23 Nov 2013

Wales warm up for Wallabies with tepid win

12:27 pm on 23 November 2013

A shadow Wales rugby side has laboured to an unconvincing and uninspiring 17-7, two tries to one victory over Tonga at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The match had little relevance ahead of next weekend's showdown against Australia for the Welsh, whose New Zealand coach Warren Gatland made 11 changes from the team that claimed a record 40-6 victory over Argentina last weekend.

Only fullback Leigh Halfpenny, wing George North, prop Rhodri Jones and flanker Justin Tipuric were retained.

First-half tries by centres Owen Williams and Ashley Beck put Wales in control, but an anticipated runaway win did not materialise due to a combination of numerous errors and resilient Tongan defence.

Halfpenny kicked two conversions and a penalty - he has scored 42 points during Wales' autumn campaign - while Wasps wing Will Helu touched down for Tonga, with first five Latiume Fosita converting.

The test brought up a century of matches as an international coach for Gatland, who has also been in charge of Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.