Wallabies claim Rugby World Cup bronze
The Wallabies were confident leaders throughout the first half, not allowing their Welsh rivals to get closer than four points.
Wales still managed to go in front after the restart, but a try from Ben McCalman put the Australians out of their opponents’ reach.
Even the stoppage time try from Leigh Halfpenny was not enough for the Brits to save the game.
The Wallabies’ Berrick Barnes was named the Man of the Match after a solid performance and a vital try in the first 40 minutes.
"We made the most of a situation we didn't want to be in," James Horwill, Australia’s captain, told AP new agency, hinting that the Wallabies wanted to be in the final.
The Australians, who are the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cup winners, have claimed their first ever third-place finish.
Even the losers were in a better mood after the match than the bronze medalists.
"I'm proud of the way we finished the game, but we just came up a bit short. It was a shame we couldn't finish it off with a win," Gethin Jenkins, the veteran Welsh prop, said. "We talked about creating history today, but to come fourth is still an improvement on where we've been in the past couple of World Cups."
Hosts New Zealand face France in Auckland in the Ruby World Cup decider on Sunday.