WALES added to their perfect autumn by beating Tonga twice in the space of 80 minutes in Cardiff.

Warren Gatland’s side headed into the Principality Stadium clash on the back of wins against Scotland and Australia and they stayed in the winning habit with a 10 tries to three victory.

They blitzed Tonga early on with high-tempo rugby to enjoy a 24-3 lead thanks to a penalty try and scores by Lions Dan Biggar and Liam Williams.

Then, after losing their focus, rhythm, discipline and therefore their advantage to be reeled back in at 24-24, they stretched away as the tourists’ legs tired.

Wing Steff Evans, scrum-halves Tomos Williams and Aled Davies, fly-half Rhys Patchell, Liam Williams again and Dragons duo Tyler Morgan and Cory Hill, their firsts in Test rugby, followed over.

Wales started fast and then finished off in devastating fashion against weary Tongan legs to record an eighth successive Test win.

The scoreboard got out of control in the closing stages but one imagines Gatland & Co won’t be totally content after the way that their guests wiped away a 21-point deficit when they found that the most direct route was the most profitable one to find joy by hammering away at the fringes of the ruck.

But Wales didn’t panic and once they sorted out the indiscipline that plagued the second quarter it became a comfortable afternoon.

That is testament to the depth that is being created in World Cup year.

This was always going to be about how well Wales gelled after Gatland rang the changes following the tense win against the Wallabies.

Opportunity knocked in World Cup year and, as ever, the key was to not try too hard to catch the eye.

In truth, despite the midweek declarations, there weren’t many places up for grabs in the matchday squad to face South Africa in the November finale.

In such games it is easier to go down the pecking order than climb it, so the pressure was on a sizable Dragons contingent to just do their jobs.

Six were involved with hooker Elliot Dee, tighthead Leon Brown, blindside Aaron Wainwright and centre Morgan starting and the more established Test players Hill and Ross Moriarty covering lock and back row from the bench.

The number eight was not needed ahead of the bruising battle with the Boks, meaning that the regional record last hit in the 2005 Six Nations was not matched.

They could all reflect on good shifts, especially the workaholic Wainwright, who showed the impressive engine that works for the Dragons is effective on the Test stage.

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If there were Welsh nerves about an awkward encounter then they were helped by a perfect start that saw a penalty kicked to the 22 and then a mammoth drive that saw Australian referee Nic Berry award a penalty try and show lock Leva Fifita a yellow card.

A 7-0 lead swiftly turned into 14-0 when the hosts went back into the 22 and then Wainwright charged at the line and freed his arms out of the double-tackle to put Biggar over for a simple score that he converted.

Newcastle scrum-half Sonatane Takulua got the tourists on the scoreboard with a sweetly struck penalty but they were unable to live with the high-tempo that Wales were playing at.

An attack featuring a combination of hard carrying and neat handling, with Wainwright prominent again and Morgan showing fast hands, ended with debutant Jonah Holmes providing the assist for Liam Williams’ acrobatic finish on his 50th cap.

Biggar twisted the knife with a super touchline conversion but, perhaps with the hosts a tad complacent, it then took a video replay to deny Tonga a try after a knock-on in the build-up.

That woke Wales up and Biggar extended the lead to 24-3 from the tee after a cheap shot on Wainwright from Dan Faleafa, the Coventry flanker putting in a high shot on the dummy runner that could easily have led to further sanctions from the officials.

Gatland’s side had lost their rhythm and Tonga were back on the charge when Owen Watkin missed a tackle in midfield, forcing Holmes into a last-man effort on the imposing number eight Sione Vailanu.

The visitors kept the pressure on and eventually got their reward when Fifita inched over from close range with Takulua adding the simple extras.

Welsh indiscipline meant that they had to do it all over again to re-establish their dominance, yet instead they were on level terms just three minutes after the restart when the impressive Vailanu picked off a Tomos Williams pass to race over from 60 metres and make the conversion a simple one for Takulia.

It wasn’t level-pegging for long, however, with Dee putting lock Jake Ball galloping into the 22 before Biggar stayed calm to chip over the top for wing Steff Evans to gather and dot down.

The extras made it 31-24 and Wales went in search of daylight again only to come up short, courtesy of good defence to deny Dee a first Test try from a driving lineout and then wasteful attacking with lock Adam Beard dropping a routine pass in the 22.

The penalty count had swung back in Wales’ favour and they stretched their advantage through the boot of Biggar before keeping the pressure on.

The forwards did the donkey work before Tomos Williams sniped over for the killer blow, Biggar expertly converting with his final touch.

Wales had cracked their visitors and there were cheers in Caerleon when try number six came – Tyler Morgan finishing off down the left after they had made rather hard work of a three-on-one.

His Rodney Parade skipper quickly followed.

Tonga failed to deal with an up and under and the replacement lock gathered and raced away, finishing with a dive that didn’t quite match Liam Williams’ for athleticism.

The contest was over with the men in red out on their feet and unable to cope with Welsh fast feet and offloads.

Davies, Patchell and Liam Williams went over to ensure the scoreboard was cruel on a Tongan side that had given Wales a minor scare.

Now for the task of beating the Boks to earn a first autumn clean sweep.

Wales: J Holmes; L Williams, T Morgan, O Watkin, S Evans; D Biggar (R Patchell 59), T Williams (A Davies 59); W Jones (R Evans 46), E Dee (R Elias 52), L Brown (T Francis 52), J Ball, A Beard (C Hill 59), A Wainwright, E Jenkins (captain), S Davies.

Scorers: tries – penalty, D Biggar, L Williams (2), S Evans, T Williams, T Morgan, C Hill, A Davies, R Patchell; conversions – D Biggar (4), R Patchell (4); penalties – D Biggar (2).

Tonga: V Lilo (A Pakalani )66; V Lolohea (A Pakalani 44-53), A Taufa, S Piutau (captain), D Kilioni; K Morath, S Takulua (L Fukofuka 66); S Fisi'ihoi (L Talakai 68), P Ngauamo (S Sakalia 71), M Fia (P Fa'anunu 53), L Fifita, S Mafi, D Faleafa, F Lokotui (M Faleafa 53), S Vailanu (O Havili 66).

Scorers: tries – L Fifita, S Mafi, S Vailanu; conversions – S Takulua (3); penalty – S Takulua Referee: Nic Berry (Australia).

Attendance: 61,284