7th July 2013, 09:17
WALES REACH WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS
VICTORY OVER AUSTRALIA PUTS DRAGONS IN LAST FOUR OF WHEELCHAIR WORLD CUP
WALES 25 AUSTRALIA 16
A hat-trick from Jonathon Dunn was enough to send Wales into the World Cup semi-finals with a 25-16 victory, despite a late fight-back from Australia.
Wales led 10-4 at half time after tries from Dunn and Mike Knight overtook Jason Voncina’s opening effort for the Australians.
However, after captain Paul Craig was sin-binned for a late tackle, the Aussies fought back with tries from Rick Engles and Jason Attard to trail by a single point.
Nonetheless, Wales preserved as Knight added a drop-goal and Dunn completed his hat trick to close out the vital victory.
The Aussies started well as Jason Voncina swung the ball out wide to Begman for an early 4-0 advantage.
Moments later, Voncina could have doubled the lead but as he crossed and put the ball down, he had his tag taken before the ball could touch the floor.
After a brutal and hard-fought 12 minutes from both teams as they held their lines well, Dunn raced through and crashed into the far corner to level the scores.
With 10 minutes to play, Mike Knight touched down for Wales to take the lead. The Aussies protested that his tag was taken before he grounded but referee Richard Johnson awarded the try. Captain Paul Craig converted for a 10-4 advantage.
Yara Ryan thought he had brought the scores back to even with his try as he crossed unchallenged, but the referee ruled it out as Begman had his tag taken before he passed the ball on.
Wales ran the clock down as they pushed hard the sets and held on to their slender six-point advantage as they went to the lockers at the break.
Dunn extended Wales’ lead with 15 minutes gone in the second half. He collected the ball from Craig out wide and stretched low to place the ball on the line without being tagged. Craig added the extras to go up by 12 points at 16-4.
Even with a comfy lead, Wales were in trouble as they had to play with four men for the next ten minutes after Craig was sin-binned for a late tackle.
Australia made their opponents pay as the extra man Rick Engles crossed unchallenged on the wing and converted the extras to cut the deficit to six points.
Two minutes from Craig re-entering the game, Knight added another point to Wales advantage after he scored a drop-goal.
More drama unfolded as Tano Begnato came into the game and made a dive for the line but the referee ruled out a try as he grounded the ball after he was tackled.
A try from Jason Attard set up a tense finish with Begnato converting as the Aussies trailed by a single point at 17-16 with 12 minutes remaining.
However, Dunn eased Welsh fears as he landed his hat trick try with four minutes on the clock to guide Wales into the World Cup semi-finals.
1 Jason Attard
2 Tano Bagnato
3 Rhys Baxter
4 Daniel Begman
5 Craig Lannane
6 Fabian Castillo
7 Rick Engles
11 Mitch Stone
12 Jason Voncina
13 Yara Ryan
Tries: Begman, Engles, Attard
Conversions: Engles, Begnato
1 Martin Lane
2 Scott Turner
3 Mike Knight
4 Josh Dunn
5 George Hill
7 Mike Porter
9 Jonathan Dunn
12 Alan Caron
13 Paul Craig ©
Tries: Jon Dunn 3, Knight
Conversions: Craig 3