Wales crash to defeat as Australia hold out in Sydney

Tom Wright - Tom Wright (second left) is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring Australia's third try of the match in Sydney

Australia 25 Wales 16

Wales’ long run of defeats continued despite a battling performance in Sydney as they were beaten 25-16 by Australia.

It was their 12th successive loss to the Wallabies in Australia, and eighth on the bounce against all opponents.

Warren Gatland’s team have not won a Test match since they saw off 2023 World Cup pool opponents Georgia nine months ago, but they pushed new-look Australia close at the Allianz Stadium.

Wales crushed Australia 40-6 at the World Cup, yet Eddie Jones’ head coach successor Joe Schmidt enjoyed a winning start to his reign following tries from prop Taniela Tupou, wing Filipo Daugunu and full-back Tom Wright.

Wallabies fly-half Noah Lolesio kicked a conversion and two penalties, while Tom Lynagh – son of Australia World Cup winner Michael Lynagh – added the extras to Wright’s touchdown.

Australia v Wales: As it happened . . .

01:24 PM BST

That’s all for now

See you in a couple of hours for an absolute blockbuster between South Africa and Ireland.

01:17 PM BST

Australia head coach Joe Schmidt

As coaches we’ve had a debrief and feel like we’ve learnt a lot. We hope the players will learn through these next few weeks so we can get to a better place, because boy that was an arm-wrestle at the end. When they did the shift-drive and didn’t get the result (with the disallowed try) it allowed us a little bit of breathing space. That was great to find the space for Tom Wright, he doesn’t need too much. He finished that try superbly to give us the buffer on the scoreboard.

A couple of attacks at the start we had a nice break from a five-metre lineout, nice bit of space from a chip kick which we didn’t capitalise on. At the same time, we know how tough Wales are. They will never give you anything unless you earn it. I’m proud of the boys that they earned it, but we’re all a bit frustrated that we didn’t play as well as we would have liked and I’m sure the Welsh feel the same way.

01:10 PM BST

Sam Warburton on Sky on the disallowed try

Wales shifted round to the right-hand side. What happens is if you shift to the right, the ball needs to be at the front of the maul. So when Australia hit you, they’re hitting the ball-carrier and then you move the ball backwards. But what Wales did was protect the ball-carrier with two players in front of him, so Australia can’t hit him [Botham]. Wales just got a bit too far in front of him and obstructed him. Yes, they will be gutted it was disallowed, but if they had done it legally they would have hurt Australia.

01:08 PM BST

Wales coach Warren Gatland

I think we hurt ourselves with a number of turnovers, that didn’t help. The penalty count earlier on, soft penalties hurt us. We got back into the game, it was close. I need to get some clarity on the disallowed try from the maul and we’re where we are at the moment, we’re not getting any 50-50 calls and we just have to work through that. Tough, physical game but turnovers didn’t help us in keeping momentum and looking to put Australia under pressure.

We would have had a conversion to go in front, I just need to get some clarity on that. I’m not 100 per cent sure.

We know where we are at the moment, we’re developing this team. I thought there were some real positives out there in terms of what we’re trying to do. When chasing the game you want to get fresh legs on, give them that experience of an international game.

We said along and have been upfront in what we’re trying to do in building this team. I hope people can see some development in terms of the players and experience with what we’re trying to do towards the next Rugby World Cup. I understand you are going to get pressure from people talking about a losing run at the moment but in that run we’ve been in games, been in front and easily could have won a few, and tonight’s the same. A bit more accuracy, decisions which go your way and you win. Those are big moments that we need to learn from to make sure that in those tight matches where it’s an arm-wrestle you end up on the winning side.

01:00 PM BST

Wales captain Dewi Lake

Unfortunately resilience doesn’t win games, does it. Credit to the heart the boys showed, that is going to get us far. But a young team, we have to learn how to win games, to put points on the board and see games out. Credit to Australia, they put points on the board and made us chase the game. We said against South Africa we can’t leave opportunities out on the field, a couple went begging tonight and that’s the difference on the scoreboard.

It’s always tough when you’re stood on the halfway line waiting for the kickoff and the try gets chalked off. But I can’t argue with the decision from the officials. It felt like a turning point for us and a big blow getting us back into the game.

