CARDIFF (Reuters): Australia overcame a sluggish start to beat Wales 24-18 in a one-off test at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
The Wallabies produced a strong second-half showing to again defeat Warren Gatland’s side, six weeks after their victory in their World Cup third-place playoff in October.
Wales winger Shane Williams, his country’s all-time record try scorer, took his tally to 58 with a last-gasp touchdown on his 87th and final appearance before international retirement but it was an otherwise disjointed display from the hosts.
Wales led 6-3 at the break but the game quickly changed after fullback Leigh Halfpenny was sin-binned nine minutes after the restart.
Australia took the game by the scruff of the neck as Will Genia, Lachie Turner and Berrick Barnes crossed for quick scores to subdue a home crowd hoping to give Williams a winning send off.
Rhys Priestland crossed for a first Welsh try but the Wallabies, who thrashed the Barbarians 60-11 at Twickenham last week, held firm until Williams raised the roof when he burst through in the final seconds.