Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Defensive efforts delight Edwards

Shaun Edwards

Shaun Edwards has hailed Wales' defensive effort against Fiji that helped them cruise into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Wales' 66-0 Pool D victory was the first time in seven years - since beating Japan 98-0 - they have enforced a shut-out on their opponents. And having conceded just one try in defeating Namibia 81-7 six days previously, it means Wales will head into Saturday's clash against Ireland high on confidence about their defensive structure.

"I was pleased with the lads because of their attitude, really," Wales assistant coach and defence specialist Edwards said. "The lads were really disappointed that we didn't get a nil against Namibia. It's very unusual to get a zero nowadays in rugby. To get a zero you have to shoot out to a quite convincing first-half lead otherwise people go for penalties."

He added: "Fiji battled on to the end and did their best, but our line held strong until the end of the game."

Edwards, meanwhile, has urged Wales to seize the moment when they bid for a World Cup semi-final place at Ireland's expense.

Wales have not reached the tournament's penultimate knockout stage since 1987. On that occasion they were beaten by hosts New Zealand before toppling Australia to claim a third-place finish.

"It is a moment in time you have to seize," Edwards added. "Both teams will be giving 100% to try to make sure they are not the team who are packing their bags next Monday."

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