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Wales beat Australia 40:6 at the Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup 2023 | Match Centre | Wales 40:6 Australia

Wales made history in Lyon by becoming the first team to secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. In a stunning display of skill and determination, they celebrated a record-breaking victory over Australia, sealing their place in the last eight with a game still left to play in Pool C. Gareth Anscombe was the hero of the day, contributing 23 crucial points, while tries from Gareth Davies, Nick Tompkins, and Jac Morgan further solidified their dominance.

Australia’s performance, on the other hand, left much to be desired, as they managed only two penalties courtesy of Ben Donaldson. Eddie Jones’ Australia team is now on the brink of an unprecedented pool stage elimination, facing the very real possibility of exiting the tournament prematurely.

Wales, under the guidance of head coach Warren Gatland, demonstrated exceptional rugby prowess, delivering what could be considered one of their finest performances ever. This resounding victory not only secured their quarter-final spot but also set a new record, surpassing their previous best win against Australia in 1975.

Captain Jac Morgan continued to shine, and Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Davies showcased their class throughout the match. The only setback for Wales was an injury to talismanic fly-half Dan Biggar, which forced him off the field in the first half. However, Anscombe stepped up to the plate, excelling with six penalties, a conversion, and a drop-goal.

Wales now looks ahead to their upcoming match against Georgia on October 7th in Nantes. A victory in that game will officially guarantee them the top spot in their group, with only two match points needed. This sets the stage for a probable quarter-final showdown against Argentina, Japan, or Samoa in Marseille the following weekend. Meanwhile, England remains the clear favorite to win Pool D.

Wales’ journey to the quarter-finals is a testament to their remarkable revival under Warren Gatland. Just a few months ago, few would have believed that Wales could secure a quarter-final spot with such ease and speed. The team faced significant challenges, including a lackluster performance in the 2023 Six Nations, where players even threatened strike action over contractual issues. However, Gatland’s leadership, coupled with a focus on nurturing young talent, proved to be the winning formula.

Intensive training camps in Switzerland and Turkey during the summer played a pivotal role in fostering team unity and resilience. Gatland’s faith in the younger generation, following high-profile retirements, paid off handsomely. The team started their World Cup campaign with maximum bonus-point wins against Fiji and Portugal and culminated their pool stage journey with an extraordinary performance against Australia.

In stark contrast to Wales’ resurgence, Australia’s campaign in the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been marred by turmoil and uncertainty. While the Wallabies have not been officially eliminated from the tournament, their chances of progressing now depend on a series of unlikely results, including Wales defeating Georgia and Georgia triumphing over Fiji.

Australia’s struggles have put their coach, Eddie Jones, under immense pressure. The team’s recent performance, including a shocking defeat to Fiji, has led to criticism and questions regarding Jones’ selections, especially his decision not to include experienced players like Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper in the squad.

Jones defended his strategy of building towards the 2027 World Cup but faced backlash from fans and pundits alike. Reports of a secret Zoom interview with the Japanese national team further added to the turmoil within the Australia camp.

The match between Wales and Australia showcased the stark contrast between the two teams. Wales capitalized on their exceptional teamwork, exemplified by a brilliantly executed try that originated from a training ground move. Nick Tompkins and Jac Morgan played pivotal roles in setting up Gareth Davies for the opening try.

While Australia managed to reduce the deficit with a penalty, Wales’ relentless pressure and Anscombe’s precise kicking proved decisive. Wales continued to dominate in the second half, with Anscombe adding to his tally with another penalty before providing an exquisite chip for Tompkins to score. Morgan’s try from a driving maul sealed the emphatic 40-6 victory for Wales.

As the final whistle blew, Warren Gatland’s jubilant expression captured the essence of an epic evening in Lyon. Wales had not only secured their place in the quarter-finals but had also sent a powerful message to the rugby world with their stellar performance.

Match Summary

Pool C | Wales 40:6 Australia

Wales Scores:

TRIES Gareth Davies (3′), Nick Tompkins (48′), Jac Morgan (78′)
CONV Dan Biggar (4′), Gareth Anscombe (49′)
PENS Gareth Anscombe (21′, 29′, 39′, 43′, 52′, 60′)
DGS Gareth Anscombe (70′)

Australia Scores:

PENS Ben Donaldson (9′, 14′)

OL Stadium, Lyon


Wayne Barnes

Man of the match:

Gareth Anscombe (Wales)


For everything about the Rugby World Cup 2023 check out our guide here.

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