Toyota City - Wales coach Warren Gatland praised a "clinical" four-try first-half which proved his "battered and sore" team's bedrock for a comfortable 43-14 victory over Georgia in their Rugby World Cup opener on Monday.

The Welsh raced out to a 29-0 half-time lead in Toyota City before a raft of replacements and a slippery ball saw Georgia battle back in the second period during which each side scored two converted tries apiece.

"We've been watching the games over the last few days and the boys were itching to get out there," Gatland said.

"I was really pleased with that first-half performance, it was really clinical.

"In the second-half we lost a bit of continuity, making subs and trying to keep players as fresh as possible for the coming games."

Gatland admitted it had been "strange" taking to the field without long-time assistant Rob Howley, sent home after allegations of breaches of betting rules.

Howley has been replaced by ex-Wales skipper Stephen Jones, who was due to take over the post of attack coach after the World Cup under the incoming head coach Wayne Pivac, with Gatland stepping down after 12 years in charge.

"Stephen's come in, has got to know the plays in our playbook, and it was pleasing that we executed a number of set-piece opportunities," Gatland said, with two tries scored directly from a scrum and line-out respectively.

Wales now face a six-day turnaround before taking on Australia, 39-21 winners over Fiji in their opener, in Tokyo on Sunday.

"We can take a lot of confidence into that," Gatland said. "Australia are going to be tough, it's going to be a big game."

Georgia coach Milton Haig, in his position for the past eight years, was full of praise for his team's second-half showing, but lamented his team's lack of experience against Tier One opposition.

"Regardless of the result today, if Georgia wants to progress in the quality of their rugby, a competition like the Six Nations is vital," said Haig, like Gatland, a New Zealander.

"You can't play a team like Wales in the World Cup and expect miracles."

Haig added: "Georgia needs to have four matches a year against Tier One nations. I'm constantly beating this drum. I've voiced my opinion to World Rugby several times. Are we getting any change? I'm not sure.

"There'll be more visits by Tier One nations to Georgia next year, but whether that's enough, I'm not sure."

Turning to the match in Toyota, Haig said mistakes had proven costly in the opening 40 minutes.

"Wales are a really good team that identify some of your weaknesses," he said.

"They sent some big boys down our 10 channel and scored some points. They're a pretty complete team."

Haig added: "We've worked pretty hard over the last four months. The work we've done has meant we stayed competitive throughout the match."