Imagine Rugby Blogs

Errors are proving costly

Wales concede late on to draw with Fiji

Posted Nov 21, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Ryan Jones

What is up with Wales at the minute? They have some cracking players but just don’t seem to be putting any sort of form together at present and that was highlighted by the thoroughly disappointing 16-16 draw with Fiji yesterday.With all due respect to Fiji, this is a game Wales should be winning comfortably, especially at the Millennium Stadium. The Welsh are a lot better than they are showing at the minute and it’s going to take the experience, nous and talent of coach Warren Gatland to get his side out of this slump.At Test level, coaches always bang on about discipline and that is what seems to be missing at the moment. They may have rested some key players, but experienced internationals like Ryan Jones, who captained the team against the Fijians, should be able to blitz this level of opposition.In fact, it was Jones’s error that led to the late penalty that tied the game up at 16-16 late on – Seremaia Bai slotting over.If Wales are going to make any kind of impression at Test level in the coming months they are going to have to eradicate these costly mistakes and get back to the level that saw them triumph in the Six Nations a few years back.They keep conceding soft tries and stupid penalties and individuals need to start taking responsibility for their mistakes and it was good to see Jones do this after Saturday’s disappointment.He recognised that his error cost his team dearly and that he let those around him down and now it will be interesting to see if Gatland sticks by him or brings in one of Jonathan Thomas, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams or Dan Mydiate as a replacement in the back row.Jones told the BBC: “ I have just had the worst 20 minutes of my rugby career standing up in front of the boys and apologising to them for a mistake I made which gave away the penalty for the three points that got them the draw.”In truth, it was consistent errors throughout the 80 minutes that kept the visitors in the game not just this one single mistake.However, Wales now face a massive test of breaking this six match run without a win and they face the toughest team of all in which to try and end it as New Zealand are up next.

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