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Wallabies grand slam a reality, say Wales

AAP logoAAP 5/11/2016 Joe Barton

The Wallabies have ticked off the first step towards a rare grand slam, with Bernard Foley sparking a crisp attacking display as Australia extended a 12-game winning streak over Wales with a 32-8 victory.

First-half tries to captain Stephen Moore and centres Tevita Kuridrani and Reece Hodge underlined Australia's dominant opening 40 minutes, before man-of-the-match Foley capped a 12-point performance with a runaway second-half try and Dane Haylett-Petty chipped in with a late intercept.

It was a display of attacking rugby at Millennium Stadium which coach Michael Cheika insists of his players, and should embolden their hopes of a grand slam sweep.

Certainly Wales coach Rob Howley believes a grand slam is within reach for Cheika's men - should they be able to repeat a dominant first half in which they were on top in every statistic, including the scoreboard where the held a 20-3 advantage.

After 20 minutes, the Wallabies had enjoyed 95 per cent territory, 80 per cent of possession and had run the ball for 191 metres to Wales' 12.

"If they play as well as they did in that first half, of course," Howley said when asked of Australia's grand slam prospects.

"They're a very potent attacking weapon. They have a big, physical pack.

"If you look at the contact area... they were clearing rucks very effectively which made the speed of ball pretty quick.

"They have some great lines in attack and we struggled with some of those lines today."

Cheika was less eager to talk up Australia's prospects of going undefeated on the Spring Tour, refusing to look further than next week's clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.

He did, however, ease concerns over the fitness of David Pocock, who was lost to concussion at halftime.

Pocock briefly appeared unsteady on his feet late in the first half and was ruled out by the match doctor on video evidence.

"I got a spray from him at halftime because he didn't want to come off," said Cheika.

Foley sparked Australia's attack with subtle ballplay and line-running, and kicked three from six for a personal haul of 12 points.

Australia continued to strangle Wales out of the game in the second half despite losing Pocock.

The home side was caught off guard when a midfield turnover quickly became a try when Foley scampered 40 metres following quick passes by locks Rory Arnold and Adam Coleman.

The Cardiff crowd found their voice when centre Scott Williams regathered a grubber to score in the 62nd minute, but they were unable to engineer a comeback as Australia's defence held firm before Haylett-Petty sealed the win with a 60m intercept in the final minutes.

Waratahs hooker Tolu Latu joined the action with three minutes to go to become Australia's 12th debutant this year.

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