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FURY OVER DOG ATTACKS Job done for Wales Enough is; Howley pleased as Welsh seal Brumbies win in warm-up for Wallabies challenge enough.


ACT BRUMBIES 15 P: Holmes (5) WALES 25 T: Hook, Tipuric, A-W Jones. C: Hook (2). P: Hook (2) ACT BRUMBIES: Coleman, Crawford, Kuridrani, Smith, Sitauti, Holmes, Prior, Murphy, Hegarty, Sio, Power, Hand (capt), Kimlin, Faingaa, Vaea. REPS: Siliva, Pradaud, Sigg, Auelua, Mokoputo, Cox, Mogg.

WALES: Liam Williams, Robinson, Bishop, Beck, Brew, Hook, Webb, James, Hibbard, Rhodri Jones, A-W Jones (capt), Charteris, Turnbull, Tipuric, Shingler. REPS: Owens, Gill, Evans, Delve, Lloyd Williams, Priestland, Cuthbert. REFEREE: Ian Smith WALES caretaker coach Rob Howley was happy "to take the win and move on" after seeing his side beat a makeshift Brumbies outfit 25-15 in Canberra yesterday.

The game came three days after Wales lost the first Test to Australia in Brisbane and was four days before the vital second Test in Melbourne.

Howley had asked his players to give the squad some momentum and the win did just that.

"It was a job well done. To back up in the midweek after a Test game shows great spirit and character," said Howley.

"We took our chances well in the first half and were clinical. We lacked possession and territory in the second half, but we displayed the kind of defensive qualities we will need in the second Test at the weekend.

"The qualities we showed in our line speed and numbering up in defence were key in the second half. I'm delighted with the win.

"We've always said we wanted competition for places and once again the players have worn the Welsh jersey with pride and asked the coaches some questions.

Justin Tipuric was outstanding and his ability to get on the ball, or stay off it, was terrific."

Tipuric got the honour of leading the team in the second half, making him the third Wales captain on the night after Ospreys team-mates Alun-Wyn Jones and Paul James had the armband before him.

Whether or not the back-row man did enough to be considered for a start on Saturday is debatable, especially as the current Wales number seven is their captain, Sam Warburton.

But Howley and his fellow coaches will no doubt be aware that the two men used to play together in the back-row for Wales under-20, with Warburton at No8.

"We have two packs who can go head to head and it is great to have some decisions to make in selection. They will be made on Thursday," said Howley.

Brumbies head coach Jake White, who will be linking up with Wallabies coach Robbie Deans this week to offer his advice and experience in the build up to the second Test, said he was proud of his team.

"We were tested at a higher level than usual against some better players. There was a lot to be positive about in the performance."

James Hook came to Wales' rescue as he grabbed 15 points in a scrappy win over the Brumbies at Canberra Stadium.

Wales seemed to be in control at the break after scoring three tries, but the home side rallied in the second half and cut the gap to four points heading into the final quarter to test the Welsh resolve ahead of Saturday's second Test in Melbourne.

The Brumbies were without eight Wallaby squad members and, despite being the top Australian team in the Super Rugby ratings, chose to field a pretty inexperienced side. There were 10 players with fewer than 12 Super Rugby appearances in the home side's ranks.

But the locals warmed up with pictures of the Brumbies famous 69-30 win over Wales on the 1996 tour and were playing for places in the final rounds of qualifying for the Super Rugby play-offs which start the week after Wales head home.

Brumbies skipper Zac Holmes got his side off to the perfect start with a penalty after 10 minutes, but Wales managed to grab two tries in response to take firm control.

Hook, playing in his favourite position of outside half, crossed for the first and then combined with Ashley Beck to send back-row Tipuric over for the second.

Hook converted both tries, but could not hit the mark from near the touchline after skipper Alun-Wyn Jones crashed over on the hooter.

Holmes had kicked his second penalty moments earlier, leaving Wales with a 13-point interval lead.

Caretaker Wales coach Howley had called on his players to be more streetwise at the breakdown following the 27-19 first Test defeat in Brisbane, but they conceded a stream of penalties in that crucial area and were never able to regain their earlier momentum in the second half.

The Brumbies dominated territory and possession after the break and three successive Holmes penalties cut the gap to four points. It could have been even closer had he not ignored the easiest shot of the night in order to kick to touch.

Wales lost Aled Brew in the first half and then took off his replacement, Alex Cuthbert, after 63 minutes as a precautionary measure.

With North Wales native George North fighting to reach full fitness after coming off with a dead leg in the first Test, Wales could ill afford to lose try scorer Cuthbert as well.

Hook steadied the ship with two penalties in the closing 12 minutes and Wales were able to pick up their second win over the Brumbies in four outings since 1978.


Wales players (from left) Mike Phillips, George North, Sam Warburton and Harry Robinson hold a flag from Ysgol Glanrafon in Mold (top left), Alex Cuthbert lies dejected after losing to Australia (left) and Leigh Halfpenny tackles Wycliff Palu (above) Fly-half James Hook was Wales' saviour in their 25-15 win over Super Rugby side the ACT Brumbies in Canberra yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 13, 2012
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