WALES clung on to their lead to overcome Australia with 29 – 25 in a thrilling battle in Tokyo and secured a second win and the top spot in the Group D log.
Wales burst out of the blocks and scored their first points with the first 40 seconds of the match. The extended their lead to 10 – 0 thanks to Hadleigh Parkes’ try and Dan Biggar’s measured kicking.
Australia fought back with a try of their own from a cross-field kick as Adam Ashley-Cooper touched down. A try from Gareth Davies from an intercepted pass gave Wales a 23-8 half-time lead.
Dane Haylett-Petty’s try early in the second half renewed Australian hope.
Welsh fears deepened as Michael Hooper drove over from close range and Matt Toomua kicked a penalty to reduce the Wallabies’ deficit to 26-25, only for replacement Rhys Patchell to kick his fourth penalty to restore Wales’ lead to four points.
With two wins from their first two matches, the Welsh are now in pole position to finish top of Pool D and earn themselves a potentially more favourable draw in the knockout stages.
Earlier in the day Georgia recorded their first victory of the 2019 Rugby World Cup when they overpowered Uruguay with a victory of 33 – 7 in Kumagaya.
Uruguay, who stunned Fiji in their opening game, was no match for a Gesorgian who ran in five tries to claim a bonus point.
Uruguay ended the match with 14 men after Facundo Gattas was sent off by referee Wayne Barnes for a high tackle two minutes from time.
Georgia, who lost to Wales in their opening match, move up to third position in Pool D on five points and will face Fiji next before playing Australia.
Uruguay still have the Wallabies and Wales to play in the tournament;s pool stage.