Wales cruise past Romania

Wales warmed up for their eagerly-awaited showdown with Graham Henry's All Blacks next Saturday by running Romania ragged at the Millennium Stadium in a 66-7 demolition. [more]

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Wales warmed up for their eagerly-awaited showdown with Graham Henry’s All Blacks next Saturday by running Romania ragged at the Millennium Stadium in a 66-7 demolition.

Cardiff Blues centre Tom Shanklin led the way, scoring four of his team’s 10 tries to equal the Welsh record at international level.

Fly-half Stephen Jones weighed in with 19 points from seven conversions and a try, while there were also touchdowns for wing Rhys Williams, centre Gavin Henson, prop Gethin Jenkins, flanker Dafydd Jones and substitute scrum-half Gareth Cooper.

Wales coach Mike Ruddock witnessed several encouraging signs, notably a powerful ball-carrying contribution from 6ft 9in lock Luke Charteris on his first international start, with Shanklin, Henson and scrum-half Dwayne Peel also starring.

Shanklin inevitably stole the limelight, matching individual scoring exploits of past Welsh internationals such as Maurice Richards, Ieuan Evans and Glen Webbe.

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Romania, with nine French-based players, did their utmost to test the home side, but they did not come remotely close to staving off a sixth successive defeat in the fixture.

Wales scored at just over a point a minute, and there appeared nothing that Romania could do about it, although a wayward midfield pass from Jones allowed the visitors a rare attacking platform.

To their credit, they gratefully accepted it, with Sirbu touching down for a try that Tofan converted.

But it was not enough to dampen the spirits of the Welsh crowd who left happy and with a sense of anticipation for events next Saturday.

Wales: G Thomas (Toulouse, capt); R Williams (Blues), T Shanklin (Blues), G Henson (Ospreys), H Luscombe (Dragons); S Jones (Clermont-Auvergne), D Peel (Scarlets); G Jenkins (Blues), M Davies (Neath), A Jones (Ospreys), G Llewellyn (Narbonne), L Charteris (Dragons), D Jones (Scarlets), C Charvis (Newcastle), M Owen (Dragons).
Replacements: S Jones (Dragons), D Jones (Ospreys), J Thomas (Ospreys), M Williams (Blues), G Cooper (Dragons), C Sweeney (Dragons), M Taylor (Scarlets).

Romania: V Maftei (Aurillac); V Ghioc (Dinamo Bucuresti), C Sauan (Rugby Rovigo), R Gontineac (Aurillac), I Teodorescu (U Cluj); I Tofan (Metro Racing), L Sirbu (Metro Racing); P Balan (Biarritz Olimpique), B Zebega (Steaua Bucuresti), M Socaciu (Rugby Rovigo), F Tatu (Steaua Bucuresti), C Petre (Tarbes), C Mersoiu (Perigueux), MA Tudori (Perigueux), A Petrache (Beziers, capt).
Replacements: R Mavrodin (Tarbes), B Balan (Bordeaux Begles), V Ursache (Contor Zennerarad), G Oprisoror (Perpignan), I Andrei (Steaua Bucharest), F Dobre (Dinamo Bucharest), I Dimofte (Contor Zennerarad).

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