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Wales win nail biter as Australia suffer Japan World Cup woe



A titanic battle in a hot and humid Tokyo resulted in a narrow but vitally important victory for Wales, a game in which Welsh skipper Alun Wyn Jones became the most-capped Welsh player ever.

In what truly was a ‘game of two halves’, the Scarlets went into halftime leading by 15 points. But the Wallabies came roaring back to get within four points of what would have been a stunning comeback victory.

The Welsh had dominated the opening 15 minutes and perhaps should have amassed more than the ten point lead they established. But the Wallabies hit back with a try of their own and then a penalty to make it 10-8. Wales replied with a penalty at 32 minutes, scored by Rhys Patchell, who also converted (off the post) three minutes later after a penalty was awarded against Kerevi (who was fortunate to not receive a yellow card). Gareth Davies then intercepted Will Genia’s pass and ran 70 metres to score his 13th try for Wales and Patchell converted to give Wales a sizeable lead at half-time.

The Australians looked a completely different team after the break, notably improving for the introduction of Isi Naisarani and Matt Toomua. They dominated possession and deservedly scored a converted try seven minutes after the restart.

They continued to pile on the pressure and it was no surprise when they scored another, Hooper crossing under the posts leaving a simple conversion for Toomua.

At 67 minutes, Wales conceded another penalty which Toomua scored to reduce the lead to a single point.

Heading into the final ten minutes, it looked as though the momentum was with the Wallabies but they gave away a penalty which Patchell gratefully slotted over.

That relieved some of the pressure and Wales were able to see out the final minutes to seal a famous victory.

Both teams should still progress from the group, but life may now be a little trickier for the Wallabies as they are likely to face England in the Quarter-finals.

I have written for a number of sports based publications in the United Kiingdom for the last 20 years including many different genres, mainly football and horse racing which includes the Premier League and the Cheltenham Festival. Follow me on Twitter or my linkdin profile.

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