A heartbreaking end to the Spring Tour for the Wallabies, with Australia going down to Wales 29-28 in a nail-biting and controversial clash in Cardiff.
In scenes all too familiar, the Wallabies were once again let down by offering up too many penalties, resulting in their third straight defeat on their European tour after previously going down to Scotland and England.
It was a battle pretty much from the beginning, with Dave Rennie’s men forced to play the majority of the game with one man down after Rob Valetini was red-carded for an accidental head clash just 15 minutes in.
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However, it was a try off a knock-on from the Welsh that ultimately proved to be the difference between the two teams.
Despite this, the men in gold refused to give up and fought back true Aussie style, with Kurtley Beale kicking a 78th minute penalty to put them in the lead with just 90 seconds remaining.
Sadly, it was poor discipline that once again let them down, with the Wallabies giving away another penalty in the 82nd minute which sealed the deal for Wales.
Aussie stand-in skipper James Slipper said it was a disappointing way to go out.
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, lack of discipline really hurt us, playing predominately the whole game with 14 men… In test matches, you just can’t win when you put yourselves under that sort of pressure.
“Obviously we started well and we were really happy with that, that was our plan coming into the game and unfortunately we lost our number eight there for the whole game and it kind of changes a lot of things really.
“I thought Wales really grinded that one out and we ended up on the wrong side.”
Despite the loss, Slipper said he was still extremely proud of his men.
“To be honest we put ourselves in a position to win that game, and I guess the credits got to go to the boys that showed a lot of character to fight tooth and nail to stay with Wales for the whole game with a man down,” he said.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the boys, but it was just a lack of concentration there that really hurt us in the end and Wales were good enough to get the win.”
Coach Dave Rennie was a little more fired up, describing the refereeing in the clash as “horrendous”.
“I thought some of the decision making by officials tonight was horrendous and played a big part in the result.
“Kurtley Beale got sin-binned for slapping the ball down, they did the same thing, it clearly goes forward and they got seven points out of it.
“We’ll end up getting an apology next week no doubt but it won’t help the result”.