Wallabies romp past President’s XV squad

by David Larking

The Australian Wallabies rugby union team ended a credible effort by the President’s XV — a selection of Japanese and international players — at Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday, with the world champions running out winners 64-13.

The 10 try to one romp was a good reflection of the latter stages of the game, when the Australian combinations began to gel after some sloppy first-half play.

The opening term, however, was a different story as the new-look Australian team — minus nine players from the World Cup-winning squad — struggled for cohesion after a lengthy break.

Scoring opened in the sixth minute when President’s XV captain Stephen Miln slotted a penalty from one of the 28 infringements New Zealand referee Paul Honiss found in the Australians’ play.

The Wallabies were ahead at the break 14-6 after a late try by Jeremy Paul — the first of two for the Australian forward.

The hosts came out fired up for the second half and looked likely to score, but the Australian steamroller snapped into gear midway through the second half and the world champions racked up a point a minute as the combinations began to gel.

The hosts temporarily stemmed the tide after taking a quick tap from a penalty near the Australian line, spreading it wide and taking advantage of an overlap for Andrew Plastow to score in the corner.

After the game, Rod MacQueen said the Australian performance was to be expected after the long layoff.

“I’d be wrong to say that we were disappointed because we did expect to have some cobwebs in the team,” he said. President’s XV captain Miln said he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Up until 55 minutes or 60 minutes we made a go of it, but after that we just ran out of steam,” he said.

“I think they’ll go well (in Europe against France, Scotland and England). They’ll get pushed, but I think they’ll come through with their three wins.”