Sherlock Holmes And The Mystery Of Wales v Australia

From Sydney to Swansea, or Canberra to Cardiff, Wales and Australia are not just at opposite ends of the planet geographically, they appear to be at opposite ends of so many things.

Australia wear gold shirts epitomising a bright warm climate, a young country full of hope, optimism and derring-do.

Wales inhabit the scarlet blood-red garb, a dark hue reflecting historic struggles and bloodshed, a country that has had to withstand invaders, battle for recognition from its near neighbour, and indeed the world at large.

Next Saturday in Cardiff Gold meets Red on the field of dreams.

Wales will be dreaming of a first victory over the Wallabies since 2008, having lost the last thirteen matches against them.

As history reminds us, Wales have gone oh so close, in 2012 Wales and Australia met three times, the Aussies won all three, two tests were lost by a two point margin, and one by a solitary point.

To make matters worse, Wales were leading in all three games until a Mike Harris penalty (8omins) a Kurtley Beale try (80+1 mins) and a Berrick Barnes penalty (75mins) decided the outcomes.

It remains to be seen whether Warren Gatland’s men can turn dreams into reality in a fixture that was once so rare, but had now become as regular an autumn event as Beaujolais nouveau day and Bonfire night.

The mystery of thirteen successive defeats against the green and gold, would baffle even the great Sherlock Holmes, but maybe the key lies with his arch-enemy.

When Wales defeated Australia at the Arms Park in 1981 (18-13) one of the try scorers was named Moriarty (Richard), incidentally Wales scrum half that day was Holmes (Terry).

At the 1987 Rugby World Cup, when Wales beat Australia 22-21 in the third place play off, one of the try scorers that day was also named Moriarty (Paul).

It must therefore seems elementary to suggest that all Wales have to do is pick yet another Moriarty (Ross), to face the Wallabies on Saturday.

If the case was that simple, but sadly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be writing the script for this one.

As appears to be the case at virtually every Rugby World Cup, Wales are in the same Pool as Australia in  Japan 2019, there is no doubt a win for the men in the blood-red shirts would be a huge psychological boost.

As Sherlock Holmes once said “There is nothing more stimulating than a case where everything goes against you “, after thirteen straight defeats Wales will be hoping that “A study in Scarlet” will prove to be the perfect bed time reading come Saturday night.


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