Match Preview Qantas Wallabies versus Wales- all you ever wanted to know as well as some Trivia

Match Preview Qantas Wallabies versus Wales

Qantas Wallabies Spring Tour 2011, Match #2 – Saturday 3 December, 2011

Australia versus Wales, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 2.30pm

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa)

Introducing Wales

Nickname: The Dragons

National Emblem: The Prince of Wales (Three) Feathers

Home Union: Wales Rugby Union

Founded: 1881

Rugby World Cup Record: Semi-finalists 1987 (3rd), 2011 (4th), Quarter-finalists 1999, 2003, Pool participants 1991, 1995, 2007.

Current IRB Ranking: 8 (5 in 2004, highest)

Coach: Warren Gatland

Captain: Sam Warburton

On the web: www.wru.co.uk

Territorial Size: 20,779 km2

Population: 2,999,300

Capital: Cardiff

Language: English/Gaelic

Notable Landmark: The Severn Bridge – a key road link between England & Wales

Famous Citizen: Catherine Zeta-Jones – actress

Number of Clubs: 326

Registered Player Numbers: 50,557

A revitalized Wales appear poised to dismantle the established international order following recent wins over England (pre-World Cup) and Ireland, as well as gallant defeats by one-point against South Africa and France, and three against Australia during the Rugby World Cup. While still a relatively young side with an average age of 26 years per player, Wales retains a core of hardened pros who have experienced their share of success through two Six Nations Grand Slams from the last six championship campaigns. Australia has experienced the resurgence first hand during visits to Cardiff. Although the Wallabies have won more matches than they’ve lost since first landing in Wales in 1908, Australia has won on just three of its last six visits to the Millennium Stadium.

The Trophy – The James Bevan Trophy

The James Bevan Trophy was established in 2007 to commemorate the 100th year of Test Rugby between Australia and Wales. The trophy is named after James Bevan, an Australian born Welshman who was the first ever captain of the Welsh Rugby team. It is contested each time the two sides meet. Australia won the inaugural James Bevan Trophy in 2007 winning the series 2-0 on home soil, before conceding it to Wales a year later. The Trophy is now back in Australian possession after a 33-12 success at Cardiff in 2009. It was successfully retained after last year’s 25-16 win at the Millennium Stadium but was not at stake during the recent Bronze Final between the two nations at the Rugby World Cup.

The Last Meeting (Six weeks ago at a neutral venue) – Australia 21, Wales 18 at Auckland, 21 October, 2011

Australia collected the Bronze at the Rugby World Cup, while completing a third consecutive victory over Wales after a three-point success on a dramatic night in Auckland. Despite injuries playing havoc with Australian playing resources, the Wallabies held their nerve to bank the win, finishing it off with four minutes to go when Ben McCalman crossed to make the game safe at 21-11. The performance gave the Wallabies a positive end to the tournament, while cementing their world number two ranking. It represented a great show of character five days after the agony of losing a World Cup semi-final to the eventual tournament champions, New Zealand.

For Australia: Tries by Berrick Barnes and Ben McCalman; conversion and 2 penalty goals by James O’Connor; dropped goal by Barnes.

For Wales: Tries by Shane Williams and Leigh Halfpenny; conversion and a penalty goal by Stephen Jones, penalty goal by James Hook.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Australia: Kurtley Beale (replaced by Rob Horne, 9 min), James O’Connor, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper (replaced by Anthony Fainga’a, 21 min), Will Genia (replaced by Luke Burgess, 68 min), Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham (temporarily replaced by Radike Samo, 30-33 min), Nathan Sharpe (replaced by Rob Simmons, 46 min), James Horwill (captain, replaced by Radike Samo, 70 min), Salesi Ma’afu (replaced by Ben Alexander, 60 min), Tatafu Polota Nau (replaced by Saia Fainga’a, 51 min), James Slipper.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, George North (replaced by Scott Williams), Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams, James Hook (replaced by Stephen Jones), Mike Phillips (replaced by Lloyd Williams), Ryan Jones, Toby Faletau, Dan Lydiate (replaced by Andy Powell), Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies (replaced by Alun-Wyn Jones), Paul James (replaced by Ryan Bevington), Huw Bennett (replaced by Lloyd Burns), Gethin Jenkins (captain).

