Alun Wyn Jones Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales cast cautious eye forward as Scotland grapple with nightmare start

Alun Wyn Jones Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales cast cautious eye forward as Scotland grapple with nightmare start

Alun Wyn Jones This is another smart WordPress plugin.

Warren Gatland won’t be getting ahead of himself.

The manner in which Wales’ backline swept aside their opponents in the first half was no doubt an encouraging sight for Gatland and his coaching team. The Welsh attack is a potent force, capable of puncturing holes in the sturdiest of defences. To therefore see it operating in this fashion was a joy to watch.

But as the Kiwi admitted afterwards, Wales’ inability to keep the game a closed affair points to the work that still needs to be done. “It was a little bit messy,” Gatland said. “Georgia came pretty hard at us in the second half and defended a bit better. To concede those two tries was disappointing.”

Against Australia, the Welsh will know they can’t take their foot off the pedal. In truth, Sunday’s showdown will be the real indicator of where Wales stand. Prior to the beginning of the tournament, Gatland had praised this squad as the strongest he’s ever assembled for a World Cup. Beat the Wallabies – something Wales have never managed before on this stage – and you feel there may be something to his words.

But after Monday’s win, as well as Australia’s own battling victory over Fiji, it’s hard to discern a clear victor. Both have an abundance of talent at their disposal with which to batter and wear down their opponents. Both have a potential for lapses in concentration. The set piece, in particular, looks set to play a central role in determining the flow of Sunday’s match.

Wales’ scrum initially held its own against the Georgians but the second half revealed the inconsistencies that still linger, with Gatland’s men conceding a penalty within their own 22 that led to a Levan Chilachava try. If Australia get their tactics right, the set piece could be the Wallabies’ ticket to glory in Tokyo.

Lingering over this coming collision, and Wales’ tournament as a whole, is the issue of injuries. The Welsh have more than coped without the experience and power of Toby Faletau – he was absent for their Six Nations victory earlier this year – but Dan Anscombe’s late withdrawal ahead of the World Cup came as a major blow. In Dan Biggar they have a worthy replacem

This is the interesting add-on ever%sentence_ending

Read full article at the Original Source

Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the Linked Source