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Welsh Flaws

Gatland's Team Still Need Work

Posted Mar 09, 2011 by Shaun Edwards

Wales need improvements

Two Six Nations victories in a row will doubtless have done wonders for Warren Gatland’s Welsh side, especially after the lean spell of losses that preceded them.  However, they still need to improve several aspects of their game if they want to continue to improve their standing in world rugby during the lead up to the World Cup later on this year.

Discipline is without doubt the first lesson that needs to be taken in.  The first twenty minutes against Scotland were played mainly to a numerical disadvantage and led to a remarkable 15 penalties being given away. If Italy had a kicker of real class Wales would have been absolutely demolished.  If they continue to show this lack of professionalism against France and Ireland they will easily lose both matches.

Keeping the tempo up is vital to Wales’ success.  The Italian coach Nick Mallett admitted publicly before the fixture that his team struggled dealing with real pace, so it was little surprise that Wales came out running in the first half and consequently gained three tries before their opponents had really woken up.  This productive beginning consequently lent even more frustration to the fact that Gatland’s team then slowed the game up and significantly lowered their on-field success as a result..  If Wales can dictate the pace for a full eighty minutes, they can cause legitimate damage.  If they can’t maintain it then they’ll be in trouble.

Whilst they are currently missing both Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins, the scrummage against Italy definitely seemed to have an air of complacency about it, with the Italians able to offer little opposition to Wales’ superior power.  However, it’s important to make sure that this potential complacency doesn’t carry over against far stronger sides.  France will take full advantage of anything less than maximum power from any opponents, and needless to say a side like the All-Blacks would absolutely crush them.

Without doubt the Welsh are not firing on all cylinders at the moment.  Whether or not they will ever be able to in their current incarnation remains to be seen.




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