The Last Meeting (in Wales) – Wales 16, Australia 25 at Cardiff, 6 November, 2010

Australia completed back-to-back wins against Wales in Cardiff for just the third time, scoring three tries to one in a comfortable nine-point victory. While the visitors had their challenges at scrum time, and were briefly threatened when Wales pulled back to 16-22, 10 minutes from time, the result was never really in any doubt, although the score-line was closer than the 21-point hammering that had been administered to Warren Gatland’s men at the same venue 12-months earlier.

For Australia: Tries by David Pocock, Kurtley Beale and Ben Alexander; 2 conversions and 2 penalty goals by James O’Connor.

For Wales: Try by Richie Rees; conversion by Dan Biggar, 3 penalty goals by Stephen Jones.

Halftime: Australia 7, Wales 6

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Australia: Kurtley Beale, Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau (replaced by Berrick Barnes, 68 min), James O’Connor, Quade Cooper, Will Genia (replaced by Luke Burgess, 75 min), Ben McCalman, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom (captain), Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons (replaced by Mark Chisholm, 72 min), Ben Alexander (replaced by James Slipper, 62 min), Saia Faingaa (replaced by Huia Edmonds, 55 min), Benn Robinson.

Wales: James Hook, Will Harries, Tom Shanklin (replaced by Chris Czekaj, 75 min), Andrew Bishop, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones (replaced by Dan Biggar, 66 min), Mike Phillips (replaced by Richie Rees, 66 min), Jonathan Thomas, Sam Warburton (replaced by Martyn Williams, 66 min), Dan Lydiate, Alun Wyn Jones, Bradley Davies, Adam Jones, Matthew Rees (captain, replaced by Huw Bennett, 72 min), Gethin Jenkins (replaced by Paul James, 72 min).

Two Years ago (in Wales) – Wales 12, Australia 33 at Cardiff, 28 November, 2009

Australia concluded its 2009 autumn tour of Europe on a commanding note, recording its second biggest win in Cardiff as it trounced Wales 33-12. The Qantas Wallabies scored four tries to nil as they convincingly reversed the previous year’s defeat at the Millennium Stadium.

For Australia: Tries by Digby Ioane, David Pocock, James Horwill and Tatafu Polota-Nau; 2 conversions and 3 penalty goals by Matt Giteau.

For Wales: Penalty goals by Stephen Jones (3) and Leigh Halfpenny.

Halftime: Australia 23, Wales 12

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)

Australia: Adam Ashley-Cooper, Peter Hynes (replaced by James O’Connor, 60 mins), Digby Ioane, Quade Cooper, Drew Mitchell (replaced by Kurtley Beale, 70 mins), Matt Giteau, Will Genia (replaced by Luke Burgess, 79 mins), Wycliff Palu (replaced by Wycliff Palu, 70 mins), David Pocock (replaced by George Smith, 40 mins), Rocky Elsom (captain), Dean Mumm, James Horwill, Ben Alexander (replaced by Matt Dunning, 70 mins), Stephen Moore (replaced by Tatafu Polota Nau, 55 mins), Benn Robinson.

Wales: James Hook, Leigh Halfpenny (replaced by Andrew Bishop), Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Shane Williams (replaced by Tom James), Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel (replaced by Martin Roberts), Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Dan Lydiate, Luke Charteris (replaced by Jonathan Thomas), Alun Wyn-Jones, Paul James (replaced by Duncan Jones), Matthew Rees (replaced by Huw Bennett), Gethin Jenkins.

The Last Meeting (in Australia) – Australia 31, Wales 0 at Brisbane, 2 June, 2007

It was decisive on the scoreboard, but the numbers disguised a much closer contest as Australia wrapped up the inaugural James Bevan Trophy series by blanking Wales in the second Test. The visitors had only fallen to an after the bell try in the first match in Sydney a week earlier, and threatened to go the distance again and give the Australians another uneasy experience after they held the Wallabies to a 6-0 halftime advantage the second time around. This time, Wales was unable to sustain the effort, falling away as Australia posted three second half tries to blow out to a deceptively comfortable winning margin.

For Australia: Tries by Digby Ioane, Drew Mitchell and Julian Huxley; 2 conversions and 4 penalty goals by Stirling Mortlock.

