WRWC 2010- Wallaroos down Wales
Australia starting brightly and then grabbing a bonus point try with the last play of the match against Wales.
Despite conceding two second half tries, though, the Wallaroos dug deep and impressive full back Tricia Brown scored from the last play of the match to secure the four-try bonus point they had been seeking.
Wales made a bright opening, dominating the early passages and pinning the Wallaroos in their own half with some crunching tackles, but it was Australia that took the lead through wing Nicole Beck.
From lineout ball, Cobie-Jane Morgan and Brown combined for Beck to dive over in the corner, with the wing then making light of the gusty wind to add the extras from the touchline.
Only some last ditch Welsh defence denied Beck a second try after Morgan's perfectly judged chip forced Mared Evans to concede a lineout five metres from her own tryline.
It was a temporary reprieve, though, as from a subsequent scrum in front of the posts, Wales simply had no answer to the power of centre Sharni Williams, who crashed through the tackles to touch down.
Playing into the wind, Wales were being forced to run from deep, only to be repelled time and again by a wall of gold jerseys. They were undone for a third time when Brown made a great line break before feeding Morgan, who turned Rachel Taylor inside out before finishing.
But Wales were then given a boost when Wallaroos number 8 Alex Hargreaves was sin binned, and nearly capitalised on their player advantage only for Non Evans to be bundled into touch in the corner. Late Wales pressure also went unrewarded to leave the Wallaroos sitting on a healthy 21-0 half-time lead.
Healthy that was until Wales made the perfect start to the second half when their pressure from their pack resulted in the awarding of a penalty try, full back Non Evans adding the conversion from in front of the posts.
Australia may have been back up to their full complement, but Wales had the bit between their teeth and their cause was further helped when Caroline Vakalahi and Ili Batibasaga were despatched to the sin bin in quick succession.
Anywhere would do for the Wallaroos as Wales piled on the pressure, but crucially they could make no further inroads into the Australian lead before Vakalahi and Batibasaga returned to the field.
Replacement prop Lowri Harries drove over to renew hopes of a Welsh fight-back, but then at the death Brown sliced through the red shirts to ensure the Wallaroos got their World Cup campaign off to a bonus point winning start.
POST MATCH REACTION
Australia coach John Manenti: "When you haven't played for 12 months you've got to start building from somewhere and I think that gives us somewhere to start the campaign from, and once we go back and look at the vision of the game we'll see what areas we have to work on to improve going forward.
"The reality is our pool is such a difficult pool it's probably fair to say that if you don't win every game it's going to be very hard to be the next best qualifier, so we've got to put ourselves in a position where we can qualify as the first placed qualifier and that means winning every game."
Australia captain Chris Ross: "They [Wales] used the wind well, they kicked very well and we also had a bit of ill-discipline and dropped numbers, so we were battling up hill a bit in the second half, but gritted it out.
"Its building blocks; first game in over a year it was very important for us to get it under our belts, and bonus points, and then move on from.