Match Centre: Rugby World Cup Pool C: Wales 40-6 Australia

Gareth Davies of Wales gives instructions before feeding the ball into the scum during the Rugby World Cup game against Australia
Gareth Davies of Wales gives instructions before feeding the ball into the scum during the Rugby World Cup game against Australia
©Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Wales 40-6 Australia, Pool C, Lyon

Wales became the first team in the ongoing Rugby World Cup campaign to book a quarter-final berth as they outplayed Australia with a 40-6 win in Lyon on Sunday.

They now have 14 points after winning all the three matches sitting at the top of Pool C while defeats against Wales and Fiji has put Eddie Jones on the brink of being the first Wallabies coach to face an elimination in the opening round of the tournament.

This will also be the fourth time Wales have reached the quarter-final of an World Cup under head coach Warren Gatland as they recorded their best ever win over the Wallabies. However, they will be concerned about the injury to Dan Biggar as he left the field holding his shoulder in the 12th minute but his replacement Gareth Anscombe did an exceptional job of kicking 23 points.

Wales made a promising start as Jac Morgan spotted an early gap in the Australian defence before sending a pass to Gareth Davies, who dived under the poles for the opening try in the 2nd minute. Biggar kicked the conversion before Australia responded with a penalty from Ben Donaldson after a try-saving tackle from Louis Rees-Zammit making it 7-3.

Gatland and the Wales' supporters were seen in concern as Biggar was leaving the field injured as the Wallabies won a scrum penalty which Donaldson kicked to perfection narrowing down the gap to one point by the 15th minute. Anscombe hit the posts on his second attempt but made amends with a successful three-pointer in the 19th minute to make it 10-6.

Australia's indiscipline was evident as Anscombe kicked two more penalty goals leading into the break during which Wales had a lead of 16-6 and it became 19-6 two minutes into the second half as the Wallabies conceded another scrum penalty which Anscombe capitalised on.

It was all one-side traffic from there on as Anscombe sent a chip over the top for Nick Tompkins to collect and dot down under the poles with the replacement fly-half also kicked the extras and followed with a penalty goal to make it 29-6.

The pressure was evident on Australia as they conceded another penalty inside their 22 and Anscombe punished them with another three-pointer in the 60th minute and followed it with a well-timed drop goal as Gatland's men extended their lead to 35-6 as the game entered the final 10 minutes.

Skipper Jac Morgan capped off a fantastic win for Wales as he secured their final try in the closing stage that came off a driving maul. Anscombe missed a simple conversion but Wales will be delighted to complete a convincing 34 point victory as they move into the top eight.

Points Table: Pool C

Position Team Played Won Lost Points
1 Wales 3 3 0 14
2 Fiji 2 1 1 6
3 Australia 3 1 2 6
4 Georgia 2 0 1 2
5 Portugal 2 0 1 2

What's Next:

Australia's final game of the stage will be against Portugal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Sunday while Wales, who have already qualified to the next round will be lining up against Georgia at Stade de la Beaujoire on 7th October.

Match Reactions:

Gareth Anscombe, who was instrumental in setting up the victory is delighted with the result.

"Just absolutely delighted, so relieved. We knew they were going to be desperate. We talked a lot this week about family and the people we care about. We talk about the red wall and to concede only six points against Australia, just remarkable. Delighted for the boys.”

Team line up:

Wales: Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis; Will Rowlands, Adam Beard; Aaron Wainwright, Jac Morgan (captain), Taulupe Faletau

Reserves: Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski, Henry Thomas, Dafydd Jenkins, Taine Basham, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Rio Dyer

Australia: Andrew Kellaway; Mark Nawaqanitawase, Jordan Petaia, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete; Ben Donaldson, Tate McDermott; Angus Bell, David Porecki (captain), James Slipper, Nick Frost, Richard Arnold, Robert Leota, Tom Hooper, Rob Valetini.

Reserves: Matt Faessler, Blake Schoupp, Pone Fa’amausili, Matt Philip, Fraser McReight, Nic White, Carter Gordon, Suli Vunivalu