Australia survive more high-tackle controversy to brush aside Uruguay

Ben Coles
The Telegraph
Dane Haylett-Petty scores for Australia in the opening five minutes - AFP
Dane Haylett-Petty scores for Australia in the opening five minutes - AFP

An early run of high-tackle offences, and a dogged effort by Uruguay, were not enough to stop Australia from scoring seven tries in a 45-10 win in Oita, as the Wallabies strengthened their bid to make the quarter-finals ahead of their final pool fixture against Georgia.

Centre Tevita Kuridrani and wing Dane Haylett-Petty finished with a brace of tries each, and debutant Jordan Petaia impressed during his 40-minute cameo, scoring his first Test try before being tactically replaced at half-time. 

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This was a chance to let off some steam after the frustrations of last Sunday's defeat against Wales, the harshly-penalised incident involving Samu Kerevi, an unused replacement here, in particular.

The stage also felt set for Petaia to shine on his Australia debut. He is just 19 years old but already touted as one of the brightest prospects the country has had for some time.

Australia's maul, a potent weapon this year, laboured against Wales and it was a similar story here, but Uruguay ran out of numbers out wide following a bizarre moment when a clearance kick ricocheted off Kurtley Beale and almost left the full-back with a clear run-in.

<span>Referee Mathieu Raynal sends Adam Coleman to the sin bin</span> <span>Credit: REUTERS </span>
Referee Mathieu Raynal sends Adam Coleman to the sin bin Credit: REUTERS

The bounce evaded him, but Australia recycled and went wide, where Haylett-Petty was waiting to go over untouched.

Uruguay will certainly not head home when their campaign is over wondering if they could have done more. Esteban Meneses' side tested and probed here for weaknesses. Even without centre Juan Manuel Cat, so impressive against Fiji, there were some vibrant moments here in attack.

From an early phase camped in Australia's 22, they settled for three points after Nicolas Freitas, steaming in off his wing, was tackled high by Michael Hooper. That would be the first of four high-tackle offences by Australia in the opening 40 minutes.

Adam Coleman's high tackle minutes later on Uruguay full-back Rodrigo Silva saw the Wallabies lock sent to the bin.

Uruguay's breakdown work and maul defence deserved credit, but Australia always looked dangerous when the ball was move wide.

It took 23 minutes for Petaia to get a first carry in Test rugby. His second shortly after led to a try, hitting an inside line off Beale to score by the posts.

<span>Jordan Petaia spins over to score on his debut</span> <span>Credit: Getty Images AsiaPac </span>
Jordan Petaia spins over to score on his debut Credit: Getty Images AsiaPac

Beale was then lucky to stay on the field after committing Australia's third high tackle offence, with what appeared to be a far worse challenge than Coleman's on Silva, before a fourth similar infringement against Lukhan Salakaia-Loto was punished with another yellow card for the Wallabies.

No matter the numerical advantage, Uruguay were vulnerable down their right-hand side. Petaia cut inside brilliantly and set up Tevita Kuridrani for the Wallabies' third try and a 19-3 lead.

That was also the score at half-time, after Uruguay's Tomas Inciarte had a try ruled out by TMO Ben Skeen, who judged that No 8 Manuel Diana's turnover had come form an offside position.

Petaia made way at half-time, a pre-planned decision after so long out with injury, as Taniela Tupou added some instant power off the bench to the Wallabies' ball-carrying.

The bonus point soon followed, Kuridrani's line back on the angle off Lealiifano leaving Silva rooted to the spot. Then a fine solo burst from Jack Dempsey, beating three defenders, set up Will Genia to add try number five, making it 33-3.

There was a special moment to follow for James Slipper, mobbed by his team-mates after burrowing over from close range to score his first Test try on his 94th cap, before Haylett-Petty outpaced Freitas to finish in the corner for his second.

It was Uruguay who had the final say, though, battering Australia's defence from short-range over more than 20 phases and deservedly adding a try through Diana, which generated the loudest cheer of the afternoon.

