Monday, December 01, 2008
Wales ended a three-year drought against the top three southern hemisphere sides by knocking off Australia 21-18 in a thriller at the Millennium Stadium. It was the only victory by a northern hemisphere team over a Tri-Nations side this year, adding to the significance of the win.
The hosts scored two fine tries, the best of which was this classic scored by recently crowned IRB World Player of the Year, Shane Williams.
The try oozed class as Williams started and finished it, within five minutes of kickoff. He then played a large part in the Lee Byrne try, beating three defenders before offloading.
The Wallabies themselves scored twice, with the difference between the two sides being a penalty from Stephen Jones, who kicked 11 points in total.
Matt Giteau kicked eight points himself, with a penalty, drop goal, and a conversion. Mark Chisholm and Digby Ioane scored the Wallabies' two tries.
Ioanes try came with two minutes left, making for a frantic finish, but it was Wales who survived the Aussie fightback to claim only their third success over one of the southern hemisphere's "big three" since rugby turned professional in 1995.
Wales coach Warren Gatland was satisfied, but not ecstatic, after the final whistle.
Someone had to carry the flag for the northern hemisphere, didnt they? said Gatland.
I think the result was the most important thing because there are still aspects of our performance we can improve on.
We needed to get the win and I am pretty proud of the performance. I think the best team won and we deserved to win.
I think we have shown glimpses of what we are capable of. We have put some pride back in the jersey against some of the best teams in the world. That is the first goal we have achieved and the victory against Australia was good. We just have to keep improving.
Note: Updated with full highlights. catch them quick, cos they may disapear.