Friday, November 28, 2008
The Wallabies meet Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, a week after their 18-13 win against the French at Stade de France. They are so far unbeaten on their European tour, but will look to lift their game as they were in some respects pretty lucky to come away with a win in Paris, thanks to some poor kicking from the hosts.
Hooker Stephen Moore and wing Peter Hynes scored tries for the Wallabies while flyhalf Matt Giteau added a conversion and two penalties.
France were awarded a penalty try just before halftime after tearing down an Australian scrum. Fullback Maxime Medard also kicked a 50-metre drop goal which brushed the crossbar.
France flyhalf David Skrela slotted a conversion and a penalty but also missed five penalties and a drop goal.
"It was not a miracle, it was just a rugby game and sometimes it's just like that," said Australia coach Robbie Deans, who answered all questions in French during the press conference.
"I think our discipline was good but there were a lot of penalties. Maybe, next time we'll adjust to the referee," he added.
French coach Marc Lievremont had mixed feelings after the game.
"Our scrummaging was the best surprise of the game but there weren't enough scrums. The most frustrating thing is that we didn't manage to put our game together."
David Skrela should have won the match for the French, but it was not to be, with his late yellow card capping off a rather disappointing individual display all in all.
A win is a win as far as Australia are concerned though, and it doesnt get any easier as Wales will have their tails up after a solid performance against the All Blacks.
Welsh coach Warren Gatland believes Wales are getting closer to being a top-four side in world rugby, and a 15 point margin victory over Australia could move them up to fifth in the rankings.
"The most important thing for everyone is to get a result if we can," Gatland said. "That is an incredibly tough prospect, but on the other side of the coin there is no doubting that we have an opportunity here against the Wallabies.
"The statistics say they are a better team than us and they will rightly carry the favourites tag, but we have the opportunity on Saturday to achieve something special out of this Autumn campaign and it is a chance we do not want to miss."