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Twist Endings: Rugby World Cup Day Ten

29th September 2019

We don't always know how the story ends


Australia 25-29 Wales

Since beating Australia in the third place play-off at the 1987 Rugby World Cup, Wales have had a shocking record against the Wallabies, losing twenty four times and winning only twice.

In recent years Wales haven’t just lost to southern hemisphere teams, they’ve made a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. A run of thirteen straight defeats to Australia between 2009 and 2017 included five agonising losses by just five points or less. Today, when Australia recovered from a fifteen point half time deficit to close to within one score of victory, we knew the ending. Another narrow, plucky, heartbreaking loss for a team of nearly men. Not today. The twist ending in Tokyo was a team digging in for a win that could define their World Cup campaign. Maybe, just maybe, Wales are changing the narrative.


Wales’s links to Australia stretch back to 1788, when four men and two women were transported to Botany Bay. It must have been a lonely experience; they spoke only Welsh, and in a country of 7.7 million square kilometres they had no one else to talk to. Today Welsh culture is prominent in Australia, with a national Eisteddfod and a range of Sydney festivals, notably the Ballarat South Street Festival, celebrating Celtic music and literature.


Australia (8) 25

Tries: Ashley-Cooper, Haylett-Petty, Hooper

Cons: Toomua (2)

Pens: Foley, Toomua

Wales (23) 29

Tries: Parkes, Davies

Con: Biggar, Patchell  

Pens: Patchell (3)

Drop Goals: Biggar, Patchell


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