Australia v Wales head-to-head record

Year Winner Score Venue
1908 Wales 9-6 Cardiff
1927 Australia 18-8 Cardiff
1947 Wales 6-0 Cardiff
1958 Wales 9-3 Cardiff
1966 Australia 14-11 Cardiff
1969 Wales 19-16 Sydney
1973 Wales 24-0 Cardiff
1975 Wales 28-3 Cardiff
1978 Australia 18-8 Brisbane
1978 Australia 19-17 Sydney
1981 Wales 18-13 Cardiff
1984 Australia 28-9 Cardiff
1987 Wales 22-21 Rotorua *
1991 Australia 63-6 Brisbane
1991 Australia 38-3 Cardiff *
1992 Australia 23-6 Cardiff
1996 Australia 56-25 Brisbane
1996 Australia 42-3 Sydney
1996 Australia 28-19 Cardiff
1999 Australia 24-9 Cardiff *
2001 Australia 21-13 Cardiff
2003 Australia 30-10 Sydney
2005 Wales 24-22 Cardiff
2006 Match Drawn 29-29 Cardiff
2007 Australia 29-23 Sydney
2007 Australia 31-0 Brisbane
2007 Australia 32-20 Cardiff *
2008 Wales 21-18 Cardiff
2009 Australia 33-12 Cardiff
2010 Australia 25-16 Cardiff
2011 Australia 21-18 Auckland*

* denotes Rugby World Cup fixtures

At All Venues: Australia 20 wins, Wales 10 wins, 1 drawn

In Australia: Australia 8 wins, Wales 1 win

In Wales: Australia 11 wins, Wales 8 wins, 1 drawn

At Neutral Venues: Australia 1 win, Wales 1 win

Biggest Australian win (margin) at all venues: 57 (63-6) Brisbane, 1991

Biggest Australian win (margin) in Wales: 35 (38-3) Cardiff, 1991

Heaviest Australian defeat (margin) at all venues: 25 (3-28) Cardiff, 1975

Heaviest Australian defeat (margin) in Wales: 25 (3-28) Cardiff, 1975

Biggest Australian winning score at all venues: 63 (63-6), Brisbane, 1991

Biggest Australian winning score in Wales: 38 (38-3) Cardiff, 1991

Heaviest Australian defeat (by score) at all venues: 28 (3-28) Cardiff, 1975

Heaviest Australian defeat (by score) in Wales: 28 (3-28) Cardiff, 1975

Most points scored by Australia at all venues: 63 (63-6) Brisbane, 1991

Most points scored by Australian in Wales: 38 (38-3) Cardiff, 1991

Most points conceded by Australia at all venues: 29 (29-29) Cardiff, 2006

Most points conceded by Australia in Wales: 29 (29-29) Cardiff, 2006

Most tries scored by Australia at all venues: 12, Brisbane, 1991

Most tries scored by Australia in Wales: 6, Cardiff, 1991

Most tries conceded by Australia at all venues: 4, Cardiff, 1975

Most tries conceded by Australia in Wales: 4, Cardiff, 1975

Individual Player Statistics

Most appearances by an Australian player against Wales: 9, George Gregan 1994-2007 & Nathan Sharpe 2002-2011

Most points in a Test by an Australian player against Wales: 23, Michael Lynagh, Brisbane, 1991

Most points in a Test by a Welsh player against Australia: 14, Jonathan Davies, Cardiff, 1996 & Stephen Jones, Cardiff, 2005

Most tries in a Test by an Australian player against Wales: 2 by nine players.

Most tries in a Test by a Welsh player against Australia: 3, John (JJ) Williams, Cardiff, 1975

Most tries in a Test career by an Australian player against Wales: 5, Chris Latham, 2001-2007

Leading Australian Point-scorers against Wales

84 Matthew Burke

58 Michael Lynagh

47 Matt Giteau

34 Paul Mclean

28 Stirling Mortlock

Leading Point-scorers for Wales against Australia

59 Stephen Jones

36 James Hook

22 Neil Jenkins

Leading Australian Try-scorers against Wales

5 Chris Latham

4 Michael Lynagh

3 Marty Roebuck

3 Tim Horan

3 David Campese

3 Matt Giteau

3 Digby Ioane

Leading Try-scorers for Wales against Australia

5 Shane Williams

4 Gerald Davies

3 John (JJ) Williams

Most Australian Caps against Wales

9 Nathan Sharpe

9 George Gregan

8 David Campese

7 Tim Horan

7 George Smith

7 Mark Chisholm

6 Joe Roff

6 Phil Waugh

General Trivia:

