WALES can turn their attention to their key clash with Australia after a flying start ensured a comfortable win against Georgia in their World Cup opener.

Warren Gatland’s men had to watch on while their rivals got up and running over the weekend but the wait was worth it in Toyota.

Wales shrugged off the shock loss of attack coach Rob Howley to have their four-try bonus in the bag before half-time thanks to scores by centre Jonathan Davies, flanker Justin Tipuric, wing Josh Adams and full-back Liam Williams.

The second half was a more sluggish affair – partly down to a Welsh drop-off and partly because Georgia woke up – but further tries came from scrum-half Tomos Williams and wing George North and it was job done.

Wales can now rest up and then prepare hard for Sunday’s meeting with the Wallabies in Tokyo, the winner of which is likely to go into the Springboks’ half of the draw instead of the All Blacks’ in the knockout stages.

Lose that and Wales’ pool encounter with Fiji, beaten by the Aussies on Saturday, suddenly becomes a nervy affair.

South Wales Argus:

Gatland’s men made a fast start to end any fears of a sticky opener against the Georgians, who had fought hard in a 13-6 defeat in Cardiff two years ago.

Wales were over for their fastest World Cup try when centre Davies went under the posts after going through a huge midfield gap from scrum-half Gareth Davies’ flat pass.

Fly-half Dan Biggar somehow hit the left post with the conversion from in front of the posts but stretched the lead with a penalty after seven minutes.

Try number two came when wing Adams flew through from Biggar’s inside ball after a lineout and fed scrum-half Davies, he was dragged down inside the 22 but openside Tipuric pivoted and ran over from the resulting ruck.

The same move resulted in the third, Adams this time going over himself to make it 22-0 after 20 minutes.

There was then a lull but Wales bagged their bonus point with the last play of the half when a flat ball saw centre Hadleigh Parkes get them on the front foot before midfield partner Davies burst through and set up full-back Williams.

Biggar converted for 29-0 and Gatland must have been tempted to take off his big guns ahead of the Wallabies clash.

South Wales Argus:

However, it was the same again for the start of the second half and Wales made a sluggish start to concede a try after penalties were kicked to the corner for hooker Shalva Mamukashvili to power over for a try that Tedo Abzhandadze converted.

Wales responded in kind and a strong driving lineout saw replacement hooker Jaba Bregvadze sent to the sin bin, referee Luke Pearce deeming that the offence wasn’t quite worthy of a penalty try.

Georgia were down to 14 men but defended tenaciously to escape from their 22, showing much more fight and accuracy than they had in the first half.

Gatland wouldn’t have been happy at the failure to make the most of the numerical advantage but his side finally struck when it was 15 versus 15.

Tipuric put North running down the right and the winger produced a perfect kick through for replacement scrum-half Tomos Williams. Biggar’s conversion made it 36-7.

Georgia were over with a second – prop Levan Chilachava hammering over – but the dancing feet of Tomos Williams repaid the favour to put North over down the right.

Job done, now Wales can focus on the Aussies.

Wales: L Williams (L Halfpenny 61), G North, J Davies, H Parkes, J Adams; D Biggar (R Patchell 66); G Davies (T Williams 48); W Jones (N Smith 55), K Owens (E Dee 55), T Francis (D Lewis 46), J Ball (A Shingler 61), A Wyn Jones, A Wainwright (R Moriarty 51), J Tipuric, J Navidi.

Scorers: tries – J Davies, J Tipuric, J Adams, L Williams, T Williams, G North; conversions – D Biggar (4), L Halfpenny; penalty – D Biggar

Georgia: S Matiashvili; M Modebadze, D Kacharava, R Mchedlidze, G Kveseladze; T Abzhandadze, V Lobzhanidze; M Nariashvili, S Mamukashvili, B Gigashvili, G Chilachava Nemsadze, K Mikautadze, G Tkhilaishvili, M Gorgodze, B Gorgadze.

Replacements: J Bregvadze, G Gogichashvili, L, Chilachava, B Saginadze, O Giorgadze, G Aprasidze, L Khmaladze.

Scorers: tries – S Mamukashvili, L Chilachava; conversions – T Abzhandadze (2)

Referee: Luke Pearce

Argus star man: Justin Tipuric