Wales

Dragons to come out firing

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 10:48
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It is a case of rising to the challenge
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Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde says that they are focused on making a better start in Nelspruit this weekend to give themselves a chance of challenging the Springboks.

The Welsh were blown away by a stunning opening blitz from the Boks in the opening Test in Durban last week which effectively killed off any chance they had of securing their first away win over South Africa.

McBryde admitted that they had been humbled by the experience, and although they were able to raise their game in the second half, it was too late as Heyneke Meyer's side cruised to a comfortable 38-16 win.

Warren Gatland's side have one more crack at the No.2 ranked side in the world up in Nelspruit on Saturday, and McBryde said that they are desperate to get off to a fast start in order to turn the tables on the Boks.

"There are a lot of things to focus on. After that opening 20 or 30 minutes with the general pace of the game and the intensity obviously the Springboks were in a far more comfortable position.

"You can't disregard the clear-cut opportunities we had early in the game, if we convert those into points then the complexion of the game changes.

"With those early scores in the game we had our backs to the wall and obviously everything changes, all of a sudden you are fighting to survive," he explained.

Although he was satisfied with the intensity they achieved after half-time, the Welsh forwards coach pointed out that by then it was too late.

"In fairness in the second half we turned things around a little bit and certainly the replacements that came off the bench made a difference.

"We just need to focus on the opening exchanges, the first 20 minutes and if we can get that right hopefully we will be able to live in that intensity, maintain our composure far better so that we make better decisions and if we managed to do that in the opening exchanges then it will put us in a better position for the rest of the game," he added.

After conceding five tries in Durban, McBryde stressed the need to show more commitment on defence and get into the Boks' faces on Saturday to give themselves a crack at causing an upset.

"Defensively we have got to be a lot better, Warren [Gatland] has spoken about the line speed, we need to contest the breakdown far better.

"It was evident on Saturday why we haven't been successful against the Springboks for so long, they are one of the best teams in the world, they know their own game inside and out and they execute everything effectively with a lot of pace.

"It is a case of rising to the challenge, we were all humbled in the first 20 or 30 minutes so we have got to make sure that we are on the money this Saturday," he said.

Flyhalf Dan Biggar said that Wales will have to make a major step up in Nelspruit after effectively handing the Springboks a win on a plate last week.

"It is hugely disappointing to lose any game, but what made it worse was it felt like South Africa did not have to work particularly hard for any of their points," said the 24-year-old.

"South Africa are an outstanding team, they were clinical and if you give these sides a sniff they will take it.

"What can we do? Give up this week and take another hammering or do we roll our sleeves up, show a bit of mental toughness and togetherness and try and go out to put in a spirited performance and upset the odds.

"That is the view we are taking.

"That's the way to go rather than feeling sorry for ourselves and thinking it will be same again.

"We are hoping it won't be, we have dusted ourselves down, we have some very strong characters in this camp and we want to surprise the Boks on Saturday," he said.

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