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Anscomb's the man as clinical Wales end Australia's run at the rugby World Cup

By Paul Myers - RFI
Australia AP - Rui Vieira
MON, 25 SEP 2023 LISTEN
AP - Rui Vieira

Wales terminated Australia's World Cup campaign with extreme prejudice on Sunday night in Lyon to move into the quarter-finals and eliminate the two-time champions.

They beat them 40-6 on the back of three tries - two crisply taken - and Gareth Anscombe's excellent kicking.

It started badly for the Australians at the Groupama Stadium. Gareth Davies ripped through an apparent defence to score under the posts and Dan Biggar added two more points with the conversion.

But Ben Donaldson reduced the score with a couple of penalties.

A glimmer of hope emerged for the Australians with Biggar's departure and it appeared a full scale moon beam when his replacement Gareth Anscombe missed his first penalty.

But Australian indiscipline gave him another chance soon after which he converted. Two more came and he knocled over six more points to take Wales into the half-time break leading 16-6.

In the prelude to the game, Wales boss Warren Gatland spoke of the tight physical contests between the sides over the ages.

Another seemed likely with Australia needing victory to maintain their place in the tournament.

Discipline

But another penalty allowed Anscombe to put distance between the sides. And then Australia collapsed. Nick Tompkins scampered onto Anscombe's lob over the Australian back line to make it 24-6 and Anscombe adorned his handiwork with another two points for the conversion.

A few more penalties and a drop goal merely added salt to the wound before skipper Jac Morgan went over to make it 40-6 and Australia's worst defeat at the World Cup.

Anscombe - deemed man-of-the-match - for the sake of symmetry ended as he started with a botched kick.

"We've just kind of been focused on one game at a time," said Gatland.

"I know that Australia came into this game feeling confident but we came into this game very confident that we could produce a performance and I thought we were clinical."

Which team do you think has the higher chance of winning the 2024 elections?

Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024

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