The Man in charge: He was once Sean Fitzpatrick’s understudy seemingly forever. He was also John Mitchell’s flat-mate. But Warren Gatland has emerged from their respective shadows to establish himself as a bit of a super coach. After 140 games for Waikato between 1986 and 1994, and 17 non-Test match outings hooking the scrum for the All Blacks, Gatland began his professional coaching career with Irish province Connacht between 1996 and 1998. He then took on Ireland from 1998 to 2001, coaching against Australia during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Gatland won 18, drew one and lost 19 while in charge of Ireland, before beginning a five-year stint as director of Rugby at London Wasps which helped re-establish the famous club as a genuine European heavyweight. While Gatland was in London, the club annexed the English Premiership three times (2003, 2004 & 2005) and also won the Heineken Cup in 2004. Gatland then returned to his native New Zealand, bagging the Air New Zealand Cup (NPC) with Waikato in 2006, and serving as Chiefs’ assistant coach in Super Rugby, before he returned to the international ranks with Wales in 2008. The Dragons had humiliatingly missed the quarter-finals at the previous year’s Rugby World Cup, but Gatland instantly turned their fortunes around, guiding Wales to the 2008 Six Nations Grand Slam. Wales returned from the 2011 Rugby World Cup having won 23, lost 24 and drawn one under the Gatland regime.

Four Play: The Wallabies will achieve their fourth straight Test win over Wales should they be successful at the Millennium Stadium this weekend. That would represent the outright second best winning sequence for Australia against Wales, trailing only the nine straight wins gathered between 1991 and 2003. The three wins in a row currently achieved have matched the three wins claimed in 2007 for the second best Australian winning sequence against Wales.

The Whizz Kid of Oz: 21-year-old James O’Connor will feature in his 37th Test on Saturday, one scoring play away from becoming just the eighth Wallaby to surpass 200 Test points. Fresh from a Rugby World Cup campaign where he finished as the tournament’s second highest point-scorer (behind South Africa’s Morne Steyn) with 52, O’Connor begins this weekend with 199 Test points to his name. He was the second youngest player to reach 100 Test points behind England’s Jonny Wilkinson.

A Fond Farewell: He has already scored more tries – five – against Australia than any other Welshman, and Shane Williams will be looking for a spectacular farewell as he bids adieu to Test rugby in the James Bevan Trophy match. A try-scorer at Eden Park in the Bronze Final, the 34-year-old has scored a Welsh record 57 tries from his 86 Test caps for the Principality, while also winning the 2008 IRB Player of the Year award after the team’s run to the Six Nations Grand Slam that year. He is also a two-time British and Irish Lions tourist.

The Magnificent Millennium: The Millennium Stadium, which was finally completed in 1999 after two years of construction, is the fourth largest stadium in the United Kingdom behind Wembley, Twickenham and Old Trafford. It has a capacity of 74,500 and was built on the site of Cardiff Arms Park. The construction cost the WRU £126 million, which was funded by private investment, £46 million of public funds from the National Lottery, the sale of debentures to supporters (which offered guaranteed tickets in exchange for an interest-free loan), and loans. Saturday’s Test will be the 82nd played by Wales at the stadium since its opening 12 years ago. From the previous 81 matches, Wales have recorded 42 wins, 36 defeats and three draws.

Did You Know?: Wales has only scored more than two tries against Australia once in 18 Tests since the 1987 Rugby World Cup match between the nations. Australia has scored three or more tries in eight of its last 10 Tests against Wales.

For Once the Numbers Lie: The performance by Wales in reaching the World Cup semi-finals represented a genuine resurgence by the national side and was recognized as such, especially as Wales had failed to even make the quarters at the previous edition of the tournament in 2007. Even so, the three losses Wales endured during the 2011 tournament also represented the most the country had ever suffered at a single World Cup.

The Lucky Charms: Wales has only twice beaten Australia since 1987 and Stephen Jones and Shane Williams featured in both of them. The ‘lucky charms’ were the only Welsh players to be on the field in both the 2005 and 2008 victories achieved by Wales. Nathan Sharpe was the only Wallaby to figure in both matches.

Sevens Heaven: Wales is not traditionally known as a Sevens haven, but the principality shot to stardom in 2009 when it took out the Rugby World Cup Sevens in the United Arab Emirates – sharing the podium with the championship-winning Australian women’s team at Dubai. Wales beat Argentina in the final after earlier having taken out traditional Sevens powers Samoa and New Zealand en-route to the decider.

source article from – Matt McILraith | Qantas Wallabies Media Manager

About Martin Myers
Music Supervisor / Artist and Talent Manager / Publicist / Music Exchange Founder / Owner Triple M Entertainment

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