And then McCalmon gets over - Faingaa almost dropped the ball but he juggled it, caught it again as he was being tackled and passed to the number eight, who went over without opposition.

O'Connor has missed the kick but it is a win for the Aussies.

Wales 11-21 Australia

73 mins Wales control the restart and kick long to Ashley-Cooper - who returns a kick of his own to touch on half-way.

Wales win the lineout and launch Powell up the middle. But they are slowed on halfway and it has to be said that both half-backs' passing is not helping Wales create momentum - slow with big windups. A ball is eventually flashed across the line but North is easily tackled by Digby Ioane - no runs from him today.

And Roberts eventually spills it on halfway and Australia get it and go wide - and a superb counter-attack by Australia almost sees them get over for a try.

Adam Ashley-Cooper's fantastic pass set it up - long and out in front of O'Connor, he ran on to it and got in behind the Welsh scramble. Two more passes saw Ashley-Cooper racing for the line but a brilliant tackle by North dragged the ball out of Ashley-Cooper's hands as he went over the line.

Scrum Wales 5m from their own line.

69 mins Wales win the restart and try a little chip down the wing but that is dealt with and Australia kick it back long. Wales come again on the attack - they need to score soon. But they can't make any headway and a pass by Bevington goes to ground. But then an Australian carrier is pinged for playing on after being tackled.

Stephen Jones knocks the penalty over to make a match of it in the last 10 mins.

Hooker Byrnes and Scott Williams are on for Wales.

Wales 11-16 Australia

67 mins But Australia win this lineout and run up the middle through McCalmon. And off that ruck, Barnes snaps over a drop goal from near the Welsh 10m line. Superb kick from there, it just got over.

Wales 8-16 Australia

66 mins And O'Connor's kick, from 5m inside the Welsh half, drops short. Halfpenny catches and kicks it straight down the field. Barnes then puts a smart kick to touch just inside the Welsh 22m line. Lineout to Wales there.

Wales win that and Lloyd Williams kicks it touch up 10m ahead.

64 mins Wales control the 22m dropout - just - but are forced back and Jones kicks it down the middle to Barnes. He aims for the touchline but is outside his 22. Halfpenny runs it back to halfway and Pocock then forces the penalty call. Halfpenny was put down by a tackle and the openside was in over it immediately. Good play.

O'Connor will have another shot to put the lead out to eight points.

62 mins The ball is punted up into the Aussie half and Wales win the lineout and gradually push Australia back onto their own 22m line but they can get no further and Roberts is again hit in midfield. Genia is the tackler and he is a bit shaken. But Wales running is giving up easy tackles and Jones is the next man caught behind the gainline.

After 15 phases, the ball finally pops out the side of a ruck - but then the Aussie prop Benn Alexander tries to kick it but his kick charged down by North, who collects and is just hauled down by Genia as he ran at the line. And in the end, Shane Williams tries a drop goal from just outside the 22. Weird stuff.

Powell is now on for Lydiate, and Ryan Bevington for Paul James, and Lloyd Williams for Mike Phillips.

22m dropout to Australia.

58 mins And O'Connor pops it over again - the crowd whistled his long buildup but it made no difference.

The kick-off is controlled and kick down to Halfpenny by Barnes. He puts up a high ball that bounces but Slipper gets it. Barnes kicks over Williams head but he turns and catches and has a run.

Wales can't make headway and a superb tackle by Simmonds on Roberts on halfway takes the sting out of their attack attack. Australia turn it over at the next ruck, and O'Connor kicks for the corner but it is caught. And after an exchange of kicks, Australia give away a penalty on the Welsh 10m line for throwing themselves on the ball on the deck.

56 mins Wales contain the Australians off the attack down the middle from the scrum but Huw Bennett gives away Wales' ninth penalty for another breakdown offence.

O'Connor will kick it.

55 mins And Stephen Jones makes the next error. Australia controllowed the restart and kicked long, and he dropped a routine catch forward. Both he and Hook have been in awful form.

