65,000 GO DOWN UNDER COVER
The Millenium Stadium's famous sliding roof protected a crowd of 65,000 from the elements for Sunday's Friendly Rugby International against Australia.
Wales put in a convincing performance, holding the Wallabies to a 13 - 21 scoreline. Wales replacement Gavin Thomas crashed over for the only try of the game right at the death to give his side something to smile about at the end of the BT Autumn Test of Rugby.
The home side did something that England failed to do against the world champion Wallabies by crossing their line, but in the end the deadly accurate boot of Matt Burke won the day for Australia.
Burke landed seven out of nine penalty attempts to set a new record for Australia against Wales and give the world champions a much needed boost after successive defeats by England and France.
Wales took the lead after seven minutes when former rugby league star Iestyn Harris popped over a 40 metre penalty to give the vocal Welsh crowd something to shout about beneath the echoing roof.
However, as hard as Wales tried to get things moving after that, they were unable to crack a Wallaby defence that was well marshalled by BT Man of the Match Toutai Kefu.
Burke levelled matters on 15 minutes with the first of his magnificent seven kicks at goal and, by half time, his second and third efforts had edged the Wallabies infront at 9-3.
Burke extended the Australian lead with two more penalties early in the second half to hoist the visitors' lead to 15-3. Then Harris and Burke exchanged kicks to leave it at 18-6 with 15 minutes to go.
Burke's final kick put clear daylight between the two sides, but Wales never let up and played as though they had something to prove to the Welsh public.
Shortly after English referee Steve Lander was forced to issue yellow cards to warring locks Justin Harrison and Andy Moore - he sent Wallaby second row Dave Giffin to the sin-bin after only seven minutes for stamping at a ruck, Wales worked their way downfield and a quickly taken penalty by the superb Rob Howley enabled Thomas to drive over the line. That try was converted by Harris to bring the game to an end.
WALES: Try: Gavin Thomas; Con: Iestyn Harris; Pens: Iesytn Harris 2
AUSTRALIA: Pens: Matt Burke 7
WALES: K Morgan (Swansea); W Proctor (Llanelli), J Robinson (Cardiff), I Harris (Cardiff), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend); S Jones (Llanelli), R Howley (Cardiff); S John (Cardiff), R McBryde (Llanelli), D Morris (Swansea), I Gough (Newport), A Moore (Swansea), C Charvis (Swansea), B Sinkinson (Neath), S Quinnell (Llanelli, captain)
Replacements: R Williams (Cardiff) for Robinson 46; C Wyatt (Llanelli) for Gough 49; D Jones (Neath) for John 57; Gavin Thomas (Bath) for Sinkinson 62; B Williams (Neath) for McBryde 71; John for Morris 73.
Yellow Card: A Moore 80
AUSTRALIA: M Burke; B Tune, G Bond, E Flatley (S Kefu 62), J Roff (C Latham 74); S Larkham, G Gregan (captain); N Stiles, M Foley (B Cannon 73), B Darwin (R Moore 74), M Cockbain (J Harrison 67), D Giffin, O Finegan, P Waugh (G Smith 54), T Kefu.
Yellow Cards: D Giffin 7-17; J Harrison 80
REFEREE: S Lander (RFU)