Australia come through in the closing stages to beat Wales
Last Updated: 08/11/14 4:56pm
Wales' agonising wait for a win over Australia goes on after the Wallabies fought back in the closing stages to secure a 33-28 triumph in Cardiff.
Warren Gatland's side looked to be on course for a first success over southern hemisphere opponents since 2008, and their first over the Wallabies in 10 attempts, when they were 28-27 in front with seven minutes to play at the Millennium Stadium.
However Bernard Foley pushed Australia back ahead with a drop goal and then sealed the result with a late penalty, giving the fly-half a personal haul of 18 points in the battle between two pool rivals in next year's World Cup.
Wales will once again feel the result slipped from their grasp; they scored four tries to their opponents' three, the first of which came in the third minute as they made an explosive start under the closed roof.
Clever link work between Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny set up an opportunity for skipper Sam Warburton, who made inroads, before Rhys Webb foxed Australia's defence with a neat dummy.
Halfpenny added the conversion but Australia quickly found their rhythm and they prospered from quick possession as skipper Michael Hooper smashed through Biggar's attempted tackle and set up Israel Folau for the first of his two tries.
There was more to come from the rugby league convert, as he intercepted Webb's pass intended for wing Liam Williams and sprinted 80 metres to claim a gift touchdown that Foley again converted.
Wales could have gone into their shell after such a setback, yet they produced an exhilarating response and were level within four minutes after George North - playing in the centres - broke clear from 60 metres out and sent winger Alex Cuthbert in.
Tevita Kuridrani bisected a weak joint effort from Jones and Cuthbert to touch down between the posts for Australia, but the scores were level at 21 apiece at the break thanks to a try from Alun-Wyn Jones.
Having lost Halfpenny through injury, meaning a reshuffle in the backs, Wales were dealt a double blow when Biggar limped off soon after a Foley penalty early in the second half.
A further Foley penalty stretched Australia's advantage to six points, but Gatland used his bench cleverly by sending on prop Gethin Jenkins and hooker Scott Baldwin.
Australia could not cope with a series of scrums in the shadow of their own posts, forcing referee Craig Joubert to award a penalty try when the Wallabies collapsed yet again, sub Rhys Priestland's conversion putting Wales in front with 15 minutes to play.
Foley, though, would shatter Wales' hopes as he kept his cool in a gripping finish to a pulsating Test.
The No 10 dropped a goal to shift the momentum in his side's favour and then gave them a little breathing room with another penalty, allowing Australia to successfully close out the game and start their tour on a winning note.