21 Oct 2011

Australia beat Wales for third place in World Cup

10:58 pm on 21 October 2011

Australia rebounded from their semi-final loss to New Zealand to defeat Wales 21-18 in a frenetic but scrappy third place Rugby World Cup playoff at Eden Park on Friday.

The winner of the Bronze Final is assured of being seeded third for the next World Cup in 2015.

When Wallaby centre Berrick Barnes scored a try after 11 minutes, an open, high-scoring match in Auckland looked on the cards - but it wasn't to be. A lack of accuracy and far too many mistakes resulted in a huge number of turnovers.

Ben McCalman also scored a try, while Barnes added a late drop goal and wing James O'Connor landed a conversion and two penalties, Reuters reports.

Wing Shane Williams and fullback Leigh Halfpenny scored tries for Wales, while first five-eighth James Hook opened the team's scoring with a penalty in the first half.

His replacement Stephen Jones landed a second penalty and a conversion in the last play of the match.

Australia's victory was soured by what appeared to be knee injuries to fullback Kurtley Beale and first five-eighth Quade Cooper, who shifted direction off his right foot and crumpled immediately to the ground in agony.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people gathered in fan zones around Auckland to watch the match. Police say there have been no issues and fans have been well-behaved.

The All Blacks play France in Sunday's final at Eden Park in a repeat of the 1987 decider.


Australia: Tries: Berrick Barnes, Ben McCalman; Conversions: James O'Connor; Penalties: O'Connor (2); Drop goal: Barnes.

Wales: Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny; Conversion: Stephen Jones; Penalties: James Hook; Jones.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)