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Australia extend winning run over Wales

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Australia captain Stephen Moore bags the first try

Dominant Australia claimed their 12th consecutive win over Wales at a shocked and subdued Principality Stadium.

The Wallabies blew the lethargic hosts off the field in a one-sided first half when tries by Stephen Moore, Reece Hodge and Tevita Kuridrani opened a 20-3 lead.

Bernard Foley’s try put the game beyond Wales.

A Welsh flurry, in which Scott Williams scored, was snuffed out when Dane Haylett-Petty crossed for a fifth try.

Wales, whose last win against Australia was in 2008, have now lost their past five Tests.

The Wallabies, meanwhile, made a perfect start to a Grand Slam tour that also includes matches against Scotland, France, Ireland and England.

And the scoreline could have been even more lop-sided as Australia butchered a number of try-scoring chances and fly-half Foley, outstanding in every other facet of his game, missed three conversions.

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Scott Williams scores Wales’ only try of the match

Rob Howley, in charge of Wales in the absence of British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland, has to regroup before the visit of Argentina in a week.

Another worry for Wales was a serious-looking ankle injury suffered by scrum-half Rhys Webb in the second half.

Where it was lost and won

Australia dominated possession, and with Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau missing, Wales were unable to slow down the speed of delivery.

Foley’s distribution and tactical kicking kept Wales guessing in defence, and it took serious scrambling defence to keep the scoreline in check.

Wales managed a good spell after the hour when Williams – a late call-up for the injured Jonathan Davies – scored an opportunist try, and then replacement Hallam Amos was denied in the corner by a superb tackle by Nick Frisby.

But the home side looked blunt in attack compared with their opponents.

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Tevita Kuridrani scores the third try for Australia

Early worries

Australia started like a team in serious pursuit of a northern hemisphere Grand Slam and had Moore’s try from a lineout rumble on the scoreboard by the time Dan Biggar was shown a yellow card for an early tackle on Haylett-Petty.

A combination of desperate defence and ham-fisted Australian handling at key moments meant Wales did not concede during the fly-half’s absence.

But within a minute of his return, Hodge claimed his first international try after a superb backs move, and when Kuridrani dummied over for his try, the half-time score better reflected the Wallabies’ dominance.

There was no coming back from that for Wales against a team that had lost seven of their previous 10 matches this year.

Man of the match

Bernard Foley. With space and time there is little this little man cannot do with a rugby ball. And he had lots of space and time.

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Bernard Foley scores the fourth Australian try against Wales

What’s next

Wales face Argentina on 12 November, while Australia travel to Scotland.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Scott Williams, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Ken Owens, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, James King, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Hallam Amos.

Australia: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Tevita Kuridrania, Reece Hodge, Henry Speight, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (capt), Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Lopeti Timani.

Replacements Tolu Latu, James Slipper, Allan Alaalatoa, Rob Simmons, Scott Fardy, Nick Frisby, Quade Cooper, Sefa Naivalu

Referee: Craig Joubert (RSA)

Touch judges: Jerome Garces (FRA) Federico Anselmi (ARG)

TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRE)

Citing commissioner: Mike Rafter (England)

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Scrum-half Rhys Webb is taken off the pitch after suffering an injury

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Wales fly-half Dan Biggar spent a spell in the sin-bin during the first half after receiving a yellow card

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Try scorers Stephen Moore and Reece Hodge combine to tackle Jamie Roberts

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Wales replacement Hallam Amos was denied a try by the touchline.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/37873837