June International Tours

Thomas hails his under-strength troops

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Wales captain Gareth Thomas hailed his under-strength side’s belief after they slipped to an agonising last-gasp 29-23 defeat to Australia in Sydney.

Thomas, who set a new national caps record of 93 with his appearance, gave the Welsh a dream start with an early try which was soon followed by Jamie Robinson’s long-ranger after an interception.

But Wycliff Palu and Nathan Sharpe battered through the visiting defence to reduce the arrears, and Matt Giteau’s touchdown after the break coupled with Stirling Mortlock’s penalty gave the hosts the lead for the first time.

But James Hook, who had earlier missed a penalty from in front of the posts, scored a brilliant drop-goal to restore the tourists’ narrow lead with 10 minutes left, before Stephen Hoiles crossed in injury-time to clinch a heart-stopping win for the Wallabies.

“The boys came here under-rated,” Thomas told Sky Sports 2.

“It was a great game of rugby and Australia stuck it together for the full 80 minutes, and one lapse let them win the game.”

“We just believe in each other. It’s a young squad but we knew we could play.”

But Thomas denied the Australian press’s criticism of the touring party, which is without 18 regulars, had acted as a spur

“We don’t read the papers, and what they say we ignore as we know what we are capable of,” he insisted.

 

365 Digital

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