Rugby Union
Hat-trick of tries gives Australia victory
Wales' Shane Williams waves goodbye to international rugby career with a late try but it is not enough to avoid defeat.
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2011 17:09
Shane Williams leaves international scene with a fairwell try [GALLO/GETTY] 

Australia overcame a sluggish start to beat Wales 24-18 in a one-off test at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.

The Wallabies produced a strong second-half showing to again defeat Warren Gatland's side, six weeks after their victory in their World Cup third-place playoff in October.

Wales winger Shane Williams, his country's all-time record try scorer, took his tally to 58 with a last-gasp touchdown on his 87th and final appearance before international retirement but it was an otherwise disjointed display from the hosts.

"Sorry we couldn't win but this is a great Australia side," a tearful Williams told the Cardiff crowd.

"It's meant everything to me. Growing up, you want to play for Wales and I've had the best time of my life."

Wales led 6-3 at the break but the game quickly changed after fullback Leigh Halfpenny was sin-binned nine minutes after the restart.

"It's meant everything to me. Growing up, you want to play for Wales and I've had the best time of my life"

Wales winger Shane Williams

Australia took the game by the scruff scoring three tries in 10 second-half minutes. 

Will Genia, Lachie Turner and Berrick Barnes crossed for quick scores to subdue a home crowd hoping to give Williams a winning send off.

Rhys Priestland crossed for a first Welsh try but the Wallabies, who thrashed the Barbarians 60-11 at Twickenham last week, held firm until Williams raised the roof when he burst through in the final seconds. The diminutive winger slipped the tackle of Barnes to glide over and ground with a forward roll.

"I didn't see the overlap, I just saw the line and went for the try," said Williams, the third top international tryscorer of all time.

"I am going to miss it. I've enjoyed every moment, the ups and the downs, and I just want to say thank you to all the supporters."

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