Wales got the summer internationals off to a comfortable start as Canada were easily dispatched in a ten-try victory at the Principality Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Wayne Pivac had given debuts to lock Ben Carter and winger Tom Rogers in the starting XV, with the likes of Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Ross Moriarty and Jonah Holmes recalled having played little or no part in the Six Nations, although there was an early re-shuffle needed as Leigh Halfpenny’s 100th test cap was spoiled by a serious knee injury inside the first two minutes.
Holmes switched to full-back with Nick Tompkins filling in on the wing, but the distressing site of Halfpenny being stretchered off clearly had an impact on the side as an offside from a kick chase gave Canada a penalty in our 22 and a quick tap saw Kainoa Lloyd put into space to score on the right wing.
However, Wales settled quickly after going 0-5 down and after a series of penalties put us in the opposition 22 it was Tomos Williams who take a quick tap to catch the Canadian defence napping and dive over.
That opened the floodgates for the rest of the first half with James Botham quickly following his club-mate over the try line after Jonah Holmes released Nick Tompkins on a kick return and Jon Davies linked the play to the flanker, before a third try saw Davies and Tompkins combining again to send Holmes over.
Two close range scores saw Nicky Smith and Elliot Dee get on the scoresheet, before Williams held the fringe defence at the breakdown beautifully for Will Rowlands to run the perfect line off his shoulder and gallop under the posts. Five Sheedy conversions gave Wales a 40-5 lead as the sides went in at the break.
The scoring continued early in the second half as Sheedy and Tompkins exchanged passes in midfield and Williams appeared on the shoulder of the former to run in for a second try, before Wayne Pivac started turning to the bench as the game’s momentum was stunted by substitutions.
Try scoring started again on the hour mark as a floated Jon Davies pass found debutant Taine Basham on the wing who finished superbly in the corner, before grabbing a second just a few minutes later when he was in possession as a driving maul went over. Sheedy finished with converting one of the tries before Ben Thomas kicked his first international points after the other.
The next five minutes saw Canada attempt to add some more points to their score, as first Lloyd and then Lucas Albornoz saw tries ruled out for knock-ons, but eventually full-back Cooper Coats dived over with Peter Nelson adding the extras.
There was just time at the end of the game for Wales to get back on the front foot as Jonah Holmes went over for a second try and Thomas’ conversion made the final score a comfortable 68-12 as Pivac’s men warmed up for a two-test series against Argentina with a comfortable run-out against the North American side.