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Friday, 1 November, 2002, 21:43 GMT
Unconvincing Wales see off Romania
Scott Quinnell bursts past Romania's Christian Petre
Scott Quinnell tries to drive Wales forward
Wales 40-3 Romania

Wales stuttered to an unconvincing win against Romania in their opening international of the season at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham.

They managed just four tries and were grateful to the ever-reliable kicking of Neil Jenkins who contributed 20 points.

Romania confirmed their re-emergence as a credible international unit with a committed, streetwise performance.

Had it not been for the misfiring boot of fly-half Ionut Tofan, who missed five shots at goal, they may have made Wales' night even more uncomfortable.

Neil Jenkins
Neil Jenkins kicked 20 points
It was a scrappy first half characterised by poor handling and sloppy line-out work.

Wales were trying to run before they could walk, their experimental side attempting to move bad ball before establishing their credentials against a strong visiting pack.

The attacking talents of Rhys Williams and Tom Shanklin provided the only excitement for a north Wales crowd desperate to show their support.

It was 12-0 to Wales at the break thanks to four Jenkins penalties, but in that first forty Tofan had fluffed four pots at goal.

  Match details:
Wales
Tries: S Quinnell, M Jones, G Thomas, Pen
Cons: N Jenkins (4)
Pens: Jenkins (4)
Romania
Pens: I Tofan
The Oaks started the second period with some confidence, but from Wales' first attacking possession new cap Sonny Parker threw a classic dummy in the centre.

The New Zealander was dragged down just short, allowing the supporting Scott Quinnell to pick up for the opening try.

Romania fired back and their rugged, streetwise defence kept Wales in check.

But in the 62nd minute quick ball was fed to the Welsh three-quarters, Gareth Thomas burst up the touchline and fed Mark Jones who sprinted in.

Tom Shanklin
Shanklin was Wales' main attacking threat
In the closing minutes a clean break from Jenkins was well-supported by Colin Charvis. The ball was fed to Thomas who crossed wide on the right.

The Oaks defenders had tested the referee's patience all night, and in the 80th minute flanker Alin Petrache was sin-binned for killing the ball.

Wales drove on to the visitors' line and as the Romanians desperately tried to hold out a penalty try was awarded to close out the game.


Wales: R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), T Shanklin (Saracens), S Parker (Pontypridd), G Thomas (Bridgend); N Jenkins (Pontypridd), D Peel (Llanelli); G Jenkins (Pontypridd), M Davies (Pontypridd), M Madden (Llanelli), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), S Williams (Northampton), M Owen (Pontypridd), C Charvis (Swansea, capt), S Quinnell (Llanelli).
Replacements: A Lewis (Cardiff), B Evans (Swansea), G Llewellyn (Neath), G Thomas (Bath), R Powell (Cardiff), S Jones (Llanelli), C Morgan (Cardiff).

Romania: Dan Dumbrava (Steaua Bucharest); Vasile Ghioc (Dinamo Bucharest), Gabriel Brezoianu (Begles Bordeaux), Romeo Gontineac (Aurillac, capt), Marius Picoiu (Lavelanet); Ionut Tofan (RCF Metro), Petre Mitu (Grenoble); Petrisor Toderasc (Farul Constanta), Rzvan Mavrodin (Tarbes), Silviu Florea (Chambery), Sorrin Socol (Brive), Cristian Petre (RCF Metro), Florin Corodeanu (Grenoble), Ovidiu Tonita (Biarritz), Alin Petrache (Toulon).
Replacements: Dima Drados (Toulouse), Marian Constantin (Petrosani), Marcel Socaciu (Rovigo), George Chiriac (Farul Constanta), Cristian Podea (U Cluj), Remus Lungu (Perigueux), Marius Coltuneac (U Cluj).

Ref: Joel Jutge (France)

Att: 9,448

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Alastair Hignell
"Wales have plenty of room for improvement"
Wales' Neil Jenkins
"Conditions were very difficult"
Wales play four Tests against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand

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