- Australia proceeded to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after defeating Wales 13-7.
- The Wallaroos took four match points from the match, whereas Wales took one losing point.
Australia defeated Wales 13-7 in a tight affair in Whangarei to secure a spot in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
Australia took four match points from the win, while Wales got one losing bonus point, which could be crucial in the final reckoning.
The victory means Australia finish second in Pool A while their opponents, Wales, have five points. The Wallaroos will be joining New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
Wales’ Rugby World Cup hopes now hangs in the balance after the defeat to the Gusty Wallaroos. The European giants will be keen on the outcome of France v Fiji in Pool C on Saturday to see if they finish as one of the two best third-place teams.
The match between Australia and Wales was always going to be a tight affair since it was between the seventh and ninth in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings.
Australia went onto the pitch without hooker Ashley Masters, who received a red card in their last match against Scotland.
The Wallaroos were also without lock Atasi Lafai who was ruled out on the match eve due to an ankle injury.
The momentum in the first half of the match shifted back and forth. Wales had a fumbling start and conceded a penalty from kick-off, which Australia capitalized on.
Australia were leading 7-0 five minutes into the game after a brilliant team play from Grace Hamilton, captain Shannon Parry, Adriana Talakai and Batibasaga.
Australia clearly dominated the first fifteen minutes of the game as they controlled the possession and were ahead on the scoreboard.
The penalty count on Wales crept up, and they easily gave away possession rather than build momentum like their opponents.
However, Wales gave their fans something to cheer for in the 24th minute as their number eight, Sioned Harries, hit a try. Fly-half Elinor Snowsill converted it to make things level.
Australia took a crucial 10-7 lead just before halftime after Cramer kicked a penalty. The Wallaroos nearly scored their second tray of the day in the 49th minute after trying to get their ball carriers on the ball.
Wales frustrated Australia with their constantly good defence as the much proceeded. Wales had made more than 200 tackles by the 65th minute.
With ten minutes to go, Australia’s discipline came into the spotlight as referee Sara Cox showed a yellow card to replacement Kaitan Leaney.
Wales never took advantage of the extra player as the clock tied down to the red. The Wallaroos won a penalty in the dying minutes of the game, which Crammer slotted over to ensure his team proceeded to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.
Speaking after the match, Australia head coach Jay Tregonning praised Wales for their strong defence.
“We are really pleased with the work ethic and how the players dug in for each other to grind out the win. Their defence was outstanding, we thought we had a few good opportunities, and they held their line really strong, so all credit to Wales.” Jay Tregonning told BBC.