Wales determined not to be caught cold again
June 17, 2014
Wales were caught short in the first Test © Getty Images
Wales will go back to basics in an attempt to right the wrongs of their first Test loss against South Africa last Saturday.
The manner of the 38-16 defeat - which was made less embarrassing as South Africa eased up in the last quarter - has led to plenty of soul-searching within the Welsh camp. The goal now is to put things right in the second Test takes place in Nelspruit on Saturday.
"There has been a very positive reaction in training, we have had to work on going back to basics, particularly in defence, working on our line speed and putting pressure on their big ball-carriers," assistant coach Shaun Edwards. "We know the geography of the game cannot be the same. They are the biggest, most powerful team in the world and no team can hold them out when they have nine minutes in your 22.
"Also, we hadn't really trained together as a team before Saturday. I hadn't seen Jonathan Davies for three months, except for the trial game. Jamie Roberts and Jonathan, our first-choice centre pairing, have only played together for 40 minutes since the Six Nations. Is it an excuse? Probably a little bit, but it's a reason. We've been able to get some hard work in this week and hopefully we can get back to speed."
Wales were caught cold after a five-week lay-off after the domestic season, and lock Luke Charteris said the one warm-up match did not make up for that inactivity. "The boys have not played for a while. I know we had that trial game but some guys only played 40 minutes or 50 minutes. Having that as one game in six weeks is not the same as playing Super Rugby week in and week out like South Africa's players have.
"Unfortunately that is the way it goes with the play-off system in England, France or the Pro 12. If your team does not reach the play-offs you are finishing four of five weeks before everyone else.
"You can do as much training or conditioning as you want but there is no substitute for playing. That is not the sole reason we lost but that is why we struggled to live with the intensity."
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