I don’t think this is a squad that needs galvanising to be honest. We’re ready to put everything on the line for each other to get the win for everyone back home and for the jersey. It’s more about learning quickly and how to see these games out.

12:55 PM BST

An eighth straight defeat for Wales

Which will hurt. There’s another chance in Melbourne next week before Wales faced the Queensland Reds the following Friday.

Former Wales fly-half Dan Biggar on Sky saying: “There will be some leniency because of the transition and new players coming in, but international rugby at the end of the day, and the coaches who are there know that, it’s about winning. At the moment it’s eight on the spin. Warren will know the score more than anybody. If they don’t get a result next week then probably some questions will be asked”.

12:48 PM BST

FULL-TIME: Australia 25-16 Wales

Final stages then, Wales tapping a penalty and trying to go quick, but still in their own half. Hathaway down getting some treatment, and Wainwright actually.

Good counter-ruck from the Wallabies and McDermott hacks it into touch, but we’ll have time for a final lineout as the hooter sounds.

Wales try a maul but it’s turned over, and that’s the game! Joe Schmidt starts with a win, seven new caps on the field as the Wallabies break clear at the death to put Wales away. It’s their first win at Allianz Stadium in Sydney for a decade since defeating France in 2014.

12:45 PM BST

78 mins – Australia 25-16 Wales

Australia poach the lineout, good work at the front by Cale – that’s a killer for Wales. Then McReight comes in for a turnover penalty and the Wallabies clear.

12:43 PM BST

76 mins – Australia 25-16 Wales

Another mega hit, Blyth on Wainwright. Breakdown a bit messy as both sides counter-ruck. Valetini flattens Dyer but Wales get a penalty for Australia going off their feet. This will go to the corner.

12:41 PM BST

74 mins – Australia 25-16 Wales

Costelow on for Thomas at No 10. Nice from Wales, shifting it right to left, near Australia’s 22. Good offloads too before Reffell gets smoked by Paisami, but play on.

Loads of phases for Wales, Watkin stepping infield. Costelow with a chip, Hathaway chasing but he can’t quite bring it in. Asking if his arm was taken away by Wright but no decision, knocked on so a dropout. But that was better from Wales.

12:38 PM BST

72 mins – Australia 25-16 Wales

Let’s see if Wales can lift again, but that score might have knocked the wind out of their sails a bit. Moved wide to Grady out on the wing but he’s tackled into touch well by Kellaway.

12:35 PM BST

TRY WRIGHT! Australia 25-16 Wales

The Wallabies shut the door again! Wright with a quality score. Steps round Tompkins, dummies, bursts clear and then cuts inside a covering Grady. Mega try.

Converted by Lynagh, his first points for Australia.

12:30 PM BST

PENALTY THOMAS! Australia 18-16 Wales

After Fin Baxter earlier with England, Archie Griffin is having a huge game for Wales. Loads of tackles and he’s just won a turnover which Thomas can go for the posts with.

It’s curling in, off the left-hand post and over!

12:29 PM BST

This was a bit unfortunate for Liam Williams after the disallowed try

12:29 PM BST

63 mins – Australia 18-13 Wales

Tom Lynagh, son of the great Michael, is on at fly-half for the Wallabies. What a year for the family after Louis made his Italy debut in the Six Nations.

Tompkins now on for Wales ahead of a scrum for the Wallabies outside their own 22.

12:25 PM BST

60 mins – Australia 18-13 Wales

Up the field and Tshiunza is pinged for playing the scrum-half. Wallabies kick to touch.

Rumbling through the phases near to the posts, forwards for Australia have been great the pick-and-gos all day. Chipped to the corner for a diving Kellaway but he can’t bring it in! Wales get the ball back. Should the Wallabies have gone through the hands?

Good box kick from Bevans finds touch – it’s a 50:22! Quality kick.

12:21 PM BST

58 mins – Australia 18-13 Wales

The maul for Wales has gone well all game, and they’re over again! Clever peel to the right and that catches Australia out, with Botham, right off the bench, finishing it off.

Hang on, it’s being checked… it’s been chalked off for obstruction. Big moment that.

