Australia 20 - 19 Wales: Wallabies edge Welsh
Australia relied on the boot of Berrick Barnes to edge Wales in a bruising third Test in Sydney and secure a 3-0 whitewash.
Scorers: Australia: Try: Horne. Pens: Barnes 5.
Wales: Try: R Jones. Con: Halfpenny. Pens: Halfpenny 4.
Wales No.8 Ryan Jones and Australia centre Rob Horne scored second-half tries but, in a match dominated by the whistle of referee Craig Joubert, it was the five penalties from rejuvenated stand-off Barnes that gave the Wallabies a seventh win in a row over Wales.
Australia had already wrapped up the series with victories in Brisbane and Melbourne and, as in those two Tests, they were pushed to the limit by the Six Nations champions.
“I think we showed composure at the critical moments,” said Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.
“It was a good Test match played between two good sides.”
Wales, for whom full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked 14 points, will return home empty-handed. “It’s 3-0, it’s a whitewash, we’re not hiding from that, but my overall feeling is immense pride in the players,” said Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley, whose team were outscored by a combined 11 points over the three Tests.
On a sunny winter afternoon, the stage was set for a thrilling contest between two young running sides but Joubert stopped play with a regularity that prevented any tempo building. “Sometimes I thought there were three referees out there, to be honest,” joked Howley.
The South African referee allowed absolutely no leeway at the breakdown, causing a slew of penalties. Australia dominated territory and possession as they had in the first two Tests and were just about worth their win.
Australia: Beale; Ashley-Cooper, Horne, McCabe, Ioane; Barnes, Genia; Robinson, Polota-Nau, Kepu, Timani, Sharpe, Higginbotham, Pocock (c), Palu. Subs used: Moore, Alexander, Simmons, Dennis, Fainga’a.
Wales: Halfpenny; Cuthbert, J Davies, Beck, North; Priestland, Phillips; Jenkins, Rees, A Jones, B Davies, A W Jones, Lydiate, Warburton (c), R Jones. Subs used: Owens, James, Charteris, Tipuric, Hook, Williams.
Referee: C Joubert (SA). Attendance: 43,000.
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