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Wales Not So At Home Against Wallabies

  • September 17th, 2007
  • Posted by Sarah West

wallabies-1.jpgRUGBY: Wallabies’ win at Cardiff, 32 to 20, may clear the way to a berth in the final. PLAYING ON HOME TURF

As a result of an agreement between the French and Welsh Rugby boards, the latter has been granted a couple of matches on home soil during this year’s Rugby World Cup.

Australia was the first team to play Wales on their turf, and the meeting — after Australia’s 32-20 win — left it in top position in Pool B, which also includes Canada, Japan and Fiji.

For fans following the Wallabies on their journey to the World Cup finals, it was a rare stop outside of France, taking them to the largest city in Wales: Cardiff.


Cardiff is Europe’s youngest capital city, having only been bestowed the honour in 1995; following devolution in the United Kingdom, giving parliaments to both Wales and Scotland .

History of the city dates back as far as 600BC, when European Celts are thought to have been its first inhabitants, though it also accommodated Romans and suffered a Viking take-over.

Because of this rich history there is no shortage of sights to visit while in Cardiff.

In the middle of the bustling city lies Cardiff castle, of the most impressive attractions, a product of numerous building periods.

Originally a Roman fort, it was transformed into a medieval castle, and then revived in the Victorian period into a mansion.

All of these periods are evident in its presentation, making a visit to the structure a treat.

As for food, it’s a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar; diners are served up international standards such as bacon, eggs, and lamb, with unusual accompaniments such as cockles, laver bread (sea-weed bread), and Welsh rarebit.

Though, perhaps more exciting for a rugby fan is the entertaining fact that Cardiff’s city centre is located in what’s known as ‘the Brewery quarter’.

That area has proved a good place to appease a nagging hunger before watching a game, and more importantly to enjoy some of the numerous beers and ciders on offer.


There had been talk that the Wallabies would be brought back to reality in Cardiff after smashing Japan 91-3 in their opening game.

It was recognised as the most difficult of Australia’s pool B matches, though they had already proved too strong for the Dragons earlier this year, winning twice.

Home town advantage was considered important; both of the Wallabies last two visits to Millennium Stadium in Cardiff resulted in losses.

In the event commentators saw it as a handy win for the Australians.

SMH online paid tribute to the Wallaby defence as the key to victory:

“Australia’s defence won the game.

“The Welsh used one-out forward runners, who simply didn’t ask enough questions of the Wallaby defenders, or long, lateral passes which gave the Wallaby backs time to adjust.

“It was only a matter of time before they fell victim to turnovers. Stirling Mortlock’s first half try was a good example of the way Australia counter-punched.”

Wales had started this year’s World Cup with a less-than-convincing 42-17 win over Canada who, at one stage during the match had a 17-9 upper hand.

There’d been talk about the strong finish providing a confidence booster, and some trouble being caused to Australia’s scrum by the big forward pack.

Having put paid to that, the Wallabies have taken up training again at Montpelier ahead of their next match, against Fiji on Sunday (23.9.07).

They are being tipped against further obstacles, like a meeting with England carrying injuries, on the way to the final – expected to be against New Zealand.


Visit Cardiff and Wales:

Match commentaries:

“Wallabies adapted to life without Larkham”, SMH Online, 17.9.07.…

“Barnes set for pivotal job”, IRB World Cup 2007, 17..907. (17.9.07)

Qantas Wallabies (Home), (17.9.07)