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Ryan Jones

Wales v Australia (43)

Swansea - Since the World Cup pools were drawn however many months ago, both Wales and Australia put a pin in 15 September 2007, identifying it as the day when the four-year cycle of building for a World Cup would end.

It would end because it was the day when there would be no more excuses: no more blooding young players, no more trying new combinations and no more considering a loss as anything but failure. It would be time to deliver –
and here we are.

It’s no secret that both teams consider the outcome of the game crucial to their progression in the competition with both coveting a quarter-final berth against England or even Samoa, assuming the Springboks come through Friday’s encounter with the English unscathed.

Wales have every reason to be confident if recent clashes between the teams at the Millennium Stadium are anything to go by. In the last two games with the Wallabies we have come away with a win and a draw in a match we should also have won.

Indeed, Australia’s coach John Connolly has opened up in the press this week about how unfair the IRB have been in awarding Wales a ‘home tie’ during a World Cup supposedly being hosted by France. He insists that the Millennium Stadium factor will hand Wales a considerable advantage. All I can say is 'let’s hope so John, let’s hope so!'

There has been much made of Gareth’s selection for the game but relentless debate on the issue from now until kick-off is futile. Each of the 30 players that make up are there on merit and the squad, whichever 15 had been chosen to run out onto the field on Saturday, will not let anybody down.

Gareth also has the added luxury of seven replacements who each have the ability to come on and have a significant impact on the course of the game - the importance of which was clearly evident against Canada.

What the boys need now is the support of a nation to carry them through because, believe me, it can make all the difference. So for the 70-odd thousand of you lucky enough to be there on Saturday, let's shout, cheer and
sing them over the line! Good luck boys, you can do it!

On a lighter note, I enjoyed hearing about Dwayne Peel’s new room-mate during the week. Top marks to Mark Jones for the prank of the World Cup so far! I just hope his sheep back home don’t find out he has been frolicking with what’s on offer in France!

Finau Maka of Tonga

Full marks also go to the Americans and the Tongans who, following my call for a better set of hair-dos than those in the Welsh squad in a previous blog, battled it out this week sporting an array of the most outrageous barnets a World Cup has ever seen. Overall prize I think goes to the Tongans for now though and it’ll take something quite bizarre to wrestle it from them!

Let’s hope for another enthralling weekend of matches and most of all a Welsh win! Keep looking out for my comments here on the BBC.

Ciao for now.

Ryan Jones plays number eight for Wales but misses the World Cup through injury.


Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 04:10 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Robert Wilson wrote:

Should have been a neutral venue, but, NO the French used their "persuasive" charm to say vote for us and we'll give you a home match. Hope the the aussies win mind you, will be a good "Serves you right" towards the welsh.

  • 2.
  • At 04:30 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Celfyn wrote:

Wonder why no one is complaining about playing the french at home?

  • 3.
  • At 04:39 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • rugbylegend wrote:

Speaking As A Welsh Supprter, I Feel that the Aussies have been slightly hard done by as we have got to play at the Millenium Stadium, however........

The comment above looks like the Aussies are looking an excuse if the Welsh show what they can really do and win. Good luck to both sides, but Wales to win by 10 points i think!

Ah, with the very first comment, we descend straight into childish side-swipes at other nations. Ho hum...

Personally I'm hoping fervently that Wales will win, being Welsh and all. But I'm also looking forward to what should be a fantastic and entertaining game of rugby, whoever wins. Bring it on.

  • 5.
  • At 04:46 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • joe davies wrote:

I wonder if the English had any home matches in the 1999 world cup? My memory recalls the following results for England at Twickenham (during the WELSH World Cup) - 67-7 v Italy, 16-30 v NZ, 101-10 v Tonga and 45-24 v Fiji. Was Robert Wilson complaining then? My guess if the Fiji game had been played in (say) Swansea then England would not have progressed to the quarter finals, though it is all speculation. Fingers crossed for Wales.

