Wales win but hat-trick hero ruled out

Date published: September 20 2015

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Wales will be sweating over the fitness of Liam Williams while Cory Allen was ruled out of the World Cup after their 54-9 win over Uruguay on Sunday.

Again injuries have soured the Welsh day as full-back Williams and centre Allen both limped off with respective issues. Williams' however did not seem too serious as he fought with the medical staff to remain on the field. It's not an ideal situation though with a crunch match against England ahead next weekend.

Following the biggest shock in World Cup history on Saturday in Brighton, Wales would have been advised to rein in any thoughts of a procession.

Uruguay, maybe buoyed by that Japan performance, were courageous in defence and for large parts frustrated a Welsh side looking to start well.

Positives though will come in the form of Samson Lee's try-scoring return and also Gareth Davies' assured showing in Rhys Webb's scrum-half jersey. They both crossed along with left wing Hallam Amos and outside centre Allen, who picked up a first-half hat-trick of tries before a hamstring injury soured his day.

As expected, a couple of pockets of blue were engulfed by a sea of red fans at the Millennium Stadium as Wales looked to join England with a bonus-point victory to kick-off their pool campaign. It was billed to be a foregone conclusion but after twenty minutes, it was anything but.

Felipe Berchesi knocked over an early penalty for Los Teros before adding a second soon after as Wales infringed. Remarkably Uruguay led 0-6.

Cardiff was silenced but normal service was resumed on fifteen minutes when, after snubbing three points, the Welsh drove over the whitewash, with returning tighthead prop Lee the man last to his feet. Priestland would knock over the relatively simple conversion to push Wales ahead.

Cue the floodgates as Priestland began to unlock a Uruguay starting XV who were all making their Rugby World Cup debut. His chip over the top after nineteen minutes allowed centre Allen to gather and dot down as the Welsh moved 14-6 in front, much to the delight of their supporters.

Uruguay would not roll over and credit to them as reward came in the shape of a third Berchesi penalty, this time for a Jake Ball high tackle.

Those three points proved only to act as a momentary speed bump for Wales though, as Allen scored again on 30 minutes for a worrying try from Uruguay's perspective as their midfield defence was losing its early solidity. Scott Williams was the provider this time after a strong carry.

Allen's hat-trick was complete in added time of the first-half as Justin Tipuric and wing Amos combined to send him over for an easy walk-in.

With the bonus point in the bag and 28-9 up at the break, the second-half focus for Wales would be to accumulate a score and when Tipuric went over on 49 minutes that looked to be the start of it. However, referee Romain Poite correctly went to the TMO who confirmed he had knocked on over the line.

It only delayed the inevitable though as scrum-half Davies' silky run off the tail of a line-out helped set up Amos for Wales' fifth score and there was more to come, with Davies spotting a gap on the fringe of a maul to go in on the hour mark. Wales were now flying at 40 points to 9.

Despite Tipuric being rewarded for his hard work with a try off the back of a maul on 71 minutes before Davies' second late on, errors would halt a Welsh surge in the closing stages as attention now turns to Twickenham and that clash between two of Pool A's heavyweights. The World Cup is warming nicely.

Man of the match: Justin Tipuric was his usual hard-working self while Gareth Davies impressed at nine, but for his hat-trick outside centre Cory Allen takes this award. This gong won't improve his mood though after his "significant" hamstring injury.

Moment of the match: The whole 80 minutes from Uruguay. Few expected anything like the solidity they showed early on and credit to the South Americans, who'd been beaten 40-0 by Japan earlier this year. They led 0-6 and fought admirably throughout.

Villain of the match: A clean game in Cardiff. Nothing nasty to report.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: Lee, Allen 3, Amos, G Davies 2, Tipuric
Cons: Priestland 7 

For Uruguay:
Pens: Berchesi 3

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton (c), 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Aaron Jarvis, 18 Tom Francis, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ross Moriarty, 22 Lloyd Williams, 23 Matthew Morgan.

Uruguay: 15 Gaston Mieres, 14 Santiago Gibernau, 13 Joaquin Prada, 12 Andres Vilaseca, 11 Rodrigo Silva, 10 Felipe Berchesi, 9 Agustin Ormaechea, 8 Alejandro Nieto, 7 Matias Beer, 6 Juan Manuel Gaminara, 5 Jorge Zerbino, 4 Santiago Vilaseca, 3 Mario Sagario, 2 Carlos Arboleya, 1 Alejo Corral.
Replacements: 16 German Kessler, 17 Oscar Duran, 18 Mateo Sanguinetti, 19 Franco Lamanna, 20 Agustin Alonso, 21 Juan De Freitas, 22 Alejo Duran, 23 Francisco Bulanti.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

by Adam Kyriacou at the Millennium Stadium

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