Wallabies too strong for Wales
Wales slipped to another defeat against Tri-Nations opposition as Australia's try-scoring class saw them secure a 25-16 win at a subdued Millennium Stadium.
More than 20,000 Wales fans stayed away and they ultimately missed little, with Wales suffering a 10th defeat from 11 starts at the hands of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa since coach Warren Gatland took charge almost three years ago.
The Wallabies ran in three tries - flanker David Pocock, outstanding full-back Kurtley Beale and prop Ben Alexander touching down - while wing James O'Connor added two penalties and two conversions.
Wales fleetingly threatened, notably when substitute scrum-half Richie Rees scored late on, but otherwise they had to rely on three Stephen Jones penalties and a Dan Biggar conversion for their points.
And they ultimately still look off the pace when it comes down to claiming victory against teams that really matter.
Gatland recently signed a new four-year contract, but the 53,127 fans who witnessed the latest demise against major southern hemisphere opponents were left unfulfilled.
Wales' blunt attacking edge meant Australia never seriously broke sweat in defence, and it was only when Rees appeared instead of Mike Phillips that the home side threatened to move up a gear.
By then, though, it was too little too late, and with the magnificent Beale keeping Australia moving forward, Wales could not seize the initiative.
Wales must now regroup for an appointment with world champions South Africa next Saturday - Australia head to Twickenham to face England - and any feelgood factor under Gatland is now long gone.
Results count far more than performances in professional sport, and whatever Gatland and his coaching staff do in attempting to cover up this latest loss, there is no hiding place, especially with a World Cup just 10 months away.