  • 6.
  • At 04:58 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • oulala wrote:

"Serves you right" towards the welsh.

Why does it serve the welsh right? I am sure if any country was given the oppotunity of playing in their home stadium for some games they would jump on it.

  • 7.
  • At 05:08 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • oulala wrote:

"Serves you right" towards the welsh.

Why does it serve the welsh right? I am sure if any country was given the oppotunity of playing in their home stadium for some games they would jump on it.

  • 8.
  • At 05:18 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Ben Sinclair wrote:

Maybe it should have been a neutral venue, but the fact is its not, and because of it, Wales have a big opportunity to top the group giving them a very winnable quarter.
I hope the fans get behind the team and maybe the lads can even hit "grand-slam form!" come on boys

  • 9.
  • At 05:19 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Ben Sinclair wrote:

Maybe it should have been a neutral venue, but the fact is its not, and because of it, Wales have a big opportunity to top the group giving them a very winnable quarter.
I hope the fans get behind the team and maybe the lads can even hit "grand-slam form!" come on boys

  • 10.
  • At 05:30 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Ben Sinclair wrote:

Maybe it should have been a neutral venue, but the fact is its not, and because of it, Wales have a big opportunity to top the group giving them a very winnable quarter.
I hope the fans get behind the team and maybe the lads can even hit "grand-slam form!" come on boys

  • 11.
  • At 05:31 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

To be honest, given the support the Home Nations fans have given their teams, even if Wales played the Aussies in France it would still be 95% Welsh in the crowd. The Aussies love to moan - its part of the whole mind games thing they like to play.

Good luck to Wales (my team), and good luck to England too - I'd sooner see a Northern Hemisphere side win than a Southern Hemisphere side!

I wonder if I'm going to have lots of people shouting at me now I've wished the English well....?

  • 12.
  • At 05:38 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • mike wrote:

don't recall this being billed by the RWC as the "Coup de Monde with a little bit of welsh and scottish thrown in" - had thought that France won the bid to host it!!

only the irish not being confident at the time of getting Croke Park available meant they missed out the party.

just hope when 2015 event gets decided that England going it alone.

hpoing for a welsh win as still fancy England v wales in quarter final presents a better route to the final!!

  • 13.
  • At 05:41 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

To be honest, given the support the Home Nations fans have given their teams, even if Wales played the Aussies in France it would still be 95% Welsh in the crowd. The Aussies love to moan - its part of the whole mind games thing they like to play.

Good luck to Wales (my team), and good luck to England too - I'd sooner see a Northern Hemisphere side win than a Southern Hemisphere side!

I wonder if I'm going to have lots of people shouting at me now I've wished the English well....?

  • 14.
  • At 05:46 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

Does anyone know what pre-match events there'll be in Cardiff tomorrow? I went down earlier today, expecting to see big screens, a mass of Aussie jerseys and some evidence of preparations for the match, but couldn't find any. Certainly a different experience to Nantes last week. Will there be a screen in St Mary's Street or Coopers field or somewhere, so that we can chill out with a few bevskis and watch the All Blacks game before the big event?

  • 15.
  • At 05:56 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • rollo wrote:

Cant see how the Aussies can complain about the venue. If memory serves me right, they lost the 2003RWC final on their own home turf to a side playing 12000 miles from home.....

If ever there was a case when home advantage should have been made to count surely that was it?

  • 16.
  • At 06:00 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • rollo wrote:

Cant see how the Aussies can complain about the venue. If memory serves me right, they lost the 2003RWC final on their own home turf to a side playing 12000 miles from home.....

If ever there was a case when home advantage should have been made to count surely that was it?

  • 17.
  • At 06:28 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • tony rees wrote:

Just wondered that if england were to beat South Africa tonight and maybe top the group ,what would be the game plan agaist Australia tomorrow
Just a thought thats all.

