Wallabies home-bound after Wembley win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies home-bound after Wembley win

By Darren Walton 05/12/2008 08:15:41 AM Comments (0)

The Wallabies are on their way home after signing off from their longest season-ending tour in professional rugby history with a stirring win over the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium.

The depleted Wallabies overcame serious injuries to props Matt Dunning (torn Achilles) and Sekope Kepu (torn pectoral) to post a spirited 18-11 victory in the first rugby match played at the famous venue.

"Our performance wasn't flawless by any stretch of the imagination. You could almost suggest for a stretch there we were trying to lose the game," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.

"But they found a way to win and that's an art we're working on."

The victory over the star-studded Barbarians gave the Wallabies four wins from six starts on tour, including three from five in the Tests.

They earlier beat Italy (30-20), England (28-14) and France (18-13), with their two defeats coming at the hands of New Zealand (19-14) and Wales (21-18).

"The whole experience has been great. They've all chipped in on and off the field. The dynamic has been good," Deans said.

"While obviously Hong Kong was there to be done, you could argue that we did it.

"But the fact that we're putting ourselves in that (winning) position consistently now is the most satisfying things.

"And obviously Wales, we didn't finish the Test match series the way we would have liked, but the indicators are there and that's what we'll hang on to and we'll just keep going forward and add to it.

"I think this group will go into the break with a real sense of purpose hopefully for next year."

Deans blooded 12 players in the Test arena in his first season as Wallabies coach and handed teenage backline utility James O'Connor, midfielder Quade Cooper and Kepu their first caps on the European tour.

"You go back to where we started and we've come a long way, an awful long way," Deans said.

"And we've got some players that were exposed to Test rugby this year who have essentially established themselves at that level.

"That's a credit to them because it normally takes a while."

The Wallabies arrive back in Australia on Saturday morning.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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