Cardiff - Australia recorded their 13th straight victory over Wales on Saturday, sealing a 29-21 success in an enthralling contest at Principality Stadium.
As it happened: Wales v Australia
Tatafu Polota-Nau, Adam Coleman, captain Michael Hooper and full-back
Kurtley Beale crossed for the Wallabies with flyhalf Bernard Foley
kicking three conversions and Reece Hodge a long-distance penalty.
Wales’ tries came courtesy of Scarlets winger Steffan Evans and
replacement Dragons paceman Hallam Amos, while Leigh Halfpenny kicked 11
"We just hung in there today," Australia coach Michael Cheika told
"Wales played really well and were on the front foot from the
first minute. We defended really well under difficult circumstances.
"The guys were up for it, they stopped a lot of short-range efforts
from Wales but our winning mentality helped us hang in there."
Wales' Warren Gatland added: "As the game went on we got stronger and
if Kurtley Beale had not scored that freakish try, there was a good
chance we could have gone on and won the game.
"Against a side of that quality you have to be more clinical. We are
disappointed with the result but we tend to get stronger as a team as we
To their credit Wales had the crowd on their feet for the majority of
the game with their decision to implement a more expansive style of
rugby resulting in an entertaining spectacle.
But the usual off-shoot of high risk rugby is more errors, with Gatland's men guilty of numerous handling errors.
They also struggled to effectively stop Australia’s ball carriers,
the Wallabies able to cross the gain line far too easily and dominate
Wales made a strong start when Halfpenny slotted a penalty from 30 metres after the Wallabies were deemed to be offside.
But the home side's opening points forced the visitors into action,
Polota-Nau crossing for their first try. The Leicester-bound hooker
found himself at the bottom of a powerful Australian driving lineout
which the home side were unable to stop.
Wales hit straight back when Scarlets winger Evans crossed for his third try in as many Tests.
The score came after his regional team-mate Gareth Davies made a sniping break from his own half following a scrappy lineout.
The ball was then recycled going through the hands of Dan Biggar,
Owen Williams and Jonathan Davies before Halfpenny put Evans over in the
It didn’t take long for Cheika’s side to hit back when giant lock
Coleman crossed from short range. The build-up to the try saw Foley put
in a neat cross-kick which was well covered by Halfpenny, but the ball
was recycled and Will Genia was able to put the second row over.
Hodge and Halfpenny exchanged penalties, before Australian captain
Hooper crossed for a simple try on the stroke of half time meaning
Cheika’s men turned around 22-13 up.
Wales started the second half strongly, keeping hold of the ball far
more effectively than in the first period. Their pressure was rewarded
with three points from the boot of Halfpenny as he cut the deficit to
just six points.
Wales continued to press with pocket dynamo Evans causing mayhem in the Australian ranks with his pace and electric footwork.
But again Wales’ ambition was to be their undoing when fullback
Beale ripped the ball from the hands of Evans to race in unopposed from
50 metres out to knock the stuffing out of the hosts.
Wales did have some reward for their pressure when Hooper was sent to
the sin bin after he was judged to have entered a ruck from the side.
With the flanker missing, the Welsh scrum was able to gain the upper
hand shoving the Wallabies back at a rate of knots.
But despite that, Wales could not turn pressure into points with
captain Alun Wyn Jones coming close when he knocked the ball forward
over the try line.
The hosts did at least get a consolation try when Amos crossed in the
left-hand corner following a perfectly weighted Jonathan Davies
grubber, but it was all too little too late.
15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
Substitutes: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Owen Watkin, 23 Hallam Amos
15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Tom Robertson, 18 Allan Alaalatoa, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Karmichael Hunt, 23 Henry Speight