Mon, Nov 13, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Wales beat out plucky Pacific Islanders team

AFP , CARDIFF

Wales ran in five tries to beat the Pacific Islanders 38-20 at the Millennium Stadium to hand coach Gareth Jenkins his first win as national team coach after four games at the helm.

First-half tries from Mark Jones, James Hook, Kevin Morgan and Lee Byrne inspired the win with the Pacific Islanders eventually running in two second half tries through Seilala Mapasua and Kameli Ratuvou to add to Justin Va'a's first half effort.

Jenkin had made a staggering 14 changes from the side that drew 29-29 with Australia last weekend but the second string side still proved too strong for the Pacific Islanders.

Jones said the draw with Australia had inspired his players.

"At the start of the Australia game they came out and caught us but the squad showed their spirit there and that helped us for this week," he said.

"There is a lot of competition for places and it is a good environment to be in. When it comes to selection everyone is trying to get into the starting team. But we take it every game at a time and try to build our performances," Jones said.

The victory, which was all but wrapped up by half-time, was Wales's first in nine months -- their last victory being a Six Nations success over 14-man Scotland in Cardiff.

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