Welsh wing legend Shane Williams capped a stellar Test career with a last-minute try against Australia, but it was not enough as the Red Dragons went down 24-18 at the Millenium Stadium on Saturday.
The Wallabies turned on the class in the second half, scoring three tries in a ten minute blitz while Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny was in the sin bin that put the game beyond the home team's grasp after a tense first half.
Wales had taken a 6-3 lead into the half-time break but the dangerous Wallabies backline killed the game as a contest when Will Genia, Lachie Turner and Berrick Barnes all scored in relatively quick succession to take the gloss off Williams' last Test match.
However, the nippy magician managed to conjure up a fairytale ending when he dived over in the right corner to bring the big Cardiff crowd to their feet once more. It was his 58th try in 87 Test matches and it brought a fitting end to international rugby action in 2011.
Man of the match: Wallabies inside centre Berrick Barnes showcased what he offers his team as an extra playmaker. He took the ball at first reciever often, and mixed some incisive running with shrewd tactical kicking in an impressive performance.
Moment of the match: It has to be Williams' last ever try for his country. The little wizard has scored more tries for Wales than anyone else and he finished things in style by getting over the whitewash in the dying stages of the match.
Villain of the match: Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny cost his team by getting a yellow card at the worst possible time. The Wallabies scored their three tries while he was off the field and his team were never really in the contest after that.
Tries: Priestland, Williams
Pens: Priestland 2
Tries: Genia, Turner, Barnes
Cons: O'Connor 3
Yellow card: Leigh Halfpenny (49th minute, foul play)
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Ryan Jones, 19 Justin Tipuric, 20 Tavis Knoyle, 21 Dan Biggar, 22 Alex Cuthbert.
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Lachie Turner, 13 Anthony Fainga'a, 12 Berrick Barnes, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Higginbotham, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 Ben Alexander, 18 Nathan Sharpe, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Ben Lucas, 21 Ben Tapuai, 22 Nick Phipps.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Dave Pearson, Jérôme Garces
TMO: Geoff Warren
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