Wales Sevens target consistency

Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:05
There are no easy games and there is no room for complacency

Wales Sevens head coach Paul John has challenged his side to be more consistent as preparations begin for the second leg of the IRB Series in Dubai at the end of November.

John saw his side knocked out by South Africa in the Cup quarterfinals at the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia earlier this month, with defeat to Kenya in the Plate semifinal then ending Wales' hopes of silverware.

It was a tournament where Wales showed just how good they can be, defeating Fiji in a must-win pool encounter, but going down to Canada and Kenya.

A brace of tries from Chris Knight, who enjoyed a superb start to the IRB Series, helped Wales to a win over Ben Ryan's Fijians and John has challenged his side to produce that sort of performance on a regular basis.

"Overall it was a better start than last year," said John.

"We reached the quarterfinals which we didn't do 12 months ago but it was frustrating to be so close against South Africa. We were really competitive against them but looking back, it was definitely a game we could have won.

"In the group games we had a good start against Portugal but the frustrating performance on the first day was Canada. A yellow card early on put us on the back foot and we were soon three tries down and chasing the game. We came back into it but couldn't get the win and that was very disappointing."

Defeat to Canada left Wales needing to beat Fiji to reach the Cup quarterfinals and Knight's brace, as well as scores from skipper Adam Thomas and James Davies, saw them do just that.
"We had to win against Fiji and it was a big performance - it shows what the boys can do and the potential we have in the squad," said John.

"We have to get the standard of performance right in every game of the group. There are no easy games and there is no room for complacency. That's what we're working on, making sure we have consistency of performance on a regular basis and at each tournament."

After a week off following their return from Australia, Wales have already begun looking ahead to Dubai with John looking to select from an extended training squad for the next tournament.

"The training camp ahead of Dubai won't be much different to normal but you can't take shortcuts in preparation and we won't be doing that," he added.

"The core group of players will all come back into training and maybe a few extra boys too who will be given the chance to impress. The players performed well in Australia but we have a good squad and will look at everyone with regards to selection."