Wales 4 lost to Australia 46
- Match URL
- Sunday, October 30th, 1994
- John Connolly
- Ninian Park (Cardiff)
Like Julius Caesar two thousand years earlier, the Kangaroos came, saw and conquered on their 1994 tour of Britain, and Wales were just another obstacle to be blown away by the green and gold juggernaut.
In truth Wales were always going to be against it with their captain incapacitated after dislocating a shoulder on the way to guiding Great Britain to an historic victory over the Australians at Wembley, and a number of players showed up well in the circumstances. None were better than the debutante Iestyn Harris, the 18 year old Warrington winger having a highly promising game filling in the stand-off position vacated by Davies.
In a tough and explosive physical encounter the Australians drew first blood early with David Furner's try, and the tone for the game was set. Wales' night took a double turn for the worse with 10 minutes gone as John Devereux had his jaw egg shelled by Meninga's shoulder in the tackle and David Young left the field to have an eye gash stitched up. Though Young would return, Devereux's injury was extremely serious and the Widnes centre had to have a plate inserted to repair a bone smashed in four places.
Shortly after the combative Kevin Ellis traded blows with Paul Sironen and instigated a mass brawl with Gareth Cordle and Wendell Sailor taking a particular dislike to each other. Ellis and Sironen were yellow carded and with both sides down to 12 men Kevin Walters put Steve Renouf into a gap to increase Australia's advantage on the scoreboard. Phil Ford's sin-binning for dissent left Wales down to 11 players, and the gaps in the defence became huge.
Clive Griffiths was forced to reshuffle his backs, and switched Sullivan from the wing to fullback. He was helpless as his long striding opposite number from
Canberra Brett Mullins cruised to the line, and after Sullivan failed to control Langer's skidding kick, Rod Wishart was in for a fourth Australian try. Mal Meninga crossed in first half injury time to see Wales head for the dressing room staring at a 30-0 deficit.
The second half began more promisingly for Wales, with David Fairleigh yellow carded for an illegal challenge on Kevin Ellis. They didn't take advantage of the numerical superiority but no sooner had Fairleigh returned than Ellis put up a high kick across the Australian defence and Daio Powell dropped on the loose ball to get Wales' off the mark.
That would be the only joy they had on the scoresheet, though it must be said that their second half defence did well to restrict the Australians to three tries through Renouf, Florimo and Fittler. The Australians had enjoyed almost total possession and territory.
Steve Renouf was adjudged Man of the Match and his outstanding pace and strength had overwhelmed the Welsh defence. With the Walters brothers and Alfie Langer calling the shots from midfield, this was a truly formidable opposition, and team manager Mike Nicholas admitted "I'm happy that we stuck in there. We could have been annihilated".
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Last modified: Mon, 21 Jan 2019 17:01:25 +0000 (Sydney time)