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Wales Keep On Winning

Wales Keep On Winning


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Wales did just enough to beat a determined Canada 32-21 at the Millennium Stadium.

Thirty-one thousand fans turned up expecting to see a performance similar to the seven try demolition of Fiji last week, and the rush of anticipation was felt all around the ground, when Sonny Parker burst over the gain line and almost to the try line after just two minutes.

But the atmosphere went flat when it became apparent Italian referee Giulio De Santis seemed determined to penalise a team at every scrum.

The match was dominated by De Santis, with most statisticians losing count of the penalties after 60 minutes.

A second-half try to in-form Cardiff centre Jamie Robinson gave Wales some breathing space after the pinpoint goal-kicking of Canadian outside half Jared Barker had kept the visitors in touch for an hour.

Referee De Santis dominated the first half, whistling up virtually every scrum and giving goal-kickers Stephen Jones (five) and Barker (four) nine shots at goal, all of which were converted.

As well, De Santis sent Canadian and Newport prop Rod Snow to the sinbin after 23 minutes, and Wales took full advantage of the extra man.

Some good handling among the backs led to a maul 5 metres from the Canadian line and Llanelli hooker Robin McBryde burrowed over for the only try of the half. Jones’ conversion gave him 17 points for the half and the home side led 22-12 at the break.

De Santis didn’t take long to make an impact in the second half, either, sin-binning veteran Wales lock Gareth Llewellyn for a professional foul after only 2 minutes.

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Barker slotted two further penalty goals in the Neath captain’s absence, with Jones replying with one.

Barker had the chance to narrow the gap to four points on the hour mark, but the long-range attempt fell short – the first miss of the day after 13 successful goals.

Robinson went over from close-range, and a late dropped goal to Canadian scrum-half Morgan Williams simply narrowed the winning margin to 11 points.

Wales openside flanker Martyn Williams was named man of the match.

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