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It was the Cook Islands who struck first. Daniel Fepuleai went over after beating the Wales defence for an early lead.
Wales were struggling to get find any sort of rhythm, but suddenly they secured a try from nowhere.
A move out to the left saw Rob Massam fly down the touchline. However, Danny Jones missed his conversion attempt.
After that the Welsh side began to grow into the game, but their good work took a setback as the Cook Islands restored their six-point advantage through centre Keith Lulia .
Despite that miss, Isaac John extended the lead further with another try for the Islanders.
Wales's response after the break was to go further behind, as Dominque Peyroux went over. However, three tries in the second half saw the score narrowed to 20-22.
Further tries for both sides came, but it was the Cook Islands who emerged victorious.