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

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Despite his side’s six-try victory in Toyota, fuelled by a first-half blitz from which the Georgians never really recovered, 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.”

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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.

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