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Wales 54 Uruguay 9

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New Bath Rugby signing Rhys Priestland kicked seven conversions for Wales as Warren Gatland’s men got their World Cup campaign off to a winning start against Uruguay.

With England already gaining a bonus-point following their victory over Fiji it was crucial that Wales kept pace in Pool A.

Things started slowly for the hosts at the Millennium Stadium but Wales soon found their feet as Samson Lee crashed over and a Cory Allen hat-trick all-but wrapped up the win for Wales before the break.

It was a far-from ideal start for Wales as the underdogs earned an early penalty and Felipe Berchesi put his side in front.

Uruguay had come to play and Berchesi turned over his second penalty shortly after to double his side’s advantage.  

It took a while for Wales to get going but they were on the board after 15 minutes as a driving maul saw Lee over the line and Priestland converted.

The score kicked Wales into action and they had another shortly after when Allen collected a deft Priestland chip before sliding between the posts.

Uruguay didn’t look like crossing the whitewash but Wales were giving away plenty of penalties and Berchesi added another three from the tee after 24 minutes.

With England and Australia lying in wait for Wales a bonus point was essential and they edged closer after 30 minutes as Allen finished off a lovely move for his second score.

A bread-and-butter conversion for Priestland put Wales 21-9 ahead and they extended that lead just before the break as they worked the ball out to Justin Tipuric on the left who fed Allen for his hat-trick.

The Millennium Stadium thought the fifth try had arrived on 48 minutes but Tipuric lost control of the ball before crossing the line.

They didn’t have to wait long for it to come though as Hallam Amos burst through from 15 yards out to dot down and once again Priestland remained perfect from the tee.

Uruguay had plenty to be proud of but they fell further behind just before the hour after Gareth Davies spotted a gap and darted across the line but this time Priestland was wide with the kick.

The South Americans began to tire as the match entered the closing stages and Tipuric made them pay with ten minutes remaining as a maul deep in the Uruguay 22 helped the Osprey across the line and Priestland made no mistake.

With time about up Wales put the icing on the cake after Priestland found the corner with a penalty and Davies crashed across and the former brought matters to a close with another conversion.

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