Wales boss Wayne Pivac HAS got backing of his squad after defeat
Wales looked like strangers in the night in defeat by Ireland in Dublin… six defeats in seven sounds the alarm but boss Wayne Pivac HAS got backing of his squad as centre Jonathan Davies talks up ‘positive change’
- Wales gave under-fire Wayne Pivac their backing to keep pushing boundaries
- Wales looked like strangers in the night at times in Dublin in Autumn Nations loss
- Centre Jonathan Davies still believes in the boss after six losses in seven games
Wales were hit for six against Ireland but gave under-fire Wayne Pivac their backing to keep pushing boundaries.
Wales looked like strangers in the night at times in Dublin – unrecognisable from the team that won the Six Nations Grand Slam last year and made the World Cup semi-final.
The harrowing defeat, in which their set-piece crumbled to dust, has left the Welsh floundering.
Wales were hit for six against Ireland but gave Wayne Pivac their backing to keep pushing on
Wales looked like strangers in the night at times in Dublin in Autumn Nations Cup defeat
But despite six losses in seven under new coach Pivac centre Jonathan Davies still believes in the boss.
Asked if he was the right man for the job the 32-year-old centre said: ‘Yes of course. We enjoy preparing the plan he wants in the week, it’s just at the moment we need to make sure we’re delivering on a game day.
‘There has been a bit of change, but the change has been in a positive way.
‘Our frustration levels are extremely high because we are not delivering.
‘We feel there was an improvement, but nowhere near where we want to be or where we can be.’ Adding to the woe Davies himself went off with an injury to his right knee – he tore the cruciate ligament in his left knee at the World Cup.
‘It’s still a bit early doors at the moment, but I have to make sure I look after it now,’ he said.
Despite six losses in seven under coach Pivac centre Jonathan Davies still believes in Pivac
Pivac’s solitary victory came way back in February against Italy. Since he has lost to Ireland and France twice, England and Scotland and the team has regressed alarmingly.
Ironically having dispensed of defence coach Byron Hayward Wales looked more energetic without the ball – but their scrum was terrible, they lost all but one lineout and failed to score a try.
In the last two matches after international rugby’s resumption Wales have conceded an eye-watering 34 penalties in two Tests.
And Davies admits that slide in discipline desperately needs to be halted.
‘Our indiscipline needs to be addressed immediately,’ he added.
‘We need to make ourselves accountable for that and make sure we don’t give teams piggybacks into easy areas where they can score points.
‘After the long, long break we had over Covid I think we’ve been slow out of the blocks. We were late coming back to regional rugby and the international game as well.
‘Traditionally, the longer we spend together, the better we get and we are seeing improvements in certain areas.
Davies admits slide in discipline needs to be halted after 34 penalties in two matches
‘We are not quite there yet with the product as a whole. We need to keep building as a unit together.
‘When we turn up to Test matches we know with the squad and group of coaches we have and the preparation we’ve done, everything is world class. We need to make sure that come game day we get better results to show the Welsh public.
PAYING THE PENALTY
Wales have conceded more penalties in their last two matches than in the previous five combined.
9 v Italy (W 42-0) 6 v Ireland (L 24-14) 7 v France (L 27-23) 6 v England (L 33-30) 4 v France (L 38-21) Total – 32 16 v Scotland (L14-10) 18 v Ireland (L 32-9) Total – 34
Wales’ worst runs
10 defeats Nov 2002-Aug 2003
8 Jun 2012-Feb 2013
6 Feb 2020-present
Wales could now drop to 9th in the world rankings tomorrow, after Argentina beat New Zealand – one shy of their worst ever ranking from 2007 when they lost to Fiji at the World Cup and Warren Gatland took over.
23 point margin of defeat in Dublin for the Welsh – their fourth-worst defeat to Ireland ever 54-10 2002 (44pt defeat); 36-6 2001 (30); 31-5 2006 (26); 32-9 2020 (23); 26-3 2014 (23); 35-12 2003 (23).
‘We’re not happy with our performances, but we have to stay together.’ Davies has been part of a shocking run of defeats before.
In 2012 Wales won a Grand Slam then went to Australia and were beaten 3-0; they came back home and lost to the Wallabies, New Zealand, Argentina and Samoa too before starting the 2013 Six Nations with defeat to Ireland.
But after that eight-Test run of losses they turned things around and famously won the 2013 Six Nations, beating England 30-3 in Cardiff to seal the title. So Davies hopes history can repeat itself.
‘I don’t know if I’m fortunate or not, but I have been through a tough patch previously,’ he said.
‘This is the first time a lot of the boys have had a run of losses and performances we haven’t been happy with.
‘This is character building and come the next opportunity we get, it’s important we get a win. When we get a win and a run of form, it will all be forgotten.’ Pivac will heavily rotate for Georgia next week. In time he needs to find replacements for Alun Wyn Jones, 35, Davies, 32, Dan Biggar, Justin Tipuric and Leigh Halfpenny, all 31, as well as Taulupe Faletau, 30. A rebuild will take time, but that is in short supply right now.
The Irish want to improve against England.
‘We got found out at Twickenham last time,’ said Johnny Sexton.
‘England have got a massive squad and it’s a massive challenge for us. It will be a great fixture to see how far we’ve come in eight months.’
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