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Wallabies vs Wales score, result: Rob Valetini red card tackle, Dave Rennie reaction


The Wallabies were fuming about being dudded by the officials as a last-gasp penalty after the siren condemned them to another defeat.

Rhys Priestland kicked an injury-time penalty to seal Wales a 29-28 victory over 14-man Australia in a tense Test match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Sunday morning.

It looked like the Wallabies had grabbed an unlikely victory when Kurtley Beale hit a 77th-minute penalty, but there was drama to the end as Priestland booted the winning kick.

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Priestland had replaced Dan Biggar, whose 16 points were crucial to the Welsh victory in front of more than 68,000 fans.

Wales scored a try in each half through Ryan Elias and Nick Tompkins, while Australia were reduced to 14 players after No. 8 Rob Valetini was red carded in the 15th minute for a head clash while making a tackle.

The try to Tompkins was especially controversial, as he appeared to deliberately knock on an attempted intercept before racing away for a five-pointer. All the Aussie players immediately stopped because it seemed obvious the referee would blow his whistle, but the officials deemed the ball went backwards and it was play on.

It was an even tougher pill to swallow given Beale was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on during the match.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie fumed about the officiating. “I thought some of the decision making tonight was horrendous, and played a big part in the result,” he said post-match.

“We’ll get an apology next week but it wont mean anything.

“I’ve been a professional coach for 20 years, and I’ve never gone in the media and had a crack at a referee or the referee group. But I felt I had to tonight.”

Some fans agreed with Rennie’s take. Tim Ayliffe tweeted: “If anyone got up early to watch the #WALvAUS don’t bother. The referee has already destroyed the game … No wonder rugby is struggling to get support.

“Probably fitting that the referee has decided the match with a penalty for Wales in front of the sticks when they needed 3 to win. Sums up the ref’s performance.”

Referring to the Tompkins try, sports reporter Brett McKay tweeted: “How on earth this was allowed to stand, particularly once the TMO got involved, I will never ever know.”

The Wallabies outplayed the home side for large periods of the game, scoring two spectacular second-half tries through Nic White and Filipo Daugunu — after the opening try from Andrew Kellaway — to keep in the hunt to the death.

Australia, left winless on their European autumn tour for the first time since 1976 after previous losses to Scotland and England, came out with all guns firing, winger Kellaway latching on to a smart Hunter Paisami grubber kick to continue his prolific try-scoring form after just two minutes.

James O’Connor converted but the Wallabies infringed from the restart and Biggar nailed a penalty.

Drama ensued as Valetini was shown a red card by Scottish referee Mike Adamson for a reckless head-on-head tackle that left a bloodied Adam Beard helped from the pitch.

Biggar kicked the resulting penalty, with the Wallabies down to 14 men for 65 minutes.

O’Connor, who made his international debut in the same fixture back in 2011, hit a penalty of his own to extend Australia’s lead, but referee Adamson was left with no option other than yellow carding veteran fullback Beale for a deliberate knock-on.

Biggar spurned a penalty kick to go to the corner and from the resulting line-out scrum-half Tomos Williams darted around the maul to play Elias in at the corner in a well-worked move.

The Welsh fly-half kicked the extras yet more ill-discipline saw O’Connor boot a second penalty to draw the scores level.

Biggar kicked his third penalty to leave Wales with a 16-13 halftime lead, both sides struggling to find any fluency in their play.

The second period opened at a frenetic pace, Tompkins crossing for an opportunistic try for Wales after palming down a forced pass from replacement Wallaby wing Tom Wright, Biggar kicking the extras.

Replacement prop Gareth Thomas was then yellow carded for a swinging arm to the face of Allan Alaalatoa.

With both teams down to 14, Australia scored the try of the match, Beale stepping inside New Zealand-born Wales centre Uilisi Halaholo to find O’Connor in support, the fly-half holding the ball up perfectly for White, who bounced over the line.

O’Connor kicked the conversion, but Biggar then kicked a 40-metre penalty after Will Skelton took out Josh Adams, making it 26-20 with 15 minutes to play.

Tension was guaranteed as Paisami split the midfield defence, the ball was quickly recycled and Daugunu literally went head over heels while dotting down in the corner to bring Australia within one point of Wales, O’Connor missing the conversion.

Beale then stepped up to bang over what looked like a game-winning three-pointer, before Wales pushed, Australia infringed and Priestland made no mistake.

With AFP



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