12:18 PM BST

56 mins – Australia 18-13 Wales

Great run from Wainwright before he loses the ball on the floor, the birthday boy Gordon doing well for Australia to get back. Hathaway running back a kick with interest and then Blyth, on at half-time for Jeremy Williams, has a nibble at the breakdown with his elbows on the ground. Wales go to the corner…

12:15 PM BST

TRY DAUGUNU! Australia 18-13 Wales

Wallabies with a scrum 40 metres out. Good runs getting over the gain-line, knocked on by Wales trying to clearout a ruck.

Lovely run by Daugunu off his wing! Looping round as the extra man and he carves through, Grady trying to track him. Has Kellaway outside but goes himself – should have passed – but the fend and slide on the wet turf gets Daugunu over the line. No conversion.

12:11 PM BST

51 mins – Australia 13-13 Wales

Rough knock-on by Williams at the restart so the Wallabies have a central, attacking scrum. Long attack follows, tons of phases as Wales scrap to keep them out, Mathias with a good tackle.

No penalties yet, great discipline, and Tshiunza with Australia right on the line comes up with a turnover! Gatland will love that.

12:08 PM BST

PENALTY THOMAS! Australia 13-13 Wales

And Wales are level. After that tough start they’ve settled down, been very pragmatic and erased a 10-point deficit.

12:07 PM BST

46 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Good start this from Wales, Bevan switching play as Williams puts in a grubber which causes chaos, with the Wallabies pinged for not rolling away. Thomas taking a shot.

12:05 PM BST

44 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

After two resets Wales try the blindside, Wainwright to Hathaway but he’s well contained and forced into touch. Wallabies win the lineout close to their line, good take from Wright, before Australia clear through a Gordon box-kick to touch.

12:03 PM BST

42 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Stoppage there as Thomas received treatment but he can’t continue, so Mathias comes on. Nice spicy scrum five metres from the Wallabies line for the new loosehead.

12:03 PM BST

Second half underway

And some early excitement as Wales get Hathaway in space, he grubbers infield and it’s hacked on with Wright doing well to get back and ground the ball.

11:52 AM BST

Rare referee on player physical abuse here

Citing on the way for Pierre Brousset surely (we jest).

11:46 AM BST

HALF-TIME: Australia 13-10 Wales

Better scrum from Wales and Thomas chips it into touch for half-time.

Look, it’s pretty much as expected – not heaps of quality and two sides who are at pretty similar levels figuring things out. Tupou’s power at the scrum and with ball in hand dominating the contest so far, but Wales have shown some flashes in defence as well.

Second half with you soon (time for coffee).

11:43 AM BST

39 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Wright the Wallabies captain takes the lineout, Paisami crashing up. Tupou and Slipper with runs but then Salakaia-Loto kncoks on in a tackle from Jenkins and Reffell. Scrum for Wales.

11:41 AM BST

37 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Wallabies trying that cross-field kick again but doesn’t come off, with Dyer trying to claim it and ending up in touch.

Lineout won at the front and played off the top, Australia forwards having a go. Lolesio sends it very high, claimed well by Thomas.

Wales kick high and long, Wright just about winning that back. Box-kick from Gordon, no real chase but Bevan drops it! Killer. And Wales go offside too so it’s a penalty. Wallabies will kick to the corner.

11:39 AM BST

35 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Hathaway tackled in the air by a chasing Daugunu, so that’s a Wales penalty which means Wales can move out of their half.

Browsing the stats, Bath’s Archie Griffin leading the defensive effort with 13 tackles so far.

11:37 AM BST

33 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Salakaia-Loto stops Lake with a tackle and forces a knock-on, so a Wallabies scrum on their own 22. Tupou again causing plenty of trouble in the scrum as Wales are pinged for angling in.

Big tighthead is hobbling a bit, hope he can continue. Such a force.

11:33 AM BST

31 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Cagey kicking contest at the moment in the middle of the park, Williams with a low, slow bouncer which is actually going to end up being a 50:22. Chance for Wales to attack here as Thomas returns.

11:32 AM BST

29 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Hathaway, the Gloucester wing on debut, puts in a low kick which finds touch inside Australia’s 22. Wallabies go quick at the lineout and just about clear to touch at the 10-metre line through Lolesio. Wales though benefiting from more territory at the moment and the Thomas yellow card is nearly up.

