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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 16:27 GMT
Wales 38-20 Pacific Islanders
Wales winger Mark Jones on his way to scoring against the Pacific Islanders
Mark Jones scored a superb solo try for Wales in Cardiff

Wales 38 (31)
Tries: M Jones, Hook, Morgan, Byrne, Sweeney
Cons: Sweeney (5)
Pens: Sweney

Pacific Islanders 20 (5)
Tries: Va'a, Mapasua, Ratuvou
Cons: Pisi
Pens: Pisi

Wales outscored the Pacific Islanders by five tries to three in Cardiff to give Gareth Jenkins his first win as coach after four games in charge.

First-half converted tries from Mark Jones, James Hook, Kevin Morgan and Lee Byrne laid the foundations for the win.

The visitors improved markedly after the break as Seilala Mapasua and Kameli Ratuvou added to a Justin Va'a try.

Ceri Sweeney scored Wales' only try in the second half, his fifth conversion taking his personal tally to 18 points.

Wales, showing 14 changes to the side that drew with Australia last Saturday, made a confident start and twice came within inches of scoring tries inside the first 15 minutes.

Alix Popham was tackled just short after just 45 seconds before Mike Phillips failed to ground the ball as he was held up by his opposite number Moses Rauluni over the try line.

The first try soon arrived, though, as winger Mark Jones showed two Pacific Islanders a clean pair of heels to score a superb solo try.

Jones was himself within inches of being denied a try, but the eagle-eyed video referee correctly judged the Scarlets flyer had not touched the left touchline on his way to score.

Pacific Islands try-scorer Kameli Ratuvo leaves Wales centre James Hook in his wake
Ratuvo's try highlighted the Islanders' second-half imprveoment

Fly-half Sweeney, given the kicking duties ahead of rising star Hook, converted, adding to the fourth minute penalty which had opened the scoring.

Hook, though, soon put his name on the scoreboard as he intercepted Tusi Pisi's attempted long pass to race clear and score under the posts.

Wales needed just six more minutes to score their third try as Sonny Parker's midfield break and well-timed pass sent Morgan - the sole survivor from last weekend's outing - over on 30 minutes.

Sweeney converted both tries to take Wales clear at 24-0.

The lack of pre-match preparation was highlighted by the Pacific Islanders' defensive frailties, but a set-piece move worked perfectly just before the break to give them their first points.

Prop Va'a crossed, again after the video referee was called into action, after hooker Mahonri Schwalger had broken clear from a lineout.

But there was still time for a fourth converted Wales try before the break as Byrne intercepted another attempted long pass to score underneath the posts.

The superb running rugby continued straight after the interval as both sides scored wonderful tries.

The visitors hit first when a rare period of sustained possession created a yawing gap for centre Mapasua to score.

Wales hit back five minutes later when Sweeney rounded off a slick counter attack by taking Mark Jones' superb off-load a few metres short.

But the Pacific Islanders' improvement was underlined five minutes later as the backs combined well to send high-rated replacement Ratuvou over for a try.

Pisi, who had just landed a penalty after two missed conversions, found his range again to add the extras from the left touchline with an hour played.

Wales stretched the visiting defence all over their own 22 in the final minutes, but failed to break through to wrap up the game with the try their impressive attacking performance deserved.


Wales: K Morgan (Dragons); L Byrne (Ospreys), S Parker (Ospreys), J Hook (Ospreys), M Jones (Scarlets); C Sweeney (Dragons), M Phillips (Blues); D Jones (capt, Ospreys), R Thomas (Blues), C Horsman (Worcester), M Owen (Dragons), R Sidoli (Blues), A Wyn Jones (Ospreys), G Thomas Scarlets), A Popham (Scarlets).
Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Blues), J Thomas (Ospreys), G Cooper (Dragons), G Evans (Scarlets), S Williams (Ospreys).

Pacific Islanders: Norman Ligairi (Fiji/Brive); Lome Fa'atau (Samoa/Wellington), Seru Rabeni (Fiji/Leicester), Seilala Mapasua (Samoa/London Irish), Sailosi Tagicakibau (Samoa/London Irish); Tusi Pisi (Samoa/Massey), Moses Rauluni (Fiji/Saracens); Justin Va'a (Saracens/Glasgow), Mahonri Schwalger (Samoa/Wellington), Tevita Taumoepeau (Tonga/Worcester), Simon Raiwalui (Fiji/Saracens, capt), Daniel Leo (Samoa/Wasps), Semo Sititi (Samoa/NTT Docomo Kansai), Nili Latu (Tonga/Bay of Plenty), Hale T-Polei (Tonga/Southland).
Replacements: Aleki Lutui (Tonga/Worcester), Census Johnson (Samoa/Taranaki), Ma'ama Molitika (Tonga/IBM), Epi Taione (Tonga/Sanyo), Junior Poluleuligaga (Samoa/North Harbour), Seremaiai Bai (Fiji/Clermont Auvergne), Kameli Ratuvou (Fiji/Saracens).

Referee: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

SEE ALSO
Jenkins savours first Wales win
11 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Pacific Islanders stats
11 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union


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