10 Jun 2012

Australia bounce back with win over Wales

6:36 am on 10 June 2012

After suffering a shock 9-6 loss to Scotland earlier in the week, the Australian rugby team bounced back to defeat Wales 27-19 in Brisbane last night, having had less than four days to recover.

Australia defended grimly to weather a fierce second-half assault and prevail over Wales in the first match of their three-test series.

Trailing 17-3 minutes after the break, Wales closed the gap to just a point after a try to winger Alex Cuthbert in the 58th minute and some accurate kicking in tricky conditions by fullback Leigh Halfpenny.

But the Wallabies inside centre Pat McCabe eased the pressure with a try 10 minutes later and the hosts made a series of desperate tackles to deny the tourists.

The relieved Wallabies coach Robbie Deans took a thinly veiled swipe at Australian rugby officialdom after his team overcame nightmare scheduling to get the win.

When asked about the Wallabies' scant preparation Deans remarked that the side still haven't had a full training run and says recovery will be important for them again this week.

After fierce criticism from local media and with his playmaker cupboard virtually empty due to injuries, the New Zealander made nine changes to the starting lineup.

Deans was heartened by the performances of man-of-the-match Will Genia and first five eighth Berrick Barnes, both of whom struggled in the wet against Scotland and have had to shoulder the playmaking burden with James O'Connor, Quade Cooper and Kurtley Beale all sidelined with injuries.