The Wallabies sent Nathan Sharpe out on a high as Kurtley Beale scored a last minute try to crush the hopes of a win for the Welsh fans at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. The 14-12 win added to Wallaby tour victories over England and Italy.
Wales looked on track to pick up their first win of the Autumn Internationals – and end their six-match losing streak – as they led 12-9 after four penalty kicks from fullback Leigh Halfpenny. Kurtley Beale kicked three penalties of his own though, and scored the dramatic late try.
“What better way to finish a game for a great man, our skipper who is retiring. Very relieved. Very happy. It was a true Test match. It was great to be part of it,” Beale said.
“Full credit to Wales. They threw everything at us. But we always knew if we put in the effort for the full 80 minutes we could get the rewards and we were lucky to get it tonight.”
After a lenthy delay to attend to Halfpenny, who was injured in the lead up to the try, lock Nathan Sharpe attempted the conversion in his 116th and final Test for his country. He came up short despite being on target, but was naturally very pleased with the win.
“Momentum in games goes one way and then the other. If you stick in games you never know what’s going to happen,” said Sharpe post match.
Wales captain Sam Warburton said that it was the most heartbreaking loss of his career.
“It’s probably the hardest defeat I ever had to take as a player. It’s absolutely gutting. It was heartbreaking to see Kurtley Beale go for the line and you knew that was it basically. It felt like today was the day we were definitely going to do it,” he said.
Halfpenny is okay and has been released from hospital after being checked out following neck pain.