Wales defeated Australia 29-25 in a Pool D match at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo on September 29. Wales had a 23-8 lead at the break and survived the Wallabies second-half comeback.
Australia will face Uruguay next on Saturday, 5 October, while Wales meets Fiji on Wednesday, 9 October.
Wales created turnover ball after the opening kick and 34 seconds into the match Dan Biggar slotted a drop goal for a 3-0 lead. A penalty by Australia then led to an unsuccessful penalty goal by Biggar.
Following a high tackle on Alun Wyn Jones, a Biggar cross-kick was gathered in the air by Hadleigh Parkes for a try in the right corner. Biggar slotted the conversion for a 10-0 lead. Several minutes later an attempted drop goal by Biggar was just wide.
A TMO was requested by the referee and showed Michael Hooper leading with his shoulder on a late hit on Biggar. Wales kicked to touch and Australia stole the lineout. A strong run by Samu Kerevi had Australia with a penalty advantage. Bernard Foley executed a cross-kick to Adam Ashley-Cooper for a try to cut the lead to 10-5.
A Biggar tackle on Kerevi to dislodge the ball had Biggar leaving the pitch for an HIA. Rhys Patchell replaced him at fly-half. Wales was penalized on the play with Bernard Foley slotting the kick to cut the lead to 10-8.
Rhys Patchell would add two penalty goals to push the lead to 16-8 and Gareth Davies intercepted Will Genia pass and raced over 50 meters for a try with Patchell converting for a 23-8 lead at the break.
Wales struck first with a drop goal by Rhys Patchell to push the lead to 26-8.
The Wallabies answered back with a break by replacement fly-half Matt To’omua and an offload to Koroibete. David Pocock offloaded to Dane Haylett-Petty resulted in a try, which was then converted by To’omua to cut the lead to 23-13.
Australia attacked again with Kerevi reaching within 6-meters of in-goal. After 13 phases, Kerevi lost the ball forward allowing Wales to clear.
The Wallabies continued to control both possession and territory during the second half. After 11 phases from close range, Michael Hooper added a try to cut the lead to 26-22 after To’omua slotted the conversion.
To’omua then cut the lead to 26-25 with a penalty goal and several minutes later, Rhys Patchell answered back for a 29-25 lead.
During the closing minutes, the Wallabies attacked deep, but a handling error had Wales surviving the assault and claiming the win.
Captain Alun Wyn Jones earned 130th cap for Wales and scrumhalf Gareth Davies was awarded Player of the Match honors. Davies had 9 carries, gained 112 meters, beat 3 defenders, had 2 clean breaks and scored 1 try.
The Wallabies were sparked during the second half with a stellar performance by Matt To’omua.
Squads & Match Preview
Australia: 1 Scott Sio 2 Tolu Latu 3 Allan Alaalatoa 4 Izack Rodda 5 Rory Arnold 6 David Pocock 7 Michael Hooper (capt.) 8 Isi Naisarani 9 Will Genia 10 Bernard Foley 11 Marika Koroibete 12 Samu Kerevi 13 James O’Connor 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper 15 Dane Haylett-Petty 16 Jordan Uelese 17 James Slipper 18 Sekope Kepu 19 Adam Coleman 20 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 21 Nic White 22 Matt To’omua 23 Kurtley Beale
Wales: 1 Wyn Jones 2 Ken Owens 3 Tom Frances 4 Jake Ball 5 Alun Wyn Jones 6 Aaron Wainwright 7 Justin Tipuric 8 Josh Navidi 9 Gareth Davies 10 Dan Biggar 11 Josh Adams 12 Hadleigh Parkes 13 Jonathan Davies 14 George North 15 Liam Williams 16 Elliot Dee 17 Nicky Smith 18 Dillon Lewis 19 Aaron Shingler 20 Ross Moriarty 21 Tomos Williams 22 Rhys Patchell 23 Owen Watkin