Rugby World Cup 2015: Wales overwhelm Uruguay to banish the blues in Cardiff
Wales started their Rugby World Cup campaign with a clinical display, smashing Uruguay 54-9 in Cardiff.
Wales sparkled in patches and ran in eight tries, including three for centre Cory Allen, to overpower Uruguay 54-9 in their opening Rugby World Cup Pool A match on Sunday but the gloss was taken off the victory by yet more injury concerns.
After a dispiriting build-up to the tournament marred by injuries to key players, the Welsh moved level with England at the top of the group on five points ahead of the teams’ seismic clash at Twickenham next Saturday (Sunday NZ time).
Wales’ Gareth Davies scores his team’s sixth try during their Pool A match against Uruguay in Cardiff.
Wales, fielding several second-string players, made a sluggish start, conceding a succession of turnovers, and Uruguay first five-eighth Felipe Berchesi kicked two penalties to put his largely amateur side 6-0 ahead.
The hosts, however, responded swiftly, much to the delight of a raucous and excitable crowd at the Millennium Stadium.
Prop Samson Lee grounded the ball over the line following a ferocious driving maul and Allen ran on to a neat chip through by Rhys Priestland to score the second try.
Wales’ Gareth Davies scores his team’s sixth try against Uruguay.
Wales’ Hallam Amos goes over to score try number five for the hosts.
Wales’ Cory Allen celebrates his third try against Uruguay.
Cory Allen of Wales leaves the field injured.
Wales’ Kiwi coach Warren Gatland, left, surveys the action with attack coach Rob Howley.
Wales’ Cory Allen offloads the ball as he is tackled by Uruguay’s Rodrigo Silva.
Wales’ Hallam Amos fends off Uruguay’s Gaston Mieres in Cardiff.
Uruguay’s Agustin Ormaechea runs into Welsh traffic.
Uruguay’s Rodrigo Silva catches a high ball under pressure from Wales’ Alex Cuthbert.
Wales and Uruguay line up ahead of their Pool A match at Millennium Stadium.
Man-of-the-match Allen scampered over again and completed his hat-trick after a flowing Welsh move down the left to take the hosts 28-9 ahead at halftime.
Wales coach Warren Gatland made a number of replacements with the tougher group matches against England and Australia in mind, but his team continued to cut through the Uruguayan defence almost at will.
Winger Hallam Amos surged over the line before the crowd’s celebrations were briefly dampened when Allen left the field, the third Wales player forced off by injury.
Halfback Gareth Davies grabbed the sixth try with a sniping run as Uruguay, ranked 19th in the world and playing in their third World Cup, worked tirelessly to keep the scoreline respectable.
Flanker Justin Tipuric touched down after another powerful Wales maul and Davies crashed over for his second try in the final minute to complete a satisfactory start for Gatland.
Priestland slotted over seven of the eight conversions in the absence of regular kicker Leigh Halfpenny who misses the tournament due to injury.
Allen, fullback Liam Williams and prop Paul James all went off injured during Sunday’s game, though the extent of the damage has yet to be announced.
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