Scrum Australia on the Wesh 10m line as the cameras pick out Cooper on the bench - he is on crutches with a brace on the leg.

54 mins O'Connor goes through his full - long - routine - and knocks it over.

53 mins Wales pick and go off the back through Ryan Jones but he is tackled and at the ruck, Faletau and a few others go off their feet, diving over the ball. Penalty Australia on the Welsh 10m line, O'Connor will have a shot.

Charteris is off for Alun-Wyn Jones. Not many subs left.

51 mins And now Australia get called for a forward pass as they attacked down the line off the kick-off. O'Connor's flip inside was marginally forward. Polata-Nau is th latest man to limp off - Faingaa comes on for him.

Scrum Wales on their own 10m line.

47 mins TRY! Wales win the lineout but Hook's garryowen is brutal - straight up in the air. Australia win that and off that ruck, Barnes gets half through and almost engineers a clean break but his offload goes to ground. They recover it but the ball is slow now and Wales' linespeed and organisation in defence is excellent and they turn it over.

And from nothing there is a try for Wales! Phillips breaks half through a tackle and his little chip forward bounces up beautifully for Hook, who collects it and runs forward towards the Aussie 22. He is caught and tackled and throws a pass to his left that goes a mile forward that bounces for Williams. And Williams kicks it forward along the deck twice, the Australian defender falls over, and he falls over the line.

Try Wales! Hook misses the conversion - no surprise - from out wide. And Hook is being pulled off - Stephen Jones is on.

Wayne Barnes....forward pass....not spotted. Remember RWC 2007?

44 mins Slipper gathers the slap back of the 22m dropout and Australai move it wide to O'Connor, who is stopped. Faletau is then pinged for playing the ball on the floor. Penalty Australia.

Sharpe exits now with Rob Simmonds coming on. And he is cheered off - as Australia kick up the Welsh half. But Wales win the lineout and Hook kicks long down the line. O'Connor catches this time and runs it back but Genia's kick down the line goes straight to touch. Awful kick. Lineout Wales near halfway.

Pocock is the latest man with blood coming from his head and he'll get an old school head bandage for his trouble.

43 mins Roberts is launched off the lineout and he smashes into contact but does not make yards. Pocock is shoved back - he has not been a factor at all.

Off a subsequent ruck, Aussie prop James Slipper gives away a penalty and Hook....misses it. Quite incredible he has missed from dead in front.

41 mins Back underway, Australia launch the first decent attacks of the first half on halfway but Wales look to have stepped up their effort and they kick to Halfpenny. He boots it to O'Connor - who not for the first time drops it, and then launches a terrible kick of his own to touch but it went out on the full. Wales lineout just outside the Aussie 22.

Brent Pope: "As a New Zealander I'm ashamed at the treatment of Cooper."

TWITTER: @Mark_breen Not THE most exciting game, I must admit #rterugby

FACEBOOK: Antoinette Ryan If 1st, 2nd and 3rd get gold, silver and bronze, what does 4th get??

HALF-TIME: WALES 3-7 AUSTRALIA

40 mins Charteris wins that and gives it off the top to Phillips, who puts a high kick on O'Connor. It is moved to Ioane on the far wing and he tries to round North but is tackled into touch.

Off that lineout, Wales briefly look to have created a good situation in the backs but Davies chips it through and into touch and the clock has wound down.

Not exactly stirring stuff I'm afraid and the raft of injuries don't exactly reinforce the feeling that this match might be better replaced by a 'Bowl' or 'Plate' tournament final between two of the teams that exited in the earlier rounds.

38 mins Halfpenny's kick has the distance but is not timed well and veers right and wide. The 22 is dropped out to North and he sets it up. Lydiate went for an offload off the next ruck but his attempt to play ball sees him drop it and Genia quickly snaps a kick into the corner and touch 10m from the Welsh line.

35 mins Off the scrum, sub centre Rob Horne gets the ball and he tries a Sonny Bill 'back of the hand' offload but it is poor and goes to deck. Scrum Wales near the touchline inside their own half and Ryan Jones picks and goes with it.

