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BBC Five Live's Dave Woods
With a round-up of the action
 real 14k

banner Sunday, 29 October, 2000, 21:48 GMT
Wales overcome Pacific islanders
Wales' Lee Briers bursts for the try-line
Wales' Lee Briers bursts for the try-line
Wales 36-6 Cook Islands

A second-half hat-trick from Kris Tassell gave Wales the ideal start to their World Cup campaign at the expense of minnows the Cook Islands at the Wrexham Racecourse ground.

The Salford centre was a revelation going forward making light work of the islanders defence.

It was a blustery rainy night in Wrexham - and although the conditions were likely to favour the home side - the Pacific Islanders did not take long to acclimatised.

The Cook Islands were led by St Helens' former Kiwi Test centre Kevin Iro and he marshalled his team brilliantly to take them to half-time with the scores at 6-6 - but after the interval Wales took control.

Shock

With just six minutes gone of the game scrum-half Lee Briers brilliantly jinked his way throughfor a try after a great run from prop Anthony Farrell to set up the score.

Harris added the conversion which was followed by two disallowed tries for Wales.

Tassell had his effort ruled out by the video referee after he spotted the player's foot crossing the touchline, while Paul Sterling was recalled for a forward pass.

But Wales were to receive a shock moments later when loose forward Anthony Samuel got a long ball out to Iro who sent winger Karl Temata over at the corner.

Full-back Richard Piakuru, taking over the goalkicking following an earlier penalty miss by Steve Berryman, landed the difficult conversion to tie the scores.

Minnows

But Tassell restored the lead soon after and Harris converted and then sent over a penalty after Briers had been obstructed by substitute Tere Glassie.

Wales then stepped up a gear and Harris' superb twisting run eventually led to Mick Jenkins to touchdown and put the game virtually out of the Cook Islanders reach.

The minnows began to tire and first hooker Keiron Cunningham stormed over from dummy half before Tassell finished with two more tries in the last seven minutes.

First he finished off a splendid move before taking Anthony Sullivan's pass to touch down before supporting a break by Briers, who cleverly regained his own chip kick.

Harris maintained his 100% goalkicking record with another perfect effort in what was a professional display by the player and his side.

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