  • 18.
  • At 06:45 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

How soon they forget. In the first World Cup held in NZ (I think in 1987) internal rugby politics resulted in Australia being given a home semi-final game in Concord Sydney. They played France and got beaten and begrudgingly had to go to Rotorua NZ for the 3rd v 4th play-off against Wales which they lost. (And I was there)Their pathetic whinge then was that they thought it was a long way to travel for a game that meant nothing.
If whinging was a sport, Aussie would win hands down. COME ON WALES

  • 19.
  • At 08:19 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Anonymous wrote:

wales r going 2 win

  • 20.
  • At 09:42 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • John Hamilton wrote:

However odd the choice,I agree with others that we should not whinge about the venue, but if we lose we can still look forward to hot days and blue skies here in Oz for at least the next 7 months - can the residents of Cardiff say the same??!!

BTW Sorry to hear Foot & Mouth is back - a real bummer for your farmers

  • 21.
  • At 10:33 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Sychedig wrote:

Can the residents of Cardiff say the same?
Probably not. We'll just enjoy the green fields and regular rain and leave you to ponder the effects of severe climate change and regular droughts. Better go buy your water butt!

  • 22.
  • At 11:10 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • I Matthew wrote:

Bad luck England 36-0
Batter luck next time, Robinson is a real trooper.
Sir Gareth Jenkins OBE. Bring It On!

  • 23.
  • At 11:20 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Gareth Mottram wrote:

Ah well, yup I regarde the Cardiff matches as paybabck for letting the other 5n( as was) teams have some home matches back in 1999.
A top team will moan and look for any psychological advantage they can get but to win they have to turn up!
Let's hope for a good clean, well reffed (walsh I'm looking at you here!) game.

Fortunately the foot an mouth hasn't made it to Wales ywt, but it is a downer!
Cardiff NEVER has 7 consecutive months of blue skies, just the price you pay for such an amazing country, the weather isn't too hot, and the neighbours can be hard work. But all in all it's pretty good.

  • 24.
  • At 11:27 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

Yeah, the weather is ok here in Oz, only problem with this place is too many Aussies .....the whinging is pathetic - THANK GOODNESS THERE ARE SOME TAFFS LIVING DOWNUNDER

GO WALES

  • 25.
  • At 11:46 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

I normally just read these boards to get a laugh or two! And once again I am rewarded!

Australia are whingers!! We would never be that bold to take away such an esteemed mantle and position from the English and Welsh!

Keep trying boys! Firstly the Welsh (who I once considered not too bad opponents!)do not and will not ever have the sporting pedigree Australia has.
And of course the English. Well if ever a nation has shown that you win a World Cup and then go on to do nothing positive with a sport! Yes Sport is important to Aussies and its something we are proud of. We get excited and enthusiastic. Proof being that there is Kids all over Australia excited about sport( not too mention the health benefits)and we always will have new and upcoming stars of the future. Too bad the Welsh and English can't say the same thing and are reduced to only recall past games and call us whingers!

  • 26.
  • At 11:54 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Jimmy2 feathers wrote:

You Welsh guys are a joke! Just read some of the comments re the venue for Aust v Wales......of course its an unfair advantage for wales! If my memory serves me right the 2007 WRC is in France not Wales. So why does Wales get to play a home game and not two neutral teams at this venue. I think any team playing a WC game on the oppositions turf when its not their WC would be a annoyed!

Comon the Wallabies!!!

  • 27.
  • At 11:57 PM on 14 Sep 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

I normally just read these boards to get a laugh or two! And once again I am rewarded!

Australia are whingers!! We would never be that bold to take away such an esteemed mantle and position from the English and Welsh!

Keep trying boys! Firstly the Welsh (who I once considered not too bad opponents!)do not and will not ever have the sporting pedigree Australia has.
And of course the English. Well if ever a nation has shown that you win a World Cup and then go on to do nothing positive with a sport! Yes Sport is important to Aussies and its something we are proud of. We get excited and enthusiastic. Proof being that there is Kids all over Australia excited about sport( not too mention the health benefits)and we always will have new and upcoming stars of the future. Too bad the Welsh and English can't say the same thing and are reduced to only recall past games and call us whingers!