Scoring sequence: 5-0 Haylett-Petty try, 7-0 Lealiifano con, 7-3 Berchesi pen, 12-3 Petaia try, 14-3 Lealiifano con, 19-3 Kuridrani try HALF-TIME 24-3 Kuridrani try, 26-3 Lealiifano con, 31-3 Genia try, 33-3 Lealiifano con, 38-3 Slipper try, 40-3 Lealiifano con, 45-3 Haylett-Petty try, 45-8 Diana try, 45-10 Berchesi con

Australia: K Beale; D Haylett-Petty, T Kuridrani, M Toomua, J Petaia (rep A Ashley-Cooper 40); C Lealiifano, N White (rep W Genia 51); J Slipper (rep S Kepu 62), F Fainga’a (rep J Uelese 62), A Alaalatoa (rep T Tupou 40), R Simmons, A Coleman, J Dempsey, M Hooper (c, rep D Pocock 51), L Salakaia-Loto
Not used: R Arnold, S Kerevi

Uruguay: R Silva (rep F Etcheverry 63); F Favaro, T Inciarte, A Vilaseca (c, rep A Della Corte 61), N Freitas; F Berchesi, A Ormaechea (rep S Arata 51); J Echeverria (rep J Jaunsolo 71), G Kessler (rep G Pujadas 69), D Arbelo (rep J Rombys 49), F Lamanna, M Leindekar (rep I Dotti 56), M Ardao, J Ormaechea (rep J Gaminara 54), M Diana

Attendance: 33,781

Referee: M Raynal (Fra)


Full-time | Australia 45 Uruguay 10

That's it. Appropriately, Uruguay force a turnover from Australia to end the game. They've been so dogged at this World Cup. 

That result leaves the table like this:

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 All eyes turn to Fiji's match against Wales on October 9.


Try, Manuel Diana! Australia 45 Uruguay 10, 77 minutes  

That's such a nice moment. After a long series of shunts at the line, Diana dots down! Berchesi converts and Uruguay are into double figures.


A fair point


Australia 45 Uruguay 3, 73 minutes 

Uruguay pile at the line in pursuit of what would be a deserved consolation...but they are held up. Their scrum has been on roller-skates this half, so they will need a big effort here.


Australia 45 Uruguay 3, 71 minutes

Uruguay have a late chance to notch a try here. They're in the corner following a penalty.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Try, Dane Haylett-Petty! Australia 45 Uruguay 3, 68 minutes

Uruguay are shattered here. Possession changes hands a couple of times as both sides struggle to control the bobbling ball.

Genia grubbers through and Haylett-Petty can collect to score. Leali'ifano cannot quite convert.


Australia 40 Uruguay 3, 65 minutes 

Uruguay earn a breakdown penalty and hit touch...but German Kessler's throw skews off the straight. Scrum to Australia.


Poor Owen...


Australia 40 Uruguay 3, 63 minutes

Slipper heads off after that score with Sekope Kepu replacing him.


Try, James Slipper! Australia 40 Uruguay 3, 61 minutes

That's a strong scrum from Australia, which earns a penalty advantage. Dempsey goes close and then Slipper comes around the corner...and scores! That's his first try on the occasion of his 94th (!) cap. Cue the celebrations:

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 Australia hit 40 with Leal'iafano's conversion.


Australia 33 Uruguay 3, 59 minutes  

Australia hit touch and maul strongly before Kuridrani cuts an incisive angle off Genia. He spins over the line but is held up.


Australia 33 Uruguay 3, 58 minutes 

A high tackle penalty...against Uruguay! This time it's Inciarte whose challenge on To'omua rides up.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Australia 33 Uruguay 3, 55 minutes

Here goes 35 year-old Adam Ashley-Cooper! He speeds past a couple of covering Uruguayans but is eventually dragged down by Federico Favaro. 


Try, Will Genia! Australia 33 Uruguay 3, 52 minutes

That didn't take long. Dane Haylett-Petty carried in midfield before a spinning Dempsey slipped a couple of tackles out wide and released an inside pass to a tracking Genia. Nice try.

Leali'ifano lines up the kick...

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 ...and lands the extra two points.