Stephen Jones then has a run, and then Phillips goes. And at that ruck, Australia are penalised for going at the ball with hands - and from the side - after the ruck formed. North is back on. Halfpenny will have this kick.

34 mins Australia move it to Barnes and he chips it down the wing. Hook returns it to Ashley-Cooper and he finds a very nice kick that bounces inches inside the line. Lineout Wales just inside their own 22. Higginbotham is back on.

Wales win that lineout and Phillips kicks it long - O'Connor lets it bounce again but returns a high kick. Hook comes for it and makes a terrible effort at a leaping catch - knocked forward on the Welsh 10m line. Hook has been dreadful for the last few games.

31 mins Wales win the lineout but Sharpe blocks Phillips' kick. That goes into touch though and off the next lineout, Phillips gets a high kick away. O'Connor does not control it and then Samo - on for Higginbotham - has the ball ripped off him by Phillips.

They move it wide, Jamie Roberts charge at the outside centre channel sees him knock it forward in contact.

George North is the next to exit with blood pumping from his head - Stephen Jones - comes on, so Hook will go to full-back with Halfpenny on the wing.

29 mins O'Connor's effort misses, just hitting the post. Wales set it up, and Phillips picks and makes a few yards but his pass to Jenkins is knocked on inside his own 22. Scrum Australia.

But an early engage call against Australia sees Wales break out - Phillips taps and goes, Lydiate and Davies have runs up to halfway. But it goes to deck then and O'Connor hacks it forward into the Welsh 22 and gets to the ball first. But he is isolated and gets turned over.

And Wales then start to pass it along the line but Davies takces the tackle under his posts. Phillips then has a run and Wales then then get given a penalty for a rucking offence. That is kicked up to beyond their own 22m line.

Higginbotham has blood streaming from above his eye.

26 mins Australia get given a penalty and kick up to the Welsh 10m line, where Polota-Nau throws a crooked one to the tail.

Scrum Wales on their own 10m line but Australia power through Paul James on the tighthead side, James Slipper putting the drive on, and they get given a penalty on their own 10m line.

And the Aussies will have a shot with this one - some of their abandon left the field with Cooper.

25 mins Wales win that lineout and go to drives off the ruck but a small knock forward by Phillips puts and end to that attack. Scrum Australia near their own 10m line.

22 mins Wales win that under a shove by Australia and kick out of the 22 for a lineout. But the Australian attack off that ends with a turnover by Wales as Barnes got isolated. And after an exchange of kicks, Wales get a penalty, O'Connor handling the ball in a ruck. Wales kick up to inside the Aussie 10m line.

21 mins Cooper is helped off and looks distraught as he exits - awful end for him.

'The crowd have been a disgrace' says Donal Lenihan, and elements of them have been giving him a hard time. But plenty are now clapping him off.

Barnes steps in to number 10 - scrum to Wales inside their 22.

19 mins And the Welsh fail to control their restart, knocking it on just outside their own 22. Scrum is won quickly and O'Connor is tackled inside the 22 off the first attack. Australia put Wales through phases then before Cooper goes down and knocks it forward as his knee went from under him during a sidestep.

Ouch - a hyperextension of the knee which looks horrible in replays. He is clutching his knee on the ground. Anthony Faingaa is warming up.

18 mins And Hook knocks it over.

Wales 3-7 Australia

17 mins The scrum series takes an age. Wales have their centres and Halfpenny on the big blindside and two wings on the other side. A penalty is then given to Wales - Slipper not binding or taking the hit.

Wales will kick this over.

15 mins Australia win the lineout but Sharpe is tackled early this time and Gethin Jenkins gets over the ball and wins a penalty for holding on - kicked up to the Aussie half.

Off the lineout, Hook puts a high kick on Quade Cooper, who is out on the wing. He catches it but Wales win the ruck and North runs strongly forward before they move it wide to the other wing, where Halfpenny's pass doesn't find Williams and goes to touch.

But Genia makes a mess of the slapped back ball and Wales have a scrum under the posts.