  • 28.
  • At 12:12 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Kevin wrote:

Why are you so positive. Aussies are not the same team you beat and remember they let you off the hook in the draw. This time there is only one possible outcome. AUSSIES WILL RULE!

  • 29.
  • At 01:00 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Seamus wrote:

"If whinging was a sport, Aussie would win hands down. COME ON WALES" by Rich

I see the usual sour grapes when Australia plays lets wait and see who wins before you start to knock the aussies at least they get on with the game and come home proud , remember England they all had to get to Lords or what ever they do in England by the Queen and look at them now in the dust one game wonders at least the Aussies are stayers lost the odd game but overall they Win Win Win

  • 30.
  • At 01:02 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • John wrote:

Australia have been completely underrated and ignored this RWC as the northern press have been focussing on NZ, S.A and Argentina.

The Wallabies have been on the up all year (after a 3 year slump in form) and are the only side to bowl over the All Blacks this year.

N.Z are for mine the only team that stand between Australia and the cup.

Based on Wales' 'showing' against Canada this will be another 30 point game, another 'clash of the titans' along the lines of England v. S.A this morning.

  • 31.
  • At 07:26 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Sean wrote:

typical...
actually i never thought the welsh would succumb to the same lows as the english and start a "aussies are whiners" maybe it's just a typo and they meant "aussies are winers"
overall brits (excluding scotts and irish) are a bunch of sad whiners (no typo here)
you only can dream of having the sporting performance and history that aussies enjoy.
Australia will win that is a fact.
The 2003 RWC was a SNAFU in sporting history, nothing more.
It's good to see that england are showing their true form this time around. we can enjoy some real rugby and not a drop goal test.
The UK can never compete with Australia in any way, sporting or otherwise.
We have a better country, better people, better food, better athletes.
hey... UK folk... go have a steak , if you can... and pray that you will still be arund in 10 years or so.
GFYS

  • 32.
  • At 08:15 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Becky wrote:

Sean

Your post was horrible. Since when has a debate about a rugby match warranted such unnecessary criticism of a country I doubt you have bothered to even visit.

It is is irrelevant whether you think you have a 'better country, better people etc'. A true rugby fan would not need to lower himself to make wide sweeping (and totally unwarranted) generalisations - instead they should be looking forward to all the rugby world cup games with relish, as I am. It is important to have rivalries and competition in such a great sport, but not at the expense of showing respect for other people and their lives.

I am of the opinion that Aussies have a point about having to play in cardiff - it probably isnt fair. However, should they have the sporting pedigree you have so wilfully boasted of, there isnt anything to worry about is there?

To joke about 'having a steak' to my mind is sick - if this country is really as bad as you have said, shouldnt you show a bit of compassion for those whose livelihoods may be at risk? As you so clearly think that your life, country, personality et al is so perfect, then how can you be so selfish as to not want to share some of your good fortune?!

I am a welsh fan - by the way - and all I hope for today is that I get to see a fantastic game of rugby.(although a win would be lovely too!)

  • 33.
  • At 08:25 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Aussies whiners? Their rugby coaches are traditional whiners, so why shouldn't their players follow suit!? They even complained about Kapo O Pango and the 'throat-slitting' gesture, without actually understanding what they were complaining about....

Wales & Scotland both got games for the RWC because they voted for France to host RWC2007. Wales hosted games during the English RWC91, and the Wales RWC99 games were spread across England, France, Ireland and Scotland. So what is any different to this RWC? Australia didn't seem to complain in 1991 - was that because they were less concerned about the opposition at the time?

As for 2015....can we have it in Japan or Argentina, rather than the usual cycle of 6N and 3N countries?

