Welsh fight to avoid autumn whitewash
Published 01/12/2012 | 05:00
Yes, it might actually be more significant than their Grand Slam decider last spring. It is not just that defeat would toss them out of the top eight in the IRB rankings, condemning them to tier three in Monday's 2015 World Cup draw.
It is more than that. Defeat would be their seventh on the trot. There was more intensity in the loss to New Zealand last weekend, but still the scoreline read 33-10. Add on the defeats by Argentina and Samoa and it truly has been an autumn of discontent.
The Grand Slammers could become the grand shams. Another false dawn might well be added to the roster.
As Welsh captain Sam Warburton said: "It has got to the stage where enough is enough." (© Daily Telegraph, London)
Wales – L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts, L Williams; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, S Andrews; L Reed, L Charteris; A Shingler, S Warburton, T Faletau. Reps: K Owens, R Bevington, S Lee, R Jones, J Tipuric, T Knoyle, D Biggar, S Williams.
Australia – B Barnes; N Cummins, A Ashley-Cooper, B Tapuai, D Mitchell; K Beale, N Phipps; B Robinson, T Polota Nau, B Alexander; K Douglas, N Sharpe (capt); S Higginbotham, D Pocock, W Palu. Reps: S Moore, J Slipper, S Kepu, D Dennis, M Hooper, B McKibbin, M Harris, D Ioane.
Ref – Wayne Barnes ( England)
Wales v Australia,
Live, BBC 1, 2.30