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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 October, 2003, 09:50 GMT 10:50 UK
Wales coast past Canada
Canada 10-41 Wales

MATCH SUMMARY
Sonny Parker scores Wales' opening try
Canada 10 (3)
Try: Tkachuk
Con: Pritchard
Drop: Ross
Wales 41 (20)
Tries: Parker, Cooper, M Jones, Charvis, Thomas
Cons: Harris (5)
Pens: Harris (2)

Wales withstood an early Canadian charge to launch their World Cup campaign with a bonus-point victory at Melbourne's Telstra Dome.

Steve Hansen's side recovered from the loss of captain Colin Charvis to the sin-bin to score five tries in a morale-boosting display.

Sonny Parker and Gareth Cooper both crossed in the first half before Mark Jones, Charvis and Gareth Thomas added further scores after the interval.

But the victory was orchestrated by centre Iestyn Harris, who carved open the Canucks defence at will and weighed in with 16 points in a meticulous kicking display.

Several more tries went begging through poor handling at critical moments, but Wales will take satisfaction in the result against rugged opponents.

We didn't intend to go for the bonus point
Colin Charvis
Canada started by far the brighter of the two sides, centre Nikyta Witkowski bursting through several weak tackles as early as the second minute.

And the Canucks were rewarded for their early endeavour when fly-half Bob Ross dropped a smart drop goal.

Wales' cause was hardly helped when Charvis was yellow-carded in the eighth minute after catching Ross with a stray hand as he attempted to charge down a kick.

But they made light of his absence to take the lead by scoring a cracking try after 16 minutes.

Harris was twice involved in a sparkling move involving forwards and backs, the centre's cut-out pass helping put Parker over in the left corner.

Wales centre Iestyn Harris
Harris orchestrated the victory
Harris converted from the touchline, and added a penalty after Parker twice wasted good opportunities to add to his tally by dropping the ball metres from the line.

Harris looked dangerous every time the ball came his way, and another searing break should have yielded further reward when Ceri Sweeney was held short, but Martyn Williams knocked on inches from the line.

But the second try was not long in coming, Gareth Thomas stepping in off his right wing on the half-hour, allowing Cooper to dart over from close range.

Harris again converted to make it 20-3 and Wales reached the interval in good heart after their early worries.

We have to regroup and get ready for the games that follow
Canada captain Al Charron
A bullocking charge from Charvis almost led to a try for Thomas on the resumption, but another knock-on halted Welsh momentum.

Canada refused a kick at goal in an attempt to get back into the game, but the Wales defence held firm to steal a vital turnover.

Having weathered that mini storm, Wales proceeded to wrap up victory and the bonus point with two tries in three minutes.

The first, after 54 minutes, again owed much to the vision of Harris, whose pop-up pass sent Parker streaking away before slipping the ball inside for Jones to score.

The second saw Charvis swivel out of the back of a ruck and stretch over after Dafydd Jones had made the hard yards, Harris converting both for a 34-3 lead.

Parker became the second Wales player sent to the sin-bin for a ruck offence 10 minutes from time, and Canada immediately took advantage when replacement prop Kevin Tkachuk burrowed over.

But Wales had the last word, replacements Robert Sidoli and Dwayne Peel combining to send Thomas over for the fifth try.


Canada: J Pritchard, D Lougheed, J Cannon, M di Girolamo, W Stanley; B Ross, M Williams, J Jackson, A van Staveren, A Charron (capt), M James, C Yukes, J Thiel, M Wilson, R Snow

Replacements: A Abrams, K Tkachuk, G Cooke, J Cudmore, R Banks, E Fairhurst, R Smith.

Wales: K Morgan; G Thomas, S Parker, I Harris, M Jones; C Sweeney, G Cooper; D Jones, R McBryde, G Jenkins, B Cockbain, G Llewellyn, D Jones, M Williams, C Charvis (capt).

Replacements: H Bennett, A Jones, R Sidoli, J Thomas, D Peel, M Taylor, R Williams.

Referee: Chris White (England).



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