Cardiff - Australian flyhalf Bernard Foley was in imperious
form as he helped extend the Wallabies' winning streak over Wales to 12 games
with a comprehensive 32-8 victory on Saturday.
Foley exchanged an early penalty with Leigh Halfpenny before
the visitors scored three first-half tries from skipper Stephen Moore, Reece
Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani to lay the bedrock for a dominant display.
Foley himself stretched the lead early in the second period
with his own try before Scott Williams pulled one back for the home side,
seeking their first victory in an opening game of an autumn series since
beating Romania in 2002.
But the Wallabies had the last laugh when wing Dane
Haylett-Petty crossed for a fifth try after picking off a sloppy Welsh pass.
Since losing to New Zealand in the final of last year's
World Cup, Australia have endured a six-match losing streak and headed into
Saturday's match with just three Test wins in the last 11.
But the Wallabies certainly did not hold back at Cardiff's
Principality Stadium, displaying an all-encompassing attacking verve that left
Wales looking leaden-footed and totally bereft of ideas in the opening half.
Australia showcased their intent from the off, going through
phase after phase in the opening three uninterrupted minutes, which featured a
sublime Israel Folau offload and culminated in a Foley penalty to open the scoring.
Halfpenny responded immediately after Rory Arnold was caught
in possession from the restart.
But that was an extremely rare Welsh sortie into Australian
territory, with this season's Rugby Championship runners-up in full control and
Foley orchestrating waves of structured attack that had Wales on the back foot.
Spurning a kickable penalty, the Wallabies went for the
corner, and Moore crashed over from the driving maul, Foley missing the extras.
The Wallabies completely dominated possession and territory
for the next 15 minutes, Wales' defensive woes worsened when flyhalf Dan Biggar
was yellow carded for cynically holding back Haylett-Petty with the tryline
The Australian wing then spilled an inside Foley pass in the
Welsh 22m area before Halfpenny produced a try-saving tackle on Hodge as he
waltzed through Wales' line.
But it was not long before Hodge was played in, another
inside Foley pass setting Folau free. The graceful full-back sprinted into
space and with options either side, passed back into the centre for the
five-pointer, Foley again missing the conversion.
Halfpenny's second penalty attempt went wide and the
Wallabies punished the home side with a third try, Foley's delayed pass
allowing Kuridrani a clean run at the line after dummying the Welsh fullback.
Foley converted to hand the visitors a 20-3 half-time lead
and was the first name on the scoreboard in the second period, running in a try
of his own after slick hands in midfield.
Scott Williams, a late call-up for the injured Jonathan
Davies at centre, gathered his own grubber through to pull a try back for
Replacement wing Hallam Amos had a try ruled out with five
minutes to play to sum up a disappointing afternoon for a well-beaten Wales
side, whose record against the "big three" of Australia, New Zealand
and South Africa now stands at just two wins in 34 games since Warren Gatland
took charge in 2008.
Australia's victory, however, gives them the perfect start
to their bid for a first Grand Slam since 2008, with matches lined up against
Scotland, France, Ireland and England, plus a midweek match with the French