Australia’s Will Genia and Bernard Foley wilt in Wales defeat

first_imgRugby World Cup 2019 Wales cling on in face of Australia comeback to edge brilliant Pool D clash Twitter On the few occasions early on when Australia’s forwards secured quick possession the playmaking pair – boasting over 175 caps between them – hastily attempted to pass the ball through the backs. But the desperate desire to feed the likes of Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete was the undoing of Foley within the first 10 minutes when Gareth Davies accepted a Hollywood pass with open arms.It wasn’t just Foley who suffered at the outstretched arms of Davies in the Japanese capital. A miscalculated and fateful pass from Genia just two minutes before the break found its way into the welcoming hands of his opposite number. The 31-year-old took a clumsy couple of steps with ball in hand from the ruck, allowing Davies to read the play and run half the length of the pitch for an easy score. Genia, who has been one of the first names on Wallabies teamsheets over the last decade, will be left to contemplate if those ponderous moments and steps leading to Davies’s interception will have finally ended his status as preferred No.9. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Show Share via Email Read more • Fixtures, tables and results• Top try and points scorers• Stadium guide• Referee guide• Our latest minute-by-minute live reports• Sign up to The Breakdown, our free rugby union email newsletterTeam guidesPool A: Ireland, Japan, Russia, Samoa, ScotlandPool B: Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, South AfricaPool C: Argentina, England, France, Tonga, USAPool D: Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay, Wales The tried and tested combination that yielded dividends in the previous World Cup cost their team with fundamental mistakes in what could have been their final outing together in green and gold. The recalled half-back duo endured a torrid first half in their first starts of this World Cup after Cheika opted for experience at scrum-half and fly-half in place of Christian Lealiifano and Nic White, who featured in last weekend’s laboured victory over Fiji.Wales knew that by stopping quick ball at the breakdown they would limit the threat of Genia and Foley, which was the undoing of them four years ago in the equivalent fixture at RWC 2015. Waren Gatland’s team had learned from that fateful afternoon at Twickenham and effectively shut off any quick ball supply. Thank you for your feedback. Read more With a third of the game remaining Cheika’s starting halves had been replaced by White and Matt Toomua. And the changes paid dividends.Toomua’s half-break down the blindside, just seconds after his introduction, spurred the travelling fans into life. They sensed a late swing in the momentum of the match after Michael Hooper darted over the line for Australia’s second try, showing that experience counted for something in the forwards, at least.Toomua and White orchestrated the closing stages, with their forward pack now securing cleaner and quicker ball at the breakdown. The Welsh defence was being pulled from side to side and the Wallabies midfield were finding cracks that were few and far between with Genia and Foley on the pitch. White even found time and space for a trademark dart down the blindside from the base of the breakdown as Australia grew stronger and offered more variation in their attacking play as the match entered the final 10 minutes.However, it was a case of too little too late as a Rhys Patchell penalty extended Wales’s lead to a decisive four points. The first-half errors from Genia and Foley proved costly and may have put the final two nails in the coffin of their time as their country’s first-choice halfback combination. Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Pinterest It was clear to see why the halfbacks were so eager to get their midfield into the game after Kerevi, the youngest Wallaby on view, displayed great tenacity to power through the Wales defence and lay the foundation for his side’s first try. Foley was instrumental in the decisive move with a precise cross-field kick but if he thought he had made amends for his shaky start at No.10 he was quickly on the back foot when his horribly skewed conversion led to puzzled looks among the 10,000 travelling Australians inside Tokyo Stadium.It was a frustrating evening for the 30-year-old fly half, one that ended with his withdrawal just five minutes after the restart. Genia lasted little longer after another wayward pass from the ruck. This time he was relieved that the interception led to nothing beyond an audible chorus of boos from the stands. Australia 25-29 Wales: Rugby World Cup 2019 – as it happened Australia rugby union team Since you’re here… features Photograph: Christophe Ena/AP Facebook Quick guide Our Rugby World Cup 2019 coverage Topics Australia sport Wales rugby union team Rugby World Cup Was this helpful? Rugby union Bernard Foley was outplayed by Wales’ fly-half, Rhys Patchell Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Hide Share on LinkedIn Errors from experienced half-back duo Will Genia and Bernard Foley were the undoing of the Wallabies as Australia succumbed to their first World Cup defeat to Wales since 1987. The loss leaves Michael Cheika’s team facing a probable quarter-final against Eddie Jones’s England. Reuse this contentlast_img