CARDIFF, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Wales scored an unconvincing 34-13 win over Canada at the Millennium Stadium on Friday.
The Six Nations champions trailed for most of the opening period before wing Leigh Halfpenny scorched over in the right corner for the first of his two tries.
Teenager Halfpenny sealed the win later with Wales’s fifth try in the final minute following two penalty tries and Morgan Stoddart`s opening touchdown.
A sour note for the home team was the first-half injury sustained by James Hook. The flyhalf limped off in the 18th minute with a tendon injury to his right knee and is now a concern for next weekend’s home game with New Zealand.
Wales coach Warren Gatland made 12 changes to his team, giving a debut to scrumhalf Martin Roberts and a first start to centre Andrew Bishop.
However it was Canada, ranked 15th in the world, who went ahead in the ninth minute through James Pritchard’s penalty.
Canada were hammered 55-0 in Ireland last weekend but came out with all guns blazing in a physical opening quarter. Wales, though, eased the fears of the 59,326 crowd when Stoddart touched down in the 24th minute.
Canada responded eight minutes later when Pritchard fired over his second penalty before Wales hit back through 19-year-old Halfpenny’s try on the stroke of halftime.
Dan Biggar extended Wales’s lead to 13-6 in the 46th minute by adding his first international points with a routine penalty.
The hosts continued to pile on the pressure as referee Stuart Dickinson awarded a penalty try. The Australian official then gave another penalty try with nine minutes left before Ryan Smith grabbed a late consolation touchdown for Canada. (Editing by Tony Jimenez)