|Wales (13) 21|
|Tries: S Evans, Amos Cons: Halfpenny Pens: Halfpenny (3)|
|Australia (22) 29|
|Tries: Polota-Nau, Coleman, Hooper, Beale Cons: Foley (3) Pens: Hodge|
Wales lost against Australia for the 13th game in succession as Michael Cheika’s Wallabies proved too streetwise for Warren Gatland’s men.
The experiment of a more attacking game was undone by a high error count as Australia scored four tries to two.
Tatafu Polota-Nau, Adam Coleman, Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale claimed touchdowns for the Wallabies.
Wales scored tries through Steff Evans and a late effort from Hallam Amos at the Principality Stadium.
Injuries to Scarlets wing Evans and Lions centre Jonathan Davies – in the final move of the match – added to Wales’ misery.
The home side were in touch until the hour mark, but were undone by Beale’s opportunistic breakaway try.
Wales attempted the new attacking philosophy they had promised but lacked the accuracy and clinical skills of Australia, who took full advantage of the attacking opportunities when they arose.
Wales turned over possession three times from restarts in the opening 40 minutes and on every occasion the Wallabies came away with points.
Beale steals the key try
The visitors were well marshalled by half-backs Will Genia and Bernard Foley, with the fly-half converting three of their tries.
After conceding a sucker try on the stroke of half-time to trail 22-13 at half-time, Wales dominated the early period of the second half but could not break through a wall of green and gold.
Then Beale ripped the ball from Evans as Wales attacked and ran clear to score between the posts with a crucial try that gave the visitors a significant cushion.
A yellow card for Hooper gave Wales a late window of opportunity and eventually replacement wing Amos crossed wide on the left with the clock about to run out.
From the restart, Davies went down in a tackle and appeared to be in a lot of pain as Glen Jackson blew the final whistle.
Southern hoodoo continues
Their shocking record against the Wallabies is part of Wales’ well-versed difficulties against the “big three” from the southern hemisphere.
Since Gatland took over as head coach in 2008 they have now played 36 games against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and have won only three.
With the All Blacks and Springboks still to come this autumn, Wales do not have to wait long for another crack at trying to improve that success rate.
Georgia are Wales’ opponents next Saturday though, fresh from their 54-22 win over Canada, while Australia are heading for Twickenham to face Eddie Jones’ side.
Man of the match
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “I thought we were much better in the second-half. The players spoke at half-time and after the game that we allowed Australia opportunity from us being inaccurate in our exit plays and we put ourselves under pressure.
“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 go on
Australia head coach Michael Cheika said: “It’s such a great place to play rugby – the crowd, the stadium and the history. It makes you want to play footie.
“We just hung in there today. 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: Halfpenny; Williams, J Davies, O Williams, S Evans; Biggar, G Davies; R Evans, Owens, Francis, Ball, A Wyn Jones (c), Shingler, Navidi, Faletau.
Replacements: Dacey, N Smith, Brown, Hill, Cross, A Davies, Watkin, Amos.
Australia: Beale; Koroibete, Kuridrani, Kerevi, Hodge; Foley, Genia; Sio, Polota-Nau, Kepu, Simmons, Coleman, Hanigan, Hooper (c), McMahon.
Replacements: Moore, Robertson, Alaalatoa, Philip, McCalman, Phipps, Hunt, Speight.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) & Ian Tempest (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England).