Howley demands more clinical Wales

PA Sport
Rob Howley is urging his Wales side to be more clinical in the future
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Rob Howley is urging his Wales side to be more clinical in the future

Wales stand-in coach Rob Howley will demand his players are more clinical when they attempt to save the series against Australia in the second test in Melbourne on Saturday.

The Grand Slam champions lost their six-match unbeaten run with a 27-19 defeat in Brisbane against a Wallabies team that scored as many tries in one game as Wales had conceded in the whole of the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

But Howley still believes his side can hit back in the second Test and take the battle for the James Bevan Trophy into a deciding third Test in Sydney. He said: "We showed great character and spirit in the second half to bring the game back to 20-19, but it is all about being clinical."

He added: "All the chances we created in the second half, compared to the first half performance, caused Australia some problems. But we just didn't take enough of our opportunities. In the first half the speed and intensity of the game was at a level we hadn't played at for some time. We struggled with the pace of the game.

"As a result our support systems around the tackle area weren't good enough. For the next six or seven days we will work hard to improve and we will be much better for having played a game.

"We didn't grasp the speed of the ball at the tackle area and that is something we will have to do some work on. We also played too much in our territory instead of going for field position.

"But while we were 10-3 down at half-time, we only lost the second half 17-16. Our brand of rugby involves an offloading style, but on our terms and we lacked accuracy under pressure."

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans expects both sides to improve over the space of the week and is predicting a tough series.

"We are very proud of the players' response not only from the start, but especially at 20-19. It has been a huge effort and they got the job done," said Deans.

"Will Genia and Berrick Barnes were both very good and gave us a clear understanding of what we were trying to do. But this is a good Welsh side that put us under a lot of pressure. They are a fit side and it is going to be a great series for sure. They are going to come back at us strongly in Melbourne."

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