Wallaby replacement back Mike Harris came on and kicked a penalty with time up to give Australia a dramatic 25-23 win over Wales in the second Test in Melbourne. Despite Wales coming close this time, the Wallabies have secured the series 2-0.
Harris came on for Berrick Barnes, who had been having a great game and kicking well. A problem with his hip meant he went off in the final ten minutes, making way for Harris, who this season has been one of the best kickers in Super Rugby.
When the penalty came, he stepped up and cooley slotted it, breaking the hearts of the Welsh after they looked like claiming their first win over the Wallabies in Australia in 42 years.
“It’s every player’s dream, to win the match with the final kick,” said Harries. “It was awesome and I am really glad it went over and we got a different result to Scotland.”
Harries got his chance after Welsh number ten Rhys Priestland had kicked possesion away with roughly a minute left in the match, a decision that the forwards weren’t happy about.
“I remember hearing Ryan Jones shouting ‘no’ at the top of his voice. It wasn’t what the forwards were planning,” said Sam Warburton. “I can understand why the backs might have wanted to kick it but from a forward’s point of view I would have wanted to back our contact skills and keep the ball.”
Wales will get another opportunity for a win in the third Test, in Sydney.
“Wales are a very good side. They give you nothing and they take their scoring chances. They showed that in the Six Nations and they showed it again last weekend,” said Robbie Deans.
“While they can no longer win the series, they can still achieve something only one other Welsh team has ever achieved by winning in Australia. And they have that opportunity in front of them with no real downside – nothing to fear so to speak, as the series is beyond them,” he said.
Kurtley Beale will make his return to Wallaby colours, despite the 23 year-old facing a police charge for assault. He missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, but during that time got involved in a scuffle with security guards at a pub in Brisbane.
He will start at fullback, while Adam Ashley-Cooper moves to the wing to replace Cooper Vuna.
Below are highlights of the game, and you can also watch the whole thing again here