Planet Rugby

Wallabies power past USA

23rd September 2011 09:17

Share:

adam ashley-cooper wallabies v usa

Hat-trick: Adam Ashley-Cooper

Australia returned to winning ways after their shock loss to Ireland at the Rugby World Cup after sweeping past the USA 67-5 in Wellington on Friday.

The Wallabies punished some weak defence from the Americans (responsible for 24 missed tackles) by running in eleven tries, with wing Adam Ashley-Cooper bagging a hat-trick.

However, the bonus-point Pool C victory could come at a major cost for the already injury-hit Australians after losing Kurtley Beale, Rob Horne, Wycliff Palu, Pat McCabe as well as Anthony Fainga'a to injury.

The USA started the match with plenty of promise, dominating proceedings with a fearless approach that caught the Wallabies by surprise. That was until Australia clipped the high-flying Eagles wings with two quick-fire tries in the 8th and 11th minutes respectively.

First Rob Horne opened the scoring after a Quade Cooper break-out saw the pivot link with Kurtley Beale who then threw a pass to his former Waratahs'team-mate on his outside for a superb try in the corner. Beale failed to add the extras.

Next over the line was ex-Wallaby skipper Rocky Elsom, who - after exposing some sloppy defence from the Americans - dotted down to hand his team a ten-point lead. Again, Beale was off-target with the conversion.

Beale's two misses didn't seem to matter though, with the crowd anticipating plenty more tries to come from the Tri-Nations champs.

However, up until the half-hour mark it was all the USA as Eddie O'Sullivan's troops marched towards Australia's tryline and set up camp. Number eight JJ Gagiano then dived over from a 5m scrum to bring out the loudest roar from the stands, who were clearly in support of the underdogs.

Eagles fly-half Nese Malifa shaved the right-hand upright with his conversion attempt, but by trailing Australia by just five points (10-5), the USA looked like they meant business. Or so we thought.

With their tails up, the USA launched another attack at the Wallabies and a second try looked to be on the cards after Kevin Swiryn broke clear, only for the winger to lose possession in the tackle. Elsom counter-attacked close to his own line, before unleashing Adam Ashley-Cooper on his outside who bounced off another weak tackle before passing inside to the supporting Beale for a length-of-the-field try.

Cooper took over the kicking duties and was successful from bang in front. From then on in, the Wallabies took the game by the scruff of its neck and - as expected - began to pile on the points with centre Fainga'a going over for Australia's bonus-point try before half-time.

Cooper added to Australia's first-half kicking woes (four tries, three missed conversions) and the 22-5 scoreline at the break gave the Eagles a wee bit of respectability.

It wouldn't last though, as the fired-up Wallabies started the second half in the same fashion they ended the first, after Drew Mitchell marked his return to Test rugby with a well-worked try.

McCabe proved to be a worthy replacement for Horne when he followed suit with Australia's sixth touchdown. The seventh, eighth and ninth tries deservedly came through Ashley-Cooper in a devastating six-minute spell.

Firstly the winger showed his pace to score on the outside, he then made the most of turnover ball to stroll in before completing his hat-trick as he supported a superb breakaway.

With Beale nursing an injury off the field, Berrick Barnes took his chance to impress with both hands - setting up McCabe as well as Ashley-Cooper while showing coach Robbie Deans he could be Australia's answer with the tee after knocking over four of his five conversions.

With the Americans fading badly Faingaa added to his tally as he slid over in the corner - and things got worse for the minnows as Blaine Scully was sin-binned.

Replacement number eight Radiko Samo scored Australia's final try two minutes from time before Faingaa copped a knee in the head in the last tackle of the game.

Man of the match: Count them... one, two, three - it has to be Adam Ashley-Cooper, who proved to be a threat with ball in hand throughout when he wasn't crossing the whitewash.

Moment of the match: Rocky Elsom's counter-attacking run that ended in Kurtley Beale's try proved to be the beginning of the end for the Americans.

Villain of the match: A yellow card to USA full-back Blaine Scully was the only mishap in an otherwise incident-free spectacle.

The scorers:

For Australia:
Tries: Horne, Elsom, Beale, Fainga'a 2, Mitchell, McCabe, Ashley-Cooper 3, Samo
Cons: Cooper 2, Barnes 4

For USA:
Tries: Gagiano

Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Rob Horne, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia (c), 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Ben McCalman, 6 Rocky Elsom, 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Sekope Kepu, 18 Dan Vickerman, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Pat McCabe.

USA: 15 Blaine Scully, 14 Colin Hawley, 13 Tai Enosa, 12 Junior Sifa, 11 Kevin Swiryn, 10 Nese Malifa, 9 Tim Usasz (c), 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Pat Danahy, 6 Inaki Basauri, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Scott LaValla, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Brian McClenahan, 17 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 18 Louis Stanfill, 19 Nic Johnson, 20 Mike Petri, 21 Roland Suniula, 22 Chris Wyles.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Auckland 32 - 7 North Harbour
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26