Australia 45-10 Uruguay: Wallabies move top of Pool D with bonus-point win

Jordan Petaia
Jordan Petaia scored a try on his debut for Australia
2019 Rugby World Cup Pool D: Australia v Uruguay
Australia (19) 45
Tries: Haylett-Petty 2, Petaia, Kuridrani 2, Genia, Slipper Cons: Lealiifano 5
Uruguay (3) 10
Try: Diana Con: Berchesi Pen: Berchesi

Australia recovered from defeat by Wales to beat Uruguay 45-10 on Saturday and move top of World Cup Pool D.

The Wallabies lost an enthralling clash 29-25 to Warren Gatland's side in Tokyo last week, having also suffered a scare in their opening win over Fiji.

First-half sin-bins for Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto contributed to another sloppy start before Australia hit their straps in Oita.

Teenage wing Jordan Petaia was among the scorers with a try on his debut.

Dane Haylett-Petty and Tevita Kuridrani also crossed in the first half and Kuridrani added his second after the break to make sure Australia earned a bonus point.

Will Genia and James Slipper - who scored his first international try in his 94th Test for Australia - also touched down and Haylett-Petty crossed for his second of the match, before Manuel Diana scored a consolation try for Uruguay.

"I thought we were just a little bit off the pace at the start and that's three times now," said Australia coach Michael Cheika.

"I'll have to get my pre-match speech a little bit better. We were reading the first half nicely but it looked like we were just a click away. And then we got the pace up in the second half."

Australia run in seven tries

Australia have not suffered successive defeats at a World Cup since losing to France and Wales in 1987 and you could have got odds of 200-1 for Uruguay to pull off a shock in Oita.

But it was a stuttering start from Cheika's side, who trailed at half-time in both their opening two pool matches at this tournament and played 20 of the opening 40 minutes against Uruguay with 14 men after sin-bins for Coleman and Salakaia-Loto.

Uruguay won turnover ball off the first Australia attack but a poor line-out handed the Wallabies good field position and the ball was swiftly moved through hands for Haylett-Petty to walk in the opening try on the right after six minutes.

Felipe Berchesi kicked a penalty to close the gap but, after Coleman was yellow-carded for a high tackle, 19-year-old Petaia came off his wing to power over for a debut Test try and then showed sharp hands to tee up Kuridrani for Australia's third.

Tomas Inciarte did cross in the corner for Uruguay, only for the Television Match Official to spot an earlier offside infringement.

From there it was one-way traffic. Kuridrani hit a clever line to accelerate away for his second before experienced scrum-half Will Genia came off the bench to collect Jack Dempsey's offload for his 19th international try.

Prop Slipper was warmly congratulated by the entire Australia side after he powered over from close range and Haylett-Petty dived in for his second of the match.

Uruguay were rewarded for a spirited display as they went through the phases and number eight Diana forced his way over two minutes from time.

Much to ponder for Cheika

Australia coach Cheika claimed last week that authorities are "spooking" referees and that he was "embarrassed" by some decisions in his side's defeat by Wales.

Wallabies winger Reece Hodge is already serving a three-match ban after being cited for a high tackle in their opening 39-21 win over Fiji, and ill-discipline was a feature again against Uruguay.

Second row Coleman had only been back on the pitch for three minutes before number eight Salakaia-Loto was himself sent to the sin-bin as Australia clocked up 12 penalties.

"We're just giving away too many penalties, full stop, no matter what it's for," said Cheika."You can't be winning the game by 45 and still losing the penalty count."

The Wallabies top the pool having played a game more than Wales, who still have to face Fiji and Uruguay, but such penalty counts and numerical disadvantages could cost them against better sides in the knockout stages.

A potential quarter-final against England awaits the two-time champions, should Australia finish a likely second in their group and Eddie Jones' side top Pool C.

Australia complete their pool-stage fixtures against Georgia on Friday.

Uruguay, who shocked Fiji in their opening game of the tournament, complete their campaign against Wales next Sunday.

Pool D

Teams

Australia: Beale; Haylett-Petty, Kuridrani, To'omua, Petaia; Lealiifano, White; Slipper, Fainga'a, Alaalatoa, Simmons, Coleman, Salakaia-Loto, Hooper, Dempsey.

Replacements: Uelese, Kepu, Tupou, Arnold, Pocock, Genia, Kerevi, Ashley-Cooper.

Uruguay: Silva, Favaro, Inciarte, Vilaseca, Freitas, Berchesi, A Ormaechea; Echeverria, Kessler, Arbelo, Lamanna, Leindekar, Ardao, JD Ormaechea, Diana.

Replacements: Pujadas, Jaunsolo, Rombys, Dotti, Gaminara, Arata, Etcheverry, Della Corte.

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