The Wallabies took full advantage of Welsh indiscipline to claim a 24-18 win in Cardiff.
The hosts led 6-3 after 48 minutes but were reduced to 14 men when fullback Leigh Halfpenny was sent to the sin bin for a late tackle on James O’Connor, who had looked certain to score. Referee Jonathan Kaplan could perhaps have awarded a penalty try but it didn’t matter as Will Genia took a quick tap and after several phases the scrumhalf scored.
The Wallabies struck twice more while Halfpenny was off the field. O’Connor, starting his first Test at flyhalf, put Lachie Turner away for a try with an excellent double-skip pass. Five minutes later, Wales coughed up possession in midfield, Turner hacked the ball ahead, and Radike Samo gave the try-scoring pass to Berrick Barnes.
Wales hit back with a try from Rhys Priestland and another from Shane Williams in the final move of the game that nearly lifted the roof off the stadium. But the Welsh winger will be bitterly disappointed that his 87th and final Test ended with defeat.
If the second half of this match was absorbing then the first was entirely forgettable, with both sides making lots of handing errors and getting slow ruck ball.
The closest anyone came to scoring a try was when Adam Ashley-Cooper sliced through the Welsh defence and found David Pocock. The ball was quickly recycled to Barnes, who kicked into the corner for Turner. The winger appeared to have scored despite being tackled by Williams, but the TMO correctly ruled that he had gone into touch before grounding the ball.