First-half tries by forwards Tatafu Polota-Nau, Aidan Coleman and captain Michael Hooper underpinned Australia’s win as they warmed up impressively for a Twickenham appointment with England next Saturday.
Wales had their moments in attack – wing Steff Evans scored an impressive try and substitute Hallam Amos claimed a late consolation score – but defensive hesitancy was punished by an Australian side high on confidence following their downing of world champions New Zealand three weeks ago.
Full-back Kurtley Beale added a 62nd-minute breakaway try for the Wallabies, with fly-half Bernard Foley kicking three conversions and wing Reece Hodge booted a long-range penalty. while Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked three penalties and a conversion.
Handling errors also let Wales down at crucial moments, yet given the absence of four injured British and Irish Lions – Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb and George North – head coach Warren Gatland will be encouraged by his team’s attacking intent.
The selection of two midfield playmakers in Dan Biggar and Owen Williams, and the subsequent shift of tactical emphasis, worked more often than not, but Wales were far more stressed in defence, and Australia did not require a second invitation to capitalise as they made it nine years unbeaten against their hosts.
And there was a potential major injury blow for Wales on the stroke of full-time when their star Lions centre Jonathan Davies was helped off injured.
Jonathan Davies had to be taken off with an injury (Getty)
Australia made the initial running, dominating possession and territory, but Wales had a half-chance in the sixth minute when Liam Williams charged down Hodge’s attempted clearance before the ball bounced safely into Foley’s hands and he cleared from inside his 22.
Wales went ahead through a Halfpenny penalty three…