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Wallabies edge out Wales
Wales lost their first Test against Australia 27-19, despite a spirited second-half fightback in Brisbane.
Alex Cuthbert crossed for a try and Leigh Halfpenny kicked 14 points as the Six Nations champions threatened to pull off an historic win.
But it was not enough to recover from early scores by Rob Higginbotham and Will Genia before Pat McCabe crossed to snuff out the Welsh recovery.
Australia took an early grip on the game when Berrick Barnes opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a penalty after Wales prop Adam Jones was penalised for not rolling away at the tackle.
The Wallabies extended their lead when a series of drives from their forwards resulted in Higginbotham crashing over for his first Test try. Barnes converted and Australia led 10-0 after 16 minutes.
Halfpenny finally got Wales off the mark in the 23rd minute but they suffered a blow six minutes later when George North was forced off due to a leg injury, with Halfpenny switching to the left wing and James Hook introduced at full-back.
Barnes had the chance to extend Australia's 10-3 lead before half-time, but hit the post with his effort. However, Genia needed less than a minute of the second half to grab the Wallabies' second try.
Australia burst forward from the kick-off and the Queensland scrum-half darted between two Welsh players and past Hook to touch down under the posts, handing Barnes a simple conversion. Halfpenny landed two penalties for Wales, while Barnes responded with a 50th-minute drop-goal.
Ashley Beck came on for his first Wales cap and was immediately involved in creating their first try. Hook and Rhys Priestland shipped the ball to Beck who flicked possession to Cuthbert and the wing finished in style for his fourth Test try. Halfpenny converted and added an excellent penalty from out wide to cut the deficit to 20-19.
Wales were eyeing a remarkable turnaround, but Australia showed their clinical edge when they needed it most. Genia was the creator, picking his pass to McCabe who crashed over after 67 minutes. Barnes converted and Australia were able to hold on for a morale-boosting win following their defeat to Scotland earlier this week.