Wallabies start Joe Schmidt reign with a 25-16 win over Wales

Filipo Daugunu scored Australia's second try
Filipo Daugunu scored Australia's second try
©Steve Haag

Australia 25-16 Wales, Sydney

Australia started Joe Schmidt's reign with a 25-16 victory over Wales in the opening game of the series in Sydney on Saturday.

Taniela Tupou scored the first half try while Filipo Daugunu and skipper Tom Wright touched down in the second half as the Wallabies now have handed Wales their eighth successive defeat in international rugby as they now slip to the 11th position in the World Rugby Rankings.

A no-arms tackle from James Slipper provided Wales with early opportunity as Ben Thomas kicked a penalty goal to start the proceedings but soon the scores were levelled by the 7th minute as Noah Lolesio kicked a three-pointer of his own following a dangerous tackle from Liam Williams on Andrew Kellaway.

Lolesio kicked another penalty goal in the 15th minute to put the Wallabies in front but the start of the second quarter saw Tupou barged over after series of pick and drives and Wales were down to 14 players with Gareth Thomas sin-binned for repeated offsides.

The momentum once again shifted towards Wales as Fraser McReight was yellow carded for collapsing the maul that also resulted in a penalty try for the visitors making it 13-10 by the end of the opening half.

The start of the second half saw Wallabies pinged for not rolling away and Thomas kicked a three-pointer to level the scores before the home side hit back in the 52nd minute when an outside pass from Daugunu allowed Kellaway to touchdown but the conversion drifted wide making it 18-13.

Wales managed to narrow down the gap to two points when Thomas kicked a three-pointer of his own but the decisive moment came in the 69th minute as skipper Wright stepped aside Tompkins and Mason Grady to score as Schmidt's men completed a nine point victory.

Team line up:

Australia: Wright; Kellaway, Flook, Paisami, Daugunu; Lolesio, J Gordon: Slipper, Faessler, Tupou, J Williams, Salakaia-Loto, Wright (capt), McReight, Valetini.

Reserves: Pollard, Kailea, Alaalatoa, Blyth, Cale, McDermott, T Lynagh, Pietsch.

Wales: L Williams; Hathaway, Watkin, Grady, Dyer; B Thomas, Bevan; G Thomas, Lake (capt), Griffin, Tshiunza, D Jenkins, Plumtree, Reffell, Wainwright.

Reserves: E Lloyd, Mathias, H O'Connor, Hill, Botham, Hardy, Costelow, Tompkins.