The Wallabies claimed a 45-10 bonus-point win over Uruguay in Oita on Saturday to move to the top of Pool D. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Yes, the Wallabies have banked the desired, expected result, but large parts of this performance certainly wouldn’t have set off any alarm bells for the competition’s leading contenders.
It was during the second half – when Uruguay’s resolve began to wane – that Australia powered to a win that had them leapfrog Fiji and Wales for now. Those latter two teams will face off on Wednesday.
The frustration would have been building for the Wallabies during the early exchanges as they again found themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle, with two players sent to the sin bin.
Yet, despite failing to find any real rhythm to their play with a largely new-look side from that which fronted up in last weekend’s loss to Wales, the Aussies did manage to cross for three tries in the opening half.
Uruguay – famed for their upset win over Fiji earlier in the pool phase – again showed great heart during that first stanza and were desperately unlucky to be denied what looked to be a perfectly legitimate try just before the break.
From 19-3 up at the break, though, the Wallabies surged ahead through tries to Tevita Kuridrani, Will Genia, James Slipper and Dane Haylett-Petty.
To their absolute credit, Uruguay would finally get a much-deserved late consolation try by Manuel Diana.
Australia – Tries: Dane Haylett-Petty (2), Jordan Petaia, Tevita Kuridrani (2), Will Genia, James Slipper. Conversions: Christian Lealiifano (5).
Uruguay – Try: Manuel Diana. Conversion: Felipe Berchesi. Penalty: Berchesi.
Australia – 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt To’omua, 11 Jordan Petaia, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper.
Subs: 16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 David Pocock, 21 Will Genia, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Uruguay – 15 Rodrigo Silva, 14 Federico Favaro, 13 Tomas Inciarte, 12 Andres Vilaseca (c), 11 Nicolas Freitas, 10 Felipe Berchesi, 9 Agustin Ormaechea, 8 Manuel Diana, 7 Juan Diego Ormaechea, 6 Manuel Ardao, 5 Manuel Leindekar, 4 Franco Lamanna, 3 Diego Arbelo, 2 German Kessler, 1 Juan Echeverria.
Subs: 16 Guillermo Pujadas, 17 Joaquin Jaunsolo, 18 Juan Pedro Rombys, 19 Ignacio Dotti, 20 Juan Manuel Gaminara, 21 Santiago Arata, 22 Felipe Etcheverry, 23 Agustin Della Corte.
Photo: Getty Images