Wales Put on Genia Watch for Autumn Finale against the Wallabies; AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), November 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Wales Put on Genia Watch for Autumn Finale against the Wallabies; AUTUMN INTERNATIONALS


Byline: Andy Howell Rugby writer andy.howell@walesonline.co.uk

WILL GENIA has been pinpointed as the playmaker Wales must stop if they are to claim the big southern hemisphere scalp they crave.

The Australia scrum-half is unbeaten against Warren Gatland's Wales team, winning an incredible seven times after bursting on to the Millennium Stadium stage four years ago and orchestrating a 33-12 walloping.

That 2009 reverse was the first of an 11-match run that saw Wales fail to win at the Millennium Stadium.

The sequence came to an end with an impressive 40-6 hammering of Argentina last weekend but Australia have bounced back from defeat against England at Twickenham with Genia proving a key man during impressive victories over Italy and Ireland.

Australia have strung together eight consecutive wins over Wales - Genia missed last December's 14-12 victory through injury - and their November 30 clash in Cardiff promises to be a red-letter day for both nations.

Wales have won just once in 22 attempts - 21-18 over the Wallabies five years ago - against the southern hemisphere big three of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia since Gatland took charge at the end of 2007. During that time Wales have secured three Six Nations titles, two with Grand Slams, and reached the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, leading to people questioning why Ireland and even Scotland have better winning records against the union superpowers.

But Argentina midfield star Marcelo Bosch, who has left former Heineken Cup finalists Biarritz for Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens, reckons it's within Wales' scope to end the autumn campaign on a massive high ahead of their bid to win a third straight Six Nations title.

"Wales have a really good chance of beating Australia.

We should have won in Australia but when they came to Argentina nothing went right for us and we got a trouncing," he said.

"It's going to be a really tough game but I think Wales are capable of beating the Wallabies - if they play their best.

"Nothing less will do as we found out in Rosario.

They mustn't make mistakes and need to have a good defence.

"Against Australia it's so important to defend well near the rucks and mauls because Genia is very good at sniping to open up space for his backs and forwards.

"Defence is the key.

Wales must try and be aggressive.

As they did against us, they need to slow Australian ball down at the breakdown.

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