13 mins Australia mess about with the restart but then launch a tidy little counter - Barnes chipping, chasing and collecting and feeding Cooper, who passes to Genia. A penalty is again given against Wales and they kick deep into the 22.

Barnes looks very good - but couldn't get a game when it counted.

11 mins TRY! And Berrick Barnes scores a try - trotting over off a scrum move - Cooper got it and passes to Barnes, who was running across Jonathan Davies' nose and in front of Jamie Roberts.

Good angle, but very easy.

9 mins Off the scrum, the Welsh get given a free kick for early engage. Beale has gone off - he pulled up with a hamstring problem. Horne is on into the centre. The ball is kicked to halfway, where Australia win a linneout and kick the corner.

And Shane Williams is absolutely flattened by Polota-Nau and Pocock in the corner - upended as he kicked it - and a scrum is given for a knock on 5m from the Australia line.

8 mins Australia win that off the tail and launch Sharpe at the defence. Off a quick ruck, Cooper almost puts O'Connor over with a quick pass. And Australia have penalty advantage - Genia taps and passes to Cooper but his flashy attempted pass to Ashley-Cooper goes to deck. Is Cooper bothered? No.

Beale is also struggling with an injury.

6 mins The Aussies win their lineout and move it wide towards O'Connor, but a pass goes straight into touch - lineout Wales on halfway. They maul this one a few yards into the Australia half and Roberts then has a run but his line is lateral and he is tackled easily. Shane Williams then has a dart off a ruck, but he is penalised for playing on after being tackled. Cooper kicks to the corner - 10m from the Aussie line.

4 mins Australia win that and get a penalty for not rolling away off a subsequent ruck. An Aussie is down - think it is Nathan Sharpe in the blue scrumcap - as Cooper kicks up in the Welsh 22m line. A knee problem for Sharpe as play goes on.

2 mins Wales win that lineout and ruck a few times before Phillips moves it to Hook, and he kicks long to Cooper, who feeds Beale. Ioane then has a run before a Welsh hand gets to an O'Connor pass. Wales get it, but a terrible pass by Hook goes to deck and Halfpenny just recovers it. Davies clears long off that ruck and gets a great bounce past Cooper and into touch near the Aussie 22.

1 min Match underway - Wales kick-off to Australia, who start running off Quade Cooper straight away and quicky get back to halfway. Berrick Barnes then prods a kick into the Aussie 22, and that is returned to Cooper - who the boo boys give the bird to.

He runs it back and off the next ruck, Barnes kicks again, this time to touch on the Welsh 22.

Wales: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); G North (Scarlets), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); J Hook (Perpignan), M Phillips (Bayonne); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, capt), H Bennett (Ospreys), P James (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), D Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Jones (Ospreys).

Australia: Kurtley Beale (NSW Waratahs); James O'Connor (Western Force), Adam Ashley-Cooper (Brumbies), Berrick Barnes (NSW Waratahs), Digby Ioane (Queensland Reds); Quade Cooper (Queensland Reds), Will Genia (Queensland Reds); James Slipper (Queensland Reds), Tatafu Polota Nau (NSW Waratahs), Salesi Ma'afu (Brumbies), James Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), Nathan Sharpe (Western Force), Scott Higginbotham (Queensland Reds), David Pocock (Western Force), Ben McCalman (Western Force).

0830 There are plenty at the stadium for lusty singing of both songs - a shame we won't hear 'Hen Gwlad Fy Nhadau' in the final?

The teams break away and prepare for kick-off.

0825 The teams are taking the field - Australia are being led on by Nathan Sharpe, who is set to win his 100th cap. Gethin Jenkins - captain in Sam Warburton's place - is leading the Welsh today.

Here come the national anthems.

0800 Good morning and welcome to today's live tracker from the 'Bronze Final' between Wales and Australia - 30 minutes until kick-off.

What do you expect? Should the match be happening? Could the IRB have organised a decent tournament for the nations who went out earlier in the competition instead?

Let us know in the comments below, on Facebook or at the Twitter hashtag #rterugby.

Both teams have promised attacking rugby today.

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