Halfpenny's money on Welsh revival

Thu, 07 Feb 2013 07:06
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Leigh Halfpenny has said talk of a Wales "crisis" is misplaced as they attempt to end their losing streak against France in Paris this weekend.

Leigh Halfpenny has said talk of a Wales "crisis" is misplaced as they attempt to end their losing streak against France in Paris this weekend.

Grand Slam champions Wales saw their hopes of a successful title defence punctured by a 30-22 first round defeat by Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday.

One consolation is that France lost as well last weekend, going down 23-18 to Italy in Rome.

Nevertheless, there is no escaping the fact that Wales - who have enjoyed just three away wins against France since 1975 - have now lost their last eight matches and have not beaten another Test-playing nation for nearly a year.

However, defiant Wales fullback Halfpenny said: "We are not in crisis. There is one game down and the tournament is still wide open.

"At the end of the day, we are the defending champions, and that means something. We have to go out and play like we are champions.

"We have to make sure we are putting the work in throughout the week and believe that every time we take to that pitch we are going to win. That is the attitude we have to have on Saturday."

A major problem for Wales in the Ireland game is that it was only until early in the second half at the Millennium Stadium, by which time the visitors had piled up 30 points, that they started to make any impression on the game.

Under pressure interim head coach Rob Howley, standing in now Warren Gatland has been seconded to the British and Irish Lions for this year's tour of Australia, is due to name his side to play France on Thursday.

Changes seem inveitable after the Ireland defeat, with in-form flank Justin Tipuric pushing for a starting place in a back row where fellow openside and Wales captain Sam Warburton could move across to the blindside.

Halfpenny took heart from Wales's rally against Ireland but said they could not afford a repeat of their sluggish first-half display and defended Howley against his critics.

"I thought we reacted well in the second-half (against Ireland), but it is not acceptable to be 30 points down before you react. We need to react from the start," he said.

"It is down to the players. We were prepared in the best way possible by the coaches and given everything we needed going into the game."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 13 February 2016
Treviso v Cardiff Blues 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
France v Ireland 14h25 Paris
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Northampton Saints v London Irish 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Worcester Warriors v Bath 15h00 Sixways
Wales v Scotland 16h50 Cardiff
Sun, 14 February 2016
Italy v England 14h00 Rome
Saracens v Wasps 16h00 Allianz Park
Munster v Ospreys 17h00 Irish Independent Park
Mon, 15 February 2016
NMMU-Madibaz v Maties 14h45 Port Elizabeth
CUT-Ixias v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Bloemfontein
UKZN-Impi v Fort Hare 16h30 Pietermaritzburg
TUT v UWC 16h30 Pretoria
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 16h30 Pretoria
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Thu, 18 February 2016
TUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Pretoria
Fort Hare v Wits 16h30 East London
Fri, 19 February 2016
Zebre v Leinster 22h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 12 February 2016
Scarlets v Edinburgh 22 | 21
Newcastle Falcons v Leicester Tigers 26 | 14
Leinster v Zebre 52 | 0
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 13 | 10
Thu, 11 February 2016
Dragons v Connacht 21 | 26
Mon, 08 February 2016
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 17 | 23
UJ v NMMU-Madibaz 19 | 12
Maties v CUT-Ixias 40 | 0
UWC v UKZN-Impi 13 | 24
Wits v TUT 53 | 0
UP-Tuks v NWU-Pukke 15 | 38
Sun, 07 February 2016
Ireland v Wales 16 | 16
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 11 | 14
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 20 | 13
Sat, 06 February 2016
Scotland v England 9 | 15
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 1 1 0 0 2
France 1 1 0 0 2
Ireland 1 0 1 0 1
Wales 1 0 1 0 1
Italy 1 0 0 1 0
Scotland 1 0 0 1 0
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