Australia 26 Uruguay 3, 50 minutes 

Kuridrani eats up ground again but Uruguay scramble well and Agustin Ormaechea's tackle on Fainga'a brings a spill. That will be the scrum-half's last action. He's coming off.

Meanwhile, Australia unleash Will Genia and David Pocock from the bench as well.


Australia 26 Uruguay 3, 48 minutes

Uruguay seem to be tiring slightly here. Jack Dempsey slips through a tackle from the restart and sprints some 50 metres up-field to the verge of the opposition 22. 

Diana knocks on in a tackle on Coleman, though, so it'll be an Australia scrum.


Try, Tevita Kuridrani! Australia 26 Uruguay 3, 46 minutes

Kuridrani has two and this one is a first-phase score. Rob Simmons delivers off-the-top lineout ball to White and Leali'ifano sends his outside centre through a gaping hole to lope 50 metres up the middle and score.


Australia 19 Uruguay 3, 42 minutes 

Taniela Tupou has been extremely prominent since arriving. He's racked up a number of charging carries. 


Australia 19 Uruguay 3, 42 minutes

A threatening period for the Wallabies ends when Nic White's pass crashes against the head of To'mua.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Second half

Two changes for Australia at half-time. Adam Ashley-Cooper is on for Jordan Petaia and Taniela Tupou is on for Allan Alaalatoa.


Expect a late Australian surge


High tackling

ITV have shown a replay of Beale's challenge on Freitas in that first half...and it really could have been a read card. A front-on, jumping tackle that saw contact from Australia's full-back to the carrier's chin. Not pretty.


More from my colleague Ben Coles

Pros for Uruguay: good at the breakdown, Freitas and Inciarte look useful when the ball gets wide, and they really won't die wondering.

But it's Australia with a three-try lead, even with their absurd number of high tackles, four in that first half. Still seems cool enough inside Oita Stadium - from the concourse you can see out to the merchandise tent, it's absolutely packed even now at half-time, a snaking queue. Got to be a good sign, surely.


Typhoon Michael incoming...


Half-time | Australia 19 Uruguay 3

A pretty frantic first half featuring two yellow cards and three tries, all the way of Australia. This has happened as well.



It looks like Tomas Inciarte has scored for Uruguay but the try is chalked off by the television match official because Uruguay number eight Diana came in at the side.

However, Coleman had come in at the side before we restart with a Uruguay penalty. Got that? Last play of the first half.


Australia 19 Uruguay 3, 37 minutes 

This image really does say a thousand words.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Match action

Jordan Petaia's Test match introduction here.


Australia 19 Uruguay 3, 33 minutes

Beale is causing carnage here. He ghosts through the middle of Uruguay's kick-chase and links with Petaia. Uruguay concede a breakdown penalty in midfield and Australia go to the corner...but Folau Fainga’a misses his jumper.


Try, Tevita Kuridrani! Australia 19 Uruguay 3, 30 minutes

That's lovely from Australia. First they escape Uruguayan pressure and then Michael Hooper forces a turnover on the floor.
The ball comes to the left, where Beale slices across the field and Petaia comes back against the grain. He slips inside a tackle and then feeds Kuridrani, who surges to the line from 40 metres.

Leali'ifano misses the conversion.


Yellow card, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto!

Another high tackle! This is just brainless from Australia. Salakaia-Loto is the latest offender and is sent to the bin.


Some start


Australia 14 Uruguay 3, 26 minutes

Coleman is back with us but Australia are in strife here. A fabulous run from Freitas down the left touchline beats three defenders. Beale's tackle is high and Los Teros go to the corner.


Try, Jordan Petaia! Australia 14 Uruguay 3, 24 minutes

That's far more composed from Australia. They head right, where an offloading To'omua links nicely with Kuridrani and then Beale, before Petaia gets a run on the left touchline.

When the ball comes back into midfield, an inside pass sees Petaia power over. Leali'ifano converts.


Australia 7 Uruguay 3, 20 minutes  

Really scrappy from Australia and Uruguay openside Juan Diego Ormaechea can feel unlucky not to win a breakdown penalty... bother, though! Uruguay pile over the subsequent scrum to win the ball against the head!