  • 34.
  • At 08:46 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • sean wrote:

compassion .... for england.... no i don't think so.

while living in england during the Sydney Olympics i saw an article on BBC were the commentator was criticizing Australia's sport orientated lifestyle. the english like to dish out criticism but hate to hear it. Get your country in order people.

my previous post might be harsh, but when it comes to england .... well what can I say...
nothing nice actually.

england's track record in sports is abysmal and the sooner they realize this and become more civilized the better.

36 - 0

  • 35.
  • At 09:02 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Charlie wrote:

Knew the Welsh would come out with some drivel! It must be from all that close proximity to the English!

Go and eat some more leeks!!

GO WALLABIES!!

  • 36.
  • At 09:57 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • osian wrote:

Odd why haven't england been given home games by France! HA! 36-0! Defending Champions? Defending what? Certainly not their reputation. Who cares if Wales win today, the fact that england has lost feels almost like a win anyway! If we win it will be the icing on the cake.

To further reinforce my point that no one likes the english:
"Knew the Welsh would come out with some drivel! It must be from all that close proximity to the English!"
"my previous post might be harsh, but when it comes to england .... well what can I say...
nothing nice actually."
etc.


  • 37.
  • At 10:22 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • Caitlin wrote:

At the end of the day, Sean you need to decide who you are bashing. England and Wales are different countries, so please try and keep them separate.

It's people like you and Charlie that ruin sports. People that throw a tantrum like a petulant child when something doesn't go their way.

It is unfair that Wales get to play at home, there is no denying that, but surely if Australia are as superior as you claim there should be no issue.

In my heart of hearts I want Wales to be successful in this tournament, but if I have to listen to comments like 'Ah, the Wallabies would have won it if they'd played at their stadium' then I'd rather they win today and just be done with it

FYI: Rugby is a Mans sport....Lets all try and act like it hey?

  • 38.
  • At 11:35 AM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • sean wrote:

yeah sure... people like us ruin the sport, don't make me laugh.

england supporters ruin the sport, and that's a fact.

may the best team win tonight.

  • 39.
  • At 06:26 PM on 15 Sep 2007,
  • sean wrote:

and the best team won

This is a venue for discussion of the Wales V Australia game, not a masterclass in Antipodean obnoxiousness. I applaud Becky's measured and eloquent response, a stark contrast to some bitter, borderline-racist half-wits who feel compelled to "contribute" to the discussion.

I realise that it's important to provide a balanced discussion but isn't the purpose of moderation to weed out such moronic comments?

  • 41.
  • At 12:26 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Vapour wrote:

I have to say that this was another boring game, in fact one has to feel sorry for the Australia team as they needed medication to keep them awake, such was the weak nature and play we saw from Wales. I cannot believe that this is the best the Northern Hemisphere teams have to offer, who knows perhaps its a tactical move, one can only hope.
Perhaps the Irish will show the way, as it seems France have a serious bout of stage fright.

  • 42.
  • At 04:54 PM on 16 Sep 2007,
  • Trev wrote:


Dear oh dear. Sean, put a sock in it mate, this is the sort of stuff that gives aussies a bad name (and yes i am one). Stick to talking about the Rugby and cut out the jingoistic crap!

I dont think it was a boring game; some quality rugby in there and i think the aussies are looking good if they can get past NZ. Where are the northern hemisphere teams if Wales are one of the stronger ones? Be interesting to see how Ireland perform.

  • 43.
  • At 02:27 PM on 17 Sep 2007,
  • Chris Hollett wrote:

What a shame some xenophobic australians feel the need to come here and criticise everything Welsh because 22 better men than them from their country beat us in a rugby match.

Says it all about them and their ability to interact with civilised people doesn't it?

The marginally better team won. That's all. It says nothing about the sueriority or otherwise of either country.

It's a shame some players needed to attempt to end a fellow professional's career in a spiteful revenge attack, but sadly, it's not surprising when you realise which team it was.

Wales will not bow down. Wales will not cave in. It may be years or even decades before our time at the top comes again. But it will come.

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