Wallabies overwhelm Wales 32-8 to begin grand slam tour
Australia began its latest attempt at a grand slam of the home unions by humiliating Wales 328 yesterday, with flyhalf Bernard Foley scoring one of the team's five tries in a superb individual display.
Battle-hardened from the Rugby Championship, the Wallabies were too slick and incisive for Wales at Millennium Stadium, especially during a first half that finished 20-3 and should have been much worse for the hosts.
The Welsh have lost 12 straight tests against Australia stretching back to 2009. And this wasn't one of the narrow defeats that have plagued Wales in many recent meetings.
Captain Stephen Moore finished off a rolling maul for Australia's first try, inside center Reece Hodge exchanged passes with Israel Folau before racing clear, and outside center Tevita Kuridrani took Foley's miss-pass and dummied his way over as the Welsh defense was pierced at will in the first half. Australia had 95 percent territory in the first 20 minutes.
Foley sprinted 30 meters after a well-worked move to get the try his all-round performance deserved in the 55th, although his kicking statistics — three successes from six attempts — let him down.
Many in the quiet crowd of 55,700 were already leaving before Dane Haylett-Petty's interception try in the 76th completed the misery for the Welsh and made up for the winger's firsthalf fumble, following Foley's break and pass, when the try-line was at his mercy.
Wales threatened only in the last 20 minutes, with center Scott Williams — a late injury replacement for Jonathan Davies — kicking through and collecting the ball himself to ground in the 62nd for the only try for the home team, which missed the experience of absent forwards Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau.
Scrumhalf Rhys Webb was carried off in the second half with his right leg in a brace after falling awkwardly on his ankle.
It has been a disappointing year for the Australians since reaching the Rugby World Cup final at the end of 2015, having lost seven of their previous 10 matches. This result, however, will send a message to the rest of the home unions facing them in its end-ofseason tour of Europe.
The Wallabies play Scotland, France, Ireland, and England on successive Saturdays, and are looking to complete a first grand slam since 1984.
Australia made 646 meters compared to 265 by the Welsh.
"We didn't get our hands on the ball in the first half," said Wales captain Gethin Jenkins, who played his 132nd test that tied him for fourth place in the alltime list of test caps.