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Eddie Jones’ Wallabies fall to record World Cup defeat against Wales

By Finn Morton
Eddie Jones, Head Coach of Australia, looks on prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

LYON – That appears to be it for Eddie Jones’ Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup. Australia needs a miracle to stay alive at the sports showpiece event after losing 40-6 to rivals Wales in Lyon.


The hopes and dreams of a sporting-mad nation came crashing down on Sunday evening as a fallen giant of the game succumbed to a devastating defeat.

Pending seemingly unfathomable results from Fiji, the Wallabies are set to bow out at the pool stage for the time in history while Wales have booked their spot in the quarter-finals.

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This might be the darkest night in Australian rugby history. The sun will come up in the morning, but the pain and disappointment of a pool stage exit may never go away.

For every Wallabies supporter who dared to dream at OL Stadium, there were at least 10 Welsh supporters. Warren Gatland’s men were spurred on by a Cardiff-like atmosphere here in France.

The crowd let out a deafening cheer as flyhalf Ben Donaldson prepared to kick off the test. There was so much riding on this clash, and finally, the moment of truth awaited the two nations.

But Australia couldn’t have started any worse. The Wallabies gave away a penalty after just 14 seconds and conceded the opening try of the night just a few minutes later.

Points Flow Chart

Wales win +34
Time in lead
Mins in lead
% Of Game In Lead
Possession Last 10 min
Points Last 10 min


Halfback Gareth Davis finished off a tidy set-piece play from the Welsh, and playmaker Dan Biggar added the extras to give the northern hemisphere side a 7-nil advantage.

Australia had a golden chance to hit back shortly after with towering lock Richie Arnold breaking through the Welsh defensive wall. But Arnold’s effort was in vain.

The Wallabies didn’t trouble the Welsh try line again and could only manage to score in threes with Ben Donaldson converting two penalties in five minutes.

Almost suddenly, the Aussies had reduced the deficit to a single point – and for those wearing gold in the crowd, they’d well and truly found their voice by this stage.


As Australia began to claw their way back into the contest, Wales were dealt a cruel injury as Dan Biggar left the field. New Zealand-born No. 10 Gareth Anscombe came on as a replacement in just the 12th minute.

Anscombe struck the right post with his first shot at goal but made amends just a couple of minutes later to give Cymru a 10-6 lead.

Silly errors continued to cost the Wallabies, and Wales made them pay with Anscombe converting another two penalties before the end of the half.

The mostly Welsh crowd let out another cheer as Wales went into the half-time sheds with a somewhat commanding 16-6 lead. It was their game for the taking.


A familiar sight continued after the interval as Anscombe converted his fourth shot at goal. Wales were up by 13 points, but they were only just getting started.

Midfielder Nick Tompkins delivered another devastating blow with a try in the 47th minute, and another two quick penalty goals from Anscombe saw Wales lead 32-6 with 20 minutes to play.

Anscombe added another three points to his impressive individual tally by nailing a drop goal in the 69th minute. The Wallabies looked lost for answers as Wales continued to assert their dominance.

Captain Jac Morgan had the last laugh with a try in the 77th minute as Wales secured a stunning victory in front of more than 55,000 supporters.

This was Australia’s worst defeat in Rugby World Cup history. They were beaten by England 40-16 in Oita four years ago, but this loss of 34 points tops that for all the wrong reasons.


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pete 293 days ago

Firstly enormous disappointment for Australian Rugby supporters whose numbers are fast dwindling. But on a positive note RA has to accept that Australian standard of rugby is not cutting the mustard and this will force a tsunami of long overdue change. Lets reset and fix Australian rugby.

adrian 294 days ago

I am a Welshman and I have enjoyed great rivalry between Wal and Aus over many years. Whilst happy that Wales won, it made me sad that Australia has got to this position. Similar to our club structure in Wales, there needs to be a change to go forward.I hope we see you guys in gold come back strongly.

Northandsouth 294 days ago

Just had a thought: what if the English left a non-compete clause out of Eddie's termination ON PURPOSE?! #evilgenius

Chris 294 days ago

The CEO took a gamble on Eddie, went all in and now the cards have flopped with him high and dry. There will be blood I reckon. They need to fix their structures from the top down.

Michael Röbbins (academic and writer extraordinair 294 days ago

“But mate, I’m telling you this team is good enough to win the World Cup!”

Another 294 days ago

As a Kiwi, I genuinely feel bad for Australian rugby and what this demonstrates is that, post-Covid, the NH teams hold the whip hand in World Rugby right now. It is a massive turnaround from eight years ago, when the Top 4 teams in 2015 were all from the SH. If it is any consolation to Aussie fans, it is worth remembering how France conceded 60+ points to NZ in their QF match that year, while Ireland had a disappointing 2015 and 2019. Look at them now...

tom 294 days ago

Almost feel bad for Eddie, but definitely feel bad for Australia. On flip side, so excited to see a potential Fiji vs England QF

Pecos 294 days ago

Feeling aroha for Aussie fans tbh. Eddie's officially over now, I'd say. Whatever "magic" he ever had has well & truly whiffed off into thin air. His best achievements as Head Coach at RWC remain beaten finalists in 2003, & 2019. Both times he outcoached the favoured All Blacks in semis. Those days are over. Japan coach Mark II?

Leading into RWC2023, changing out Rennie (whose entire coaching staff left with him by choice) was always a Hail Mary disaster in waiting. He was clearly building for RWC. In Oct/Nov 2022, they beat Scotland & Wales, lost to Italy by 1pt, lost to Ireland by 3, & lost by 1pt v France. The campaign was injury ridden but the results & development were still tracking well for RWC2023.

I for one though thought the Eddie factor could, maybe, potentially, you never know, perhaps, blah blah blah, make a difference. It did. But backwards. Sadly, under Eddie, a record of 1 win & 7 defeats & out of RWC in pool play for the first time, is the result. We were all conned. The only way is up. Good luck Australia.

john 294 days ago

As I said last week, in a representative side if you pick your two weakest players in your squad in the two most important positions in the team, captain and 10, because they are from your home town, in this case NSW, you are going to destroy morale in the team.

And so Eddie did.

I've done my best to support Eddie but if he is going to sacrifice the Wallabies as a favour to the Tahs, then what is the point of supporting the Wallabies ? What is the point ?

B.J. Spratt 294 days ago

New Zealand Rugby Union is not the only "Union" run by old men with bad breath and dandruff. . . Australia hasn't WON the Bledisloe Cup for 21 years 2002... Eddie Jones was the coach. . .

Eddie will be off to Japan and Australia will look for another "Coach" but it won't make a lot of difference until their whole System is over hauled.

So really Australia has been slowly in "Decline" and New Zealand has been on the same path since 2015. . .

Leicester Fainga'anuku was asked, "Why are you moving to France, " I want to play against the best players in the World"

There goes the answer to Southern Hemisphere Rugby.

If you are not playing "The Best" and different "Styles of Rugby"
sooner or later you will be left behind.

France hammered the rest of the World Under 20's. . . New Zealand won 4/7?

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sean 14 minutes ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so., this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

32 Go to comments
Michael 1 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

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22 Go to comments
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