11:31 AM BST

27 mins – Australia 13-10 Wales

Momentum has completely swung towards Wales as the Wallabies give up another penalty, this time for Paisami going off his feet.

Stoppage here as the officials check Paisami’s clearout on Plumtree, was a nasty one as he went at his leg and it buckled in, but we play on.

11:27 AM BST

PENALTY TRY WALES! Australia 13-10 Wales

The Wallabies can’t stop that Wales maul and it’s both a penalty try and a yellow card for McReight! Went for the maul with seven forwards on the park, backed themselves and came away with the try. Good response that from Gatland’s side.

11:24 AM BST

23 mins – Australia 13-3 Wales

Better from Wales, Williams coming into the line as Wales get a penalty for being played in the air at the lineout.

Wales try the maul, Lake at the back, Thomas with a grubber towards the posts which is bouncing everywhere, has Dyer slid in to score that? Officials are checking to see if there was a knock-on beforehand.

Think I heard the on-field call is try, which could be huge. There was a knock-on, so no try, but we’re back for a penalty. Wales to the corner…

11:19 AM BST

TRY TUPOU! Australia 13-3 Wales

Wallabies send Tupou flying around the corner off the lineout, so tough to stop. Forwards inching closer to the Wales line with each carry. One metre out now. Advantage coming – must be a card – but Tupou is over anyway! Australia with the first try. So hard to stop there when he gets that low. Lolesio converts.

And it is a yellow card for Thomas, just too many offsides and Wales are down to 14.

11:18 AM BST

19 mins – Australia 6-3 Wales

Wales have to be close to a card here, another penalty in defence. Too many offsides. Lolesio finds touch inside their 22.

11:16 AM BST

18 mins – Australia 6-3 Wales

Nice defence by Wales, Tshiunza competing hard to slow it down, before Gordon forces a pass Wales get a penalty. Big hit by Plumtree in there. Wales can clear.

11:14 AM BST

16 mins – Australia 6-3 Wales

Penalty count killing Wales at the moment, with Plumtree never getting back on side. Wales have conceded the last five penalties. Lolesio finds touch.

11:13 AM BST

PENALTY TUPOU! Australia 6-3 Wales

That’s more like it. Australia ahead having bossed the last few minutes with some good attacks.

11:13 AM BST

13 mins – Australia 3-3 Wales

Scrum penalty for the Wallabies, Tupou giving Thomas a horrible time there. Lolesio won’t miss this one surely.

11:10 AM BST

11 mins – Australia 3-3 Wales

Chip over the top from Australia works well but Jenkins flies up to pressure Lolesio to force a knock-on. Scrum for Wales in their half.

Think that will be the theme of this game, lots of promise but not the highest skill level.

11:08 AM BST

9 mins – Australia 3-3 Wales

Wallabies rip through! Big hit from Watkin but Australia move the ball wide and Kellaway gets into space. Advantage played, Lolesio goes cross-field and it’s won back. Advantage ends with Tshiunza going offside.

Looked like Schmidt tactically was picking on Grady and Watkin’s defensive combo there.

How has Lolesio missed that? Boy that is poor. We stay level.

11:06 AM BST

PENALTY LOLESIO! Australia 3-3 Wales

A chip shot from right infront and that’s easy work. We’re level.

11:05 AM BST

7 mins – Australia 0-3 Wales

Lineout won, good offload from Lolesio but then Williams doesn’t support his body weight tackling Kellaway. Penalty coming for the Wallabies.

11:03 AM BST

4 mins – Australia 0-3 Wales

A high kick from Gordon leads to a Welsh knock-on. Wallabies play on, looking for a 50:22 but the ball doesn’t get to touch and Wales mop up… no! In at the side by Reffell, 10 metres out from Wales’ line. They go to the corner.

11:02 AM BST

PENALTY THOMAS! Australia 0-3 Wales

And he converts, good strike that from about 42 metres out. Wales lead.

11:00 AM BST

2 mins – Australia 0-0 Wales

Thomas with a high cross kick which the Wallabies take, but we’re coming back for a no-arms tackle by Slipper. Chance for early points.

10:58 AM BST


Thomas at No 10 for Wales, making just his second start there this season, gets us going. Won by the Wallabies and Gordon clears to touch.