Television match official

Has Michael Hooper scored? He burst over from an inside pass from Leali'ifano and seemed certain he had scored...

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 ...but it's not give. Five-metre scrum to Australia. That was a fine tackle from Uruguay outside centre Tomas Inciarte.


Australia 7 Uruguay 3, 16 minutes 

Uruguay kick down to Beale following the penalty and the Wallabies sweep from left to right before their full-back chips over the top.

Uruguay then hoist another high ball that Haylett-Petty gathers and Uruguay ship a breakdown penalty. 


Yellow card, Adam Coleman!

Oh wow. Off the restart, Raynal is heading to the television match official for a high tackle on Uruguay full-back Rodrigo Silva by Adam Coleman.

It just looks like a seat-belt tackle...

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

...but Raynal opts for yellow.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Penalty, Felipe Berchesi! Australia 7 Uruguay 3, 12 minutes

Uruguay burst off the base with left wing Freitas arcing around. He is collared high by Michael Hooper and Los Teros opt for the posts when they knock on and come back for a penalty advantage.

Berchesi splits the uprights.




Australia 7 Uruguay 0, 9 minutes 

Now it's a close-range scrum to Uruguay. Their maul collapsed but Mathieu Raynal ruled that it was a ruck when the ball became unplayable.


Australia 7 Uruguay 0, 7 minutes

Am immediate chance for Uruguay to reply as Adam Coleman spills a carry from the restart. The Wallabies creep offside, Uruguay wing Nicolas Freitas taps and goes and Australia are not back 10. We'll have a Uruguay lineout five metres out.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Try, Dane Haylett-Petty! Australia 7 Uruguay 0, 6 minutes

It's not pretty, but eventually it is easy for Australia. Scrum-half Nic White attempts a wrap-around with Adam Coleman and the ball goes loose. It bobble around and eventually Tevita Kuridrani gathers with five metres of the Uruguay line.

The Wallabies then move the ball wide and Kurtley Beale feeds Haylett-Petty for a simple finish. Leali'ifano converts nicely from close to the right touchline.


Australia 0 Uruguay 0, 3 minutes 

Uruguay spill the lineout, which brings us a first scrum...and Australia splinter their opponents.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

Referee Raynal awards the penalty and the Wallabies put it in the corner.


Australia 0 Uruguay 0, 1 minute

A sharp start from Australia, who play off the top of the first lineout and send Matt To'omua into midfield.

They flood around the corner but Uruguay hold firm and their blindside flanker, Manuel Ardao, gets over the ball to win a penalty.


Off we go!

Christian Leali'ifano gets us started, kicking down to Uruguay number eight Manuel Diana. He takes securely and Felipe Berchesi bangs a clearance into touch.



Here's Juan Manuel Gaminara, who captained Los Teros against Fiji. He's on the bench today.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 And here's Jordan Petaia. It'll be exciting to watch him today.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV


Players ready

Here they come.

<span>Credit: ITV </span>
Credit: ITV

 Both sides in their alternate strips today, Australia's with an indigenous theme. Let's go.


As they stand

Australia will take a big step towards the quarter-finals with a bonus-point win today. 


Australian siege mentality?

<span>Credit: Getty Images AsiaPac </span>
Credit: Getty Images AsiaPac

Michael Cheika, mucking in with the warm-up here, has circled the wagons over the past couple of weeks. I just have a funny feeling that the Wallabies will hit their straps for the quarter-final.



<span>Credit: AFP </span>
Credit: AFP

 Fairly terrifying/fiercely patriotic fancy dress here.


My colleague Ben Coles in Oita

Expected more of a heated greenhouse here in Oita, based on the first half of New Zealand's win the other night being quite muggy, but despite the temperature being around 27 degrees it doesn't feel too uncomfortable.

Some moment for Jordan Petaia, the uncapped 19-year-old wing rated as one of Australia's brightest young prospects for some time. This could be a shining debut in a dangerous Australian backline.



"Not too hot" is a real bonus for those players.


Teros fans filing in

<span>Credit: AFP </span>
Credit: AFP

 They'll be loud. Just half an hour to go now.


