Wales, once more falling miles behind expectations, entered the match looking to get a couple wins and build some momentum. Russia, the challenge trophy champion in Sydney, was looking to build further experience against the former World Cup champions and to add to their series points to help stay above the relegation line.
Wales’s kickoff found a gap in the Russian defense, giving Wales an attacking opportunity, which Russia defended well. Two and a half minutes in, Russia’s defense failed to stop a try for Ethan Davies. The wind bent the posts at the right moment to open up for Davies’s conversion to find its mark. The try and score helped to close the gap between the two-way tie at third in points on this year’s series and Davies in fifth. Two minutes later, Wales had another scoring opportunity but failed to convert when Owen Jenkins’s kick ahead went too far in front, rolling across the dead ball line before any use could be made of the movement. Still under pressure, Russia’s defense once again gave way as Ben Roach added a second first-half try for the British side. The final restart off the half quickly led to a penalty in favor of Russia. The Russians kicked for touch, won the lineout, and drove into the Wales twenty-two. A second penalty, sent Vitaly Zhivatov within meters of the line before the ball worked out to Ilya Babaev on the near left side for the five-pointer.
Wales’s Adam Thomas pulled down the second-half kickoff, and Wales won a penalty seconds later. The early foray into the Russian half proved ineffective when Wales surrendered possession with a knock-on. Russia won the scrum and Roman Roschin darted to just inside the Welsh half. A lack of support, resulted in a penalty and Wales set in to attack mode for a try by Owen Jenkins to the right of the post. Two more points for Davies. Down fourteen points, and facing a winless outing in Vegas, Russia began to press individual efforts over team technique. The resulting sloppy play gave Wales a midfield scrum, and despite Russia temporarily regaining ball, an errant offload once more put the ball in Welsh hands with a scrum feed. Disciplined rugby gave Davies his second try of the match in the thirteenth minute. With that, Davies temporarily moved into sole possession of third-place on the season scorers list, overtaking England’s Dan Norton and France’s Terry Bouhraoua. Russia barely missed a consolation score, but in the end, Wales proved too much. Wales 24, Russia 5.