10:58 AM BST

‘Welcome to country’ and the anthems wrapping up

Nice to see lots of Welsh supporters in the stands.

10:50 AM BST

Nice tribute here to Michael Hooper

The former Wallabies captain is bringing out the match ball at Allianz Stadium, having announced his retirement this week. Superb player for the Wallabies but also the Waratahs winning that 2014 Super Rugby title.

10:45 AM BST

Warren Gatland’s message to Wales

10:43 AM BST

Joe Schmidt on his new side

[At the last RWC] I certainly didn’t think I would be here either. I’ve got a good friend who is the high performance manager at Rugby Australia so here I am, and I’m excited to be here. We’ve got a young side, it is a transition period for Australian rugby as it is for Welsh rugby. Talking to Gethin Jenkins, we just said we’ll find out about each other and ourselves a little bit tonight.

10:39 AM BST

Wales haven’t won in Australia since 1969

Which was the year of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon and when The Beatles recorded ‘Abbey Road’. So, it’s been a minute.

10:30 AM BST

The Schmidt era begins

Lots to be excited about with Schmidt taking charge of the Wallabies and after a long look at Super Rugby Pacific, this is a young Wallabies side with seven new caps, including Tom Lynagh on the bench, and a new captain in Liam Wright. James Slipper at loosehead has 135 caps but there’s not a ton of experience.

But how will they play? Charlie Morgan takes a look at their approach.

Between 2014 and 2019, a period that yielded three Six Nations titles under Schmidt, Ireland adopted a certain style. They resisted offloading (completing 7.8 per game against an average of 11.6 across all teams in the tournament, according to Stats Perform) and amassed 123 rucks per match (higher than the average of 114). Four of the top five team tackle counts in Six Nations history have come against Schmidt’s Ireland sides. They knew how to hang on to possession.

10:11 AM BST

The next Jamie Roberts?

Mason Grady, at 12 today, one player to really keep an eye for Wales. Here’s Charlie Morgan speaking to the great Wales inside centre Jamie Roberts about Grady’s potential.

Mason is one the most gifted athletes we’ve had for a while. His speed and his power are unmatched across the Wales back line, but I want to see more of Wales manufacturing attacking positions where he is running onto the ball at pace. It’s all well and good giving him the ball. Doing that with a standing start is pointless.

10:04 AM BST

All Blacks sneak home against England

A one-point win for New Zealand in Dunedin, all the reaction rolling in here. England will rue those two missed penalties off the tee from Marcus Smith.

09:46 AM BST

Final minutes in Dunedin

You can follow the closing stages of that game with Charles Richardson over here.

09:45 AM BST


Morning everyone. Look, I know on paper today this isn’t the most glamourous of fixtures compared to the other games going on, but I’m really intrigued by this series.

Two sides who are scraping themselves off the floor in a way, after Australia’s Rugby World Cup disaster – when Wales thrashed them 40-6 in Lyon – while Wales have flown south with a patchy squad full of young guns as they try and rebuild after a pretty desperate Six Nations. Someone has to win (two draws?) but with Warren Gatland reunited in a coaching battle with Joe Schmidt, there raft of new caps on show (seven for the Wallabies, one for Wales)… I’m interested.

Speaking of Gatland and Schmidt, the Wales head coach has been discussing their history this week, particularly the 2019 Six Nations fixture when Wales clinched a Grand Slam against Ireland.

“I couldn’t believe Ireland didn’t want to play with the roof shut and I don’t think all their players were 100 per cent happy about it,” said Gatland.

“Every time we played Ireland their analysts would text me and ask me not to say anything in the press because Joe always read everything and it would upset him and make their lives a misery.

“I would then purposely say something to try to upset him. We go back a long way to when he was a scrawny winger who played for Manawatu.

“He had a little bit of pace and we actually played together in the New Zealand schoolteachers team together. He’s achieved a lot in the game and did incredibly well with Leinster and Ireland.

“I think he’ll bring structure and organisation to the Wallabies and provide them with some continuity and self-belief. He’s put a good coaching team together with Mike Cron, Laurie Fisher and Geoff Parling, who are all incredibly experienced guys who are well respected in the game.

“Hopefully, things will go well for Australia, but just not in the next couple of weeks!”

All the build-up on the way.

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