Michael Cheika on Australia debutant Jordan Petaia

Really interesting stuff here from Cheika on the 19 year-old wing. He says that rugby union needs to fight to keep talents such as him with "other codes" - notbaly rugby league and Australian rules football - so popular and prominent.


Coin toss...

<span>Credit: World Rugby </span>
Credit: World Rugby

 Captains Michael Hooper of Australia and Andres Vilaseca, overseen by referee Mathieu Raynal, have sorted out the coin-toss. Hooper won it and the Wallabies will kick off.


If you are wondering why everyone is in pink...


This is great

Matè is a traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink (thanks Wikipedia). 

 Uruguay's Agustin Della Corte explains the importance of the drinkingritual .

"Matè is really very important for us, it is like a social tradition to share a matè. When we are traveling we have a lot of leisure time, so we like all the time to share a matè. Each one of us brings our thermos and matè [mug] but the yerba matè [the actual herb] came with the team - we brought 200 kilos.

"We thank DHL for that (laughs)." 


Revised teams

With the Wallabies tinkering, then, this is how the match-day 23s look:


15. Kurtley Beale, 14. Dane Haylett-Petty, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Matt To’omua, 11. Jordan Petaia, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Nic White; 1. James Slipper, 2. Folau Fainga’a, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 4. Rob Simmons, 5. Adam Coleman, 6. Jack Dempsey, 7. Michael Hooper (captain), 8. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto.
Replacements: 16. Jordan Uelese, 17. Sekope Kepu, 18. Taniela Tupou, 19. Rory Arnold, 20. David Pocock, 21. Will Genia, 22. Samu Kerevi, 23. Adam Ashley-Cooper.


15. Rodrigo Silva, 14. Federico Favaro, 13. Tomas Inciarte, 12. Andres Vilaseca (captain), 11. Nicolas Freitas, 10. Felipe Berchesi, 9. Agustin Ormaechea; 1. Juan Echeverria, 2. German Kessler, 3. Diego Arbelo, 4. Franco Lamanna, 5. Manuel Leindekar, 6. Manuel Ardao, 7. Juan Diego Ormaechea, 8. Manuel Diana.
Replacements: 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.


Team changes for Australia

 The shirt size aspect is a new one for me.


Good morning!

Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of this Pool D tie between Australia and Uruguay in Oita.

On the back of last Sunday’s stinging loss to Wales, Michael Cheika’s Wallabies will be desperate to respond. A win would represent a big step towards the quarter-finals.

The result against Wales in Tokyo would have been extremely tough to take because Australia did so well to claw back from 26-8 down to within a point at 26-25 behind.

Their captain, Michael Hooper, shunted over to score their third and final try. And, this week, he has admitted to feeling brutally disappointed with an eventual 29-25 loss.

<span>Justin Tipuric tackles Michael Hooper in Tokyo</span> <span>Credit: AFP </span>
Justin Tipuric tackles Michael Hooper in Tokyo Credit: AFP

“I wanted to win,” said Hooper, who stays at openside flanker for Australia this weekend, on Friday. “I really wanted to win that game. We got within one point and then we were on an attacking raid there with four minutes left.

“I still thought about a lot of those moments during the week but now we’re under 24 hours away from playing this next one. I’ve moved on totally. I’m ready for tomorrow. Bring it on.”

Uruguay’s 30-27 triumph over Fiji in Kamaishi remains one of the most uplifting, exciting afternoons of the tournament to date.

Although Georgia beat Los Teros 33-7 last Sunday, assistant coach Joaqin Pastore is confident of another strong display.

“We need to show our best performance from four years of training,” he said on Friday. “We are very happy with the effort since the start of the Rugby World Cup.

<span>Matt To'omua also featured against Uruguay back in 2015</span> <span>Credit: PA </span>
Matt To'omua also featured against Uruguay back in 2015 Credit: PA

“After the Georgia match, we have to be at the best we can, respecting our attack system and our defence. We think we are in a good place to play a good match tomorrow.”

These nations have met just once previously, back in the pool stages of Rugby World Cup 2015 when Australia prevailed 65-3.

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