Wales need to build on the plus-points

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by TRF_SelimNiai, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. TRF_SelimNiai

    TRF_SelimNiai 'Ark at ee mun!

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    New blog post from me;

    "A tour to New Zealand is hard for anybody, just ask the Lions of 2005. Wales found that out too with a 2-Test defeat to the Kiwis.

    However Wales coach Warren Gatland can be satisfied with his young charges. Despite losing 42-9 and 29-10 respectively the effort and enthusiasm, particularly in the 2nd Test in Hamilton, will give Gatland and the rest of the coaching staff positives to work with as the squad enter next season, a World Cup season.

    With James Hook, Wales' most potent attacking weapon in recent games, missing through necessary shoulder surgery it was left to Andrew Bishop to try to fill the void, a job he did particularly well and was arguably Wales'best player in that 42-9 opening test defeat. It's a shame that he got injured for the 2nd Test, Jonathan Davies did well enough in Hamilton but sadly for him will be remembered as the player who failed to score a try when the line was at his mercy.

    Jamie Roberts also had a solid 2 Tests, including getting the try his play deserved in the Hamilton Test. He looks like he may be returning to the form he showed this time last year in South Africa playing for the Lions. However one player we can't afford to lose is Stephen Jones and Dan Biggar didn't show the sort of form he does while playing for the Ospreys. In fact, I don't think Biggar is ready for Internationals against sides other than ones outisde the Top 10 in the World. Which is a shame as, in games for his region, he has shown some classy touches and real talent.

    Tom Prydie also looked like he can handle playing at Test level, lets bear in mind that Prydie has recently turned 18 and finds himself starting against the world best team in their own back yard without playing that much Regional playing experience. He, along with Leigh Halfpenny, look to be Wales' premier wing options for the next few years.

    For Wales to progress our up and coming players need to play more for their regions. Gatland spoke in the run-up to the tour about the Regions unwillingness to pick their youth players in big games. For these players to reach the levels that they are capable of they need to play Magners League and Heineken Cup action on a regular basis.

    The New Zealand U20's side that recently won the World Championship for that level have players that have already got plenty of domestic experience in either the Air New Zealand Cup or Super 14/15. Wales' youth just doesn't have that type of experience. A fact proved with Wales U20's 7th place finish in the recent tournament in Argentina.

    So, they keys for the next season. Keep our top players fit and in-form. A Wales' side with a fully fit and firing back-line is a tough challenge for most teams. As I have already said the Regions need to put their faith in our youth and pick them more often. The most important plan for Wales is consistency, too many times last season a poor 1st half led to us having to chase the game too much in the 2nd 40, at times where the game was beyond us.

    Hopefully the next season will be better for Wales and who knows what will happen in New Zealand in September-October 2011."
     
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