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Hooker Ken Owens confident Wales can bounce back

Published 06/11/2016

Wales hooker Ken Owens, left, knows an immediate response from defeat against Australia will be required against Argentina next Saturday
Wales hooker Ken Owens, left, knows an immediate response from defeat against Australia will be required against Argentina next Saturday

Ken Owens believes recent history shows that Wales can bounce back quickly from the depths of a debilitating defeat.

Australia's 12th successive victory in the fixture on Saturday - a 32-8 stroll that at times resembled an opposed training session - means Wales are already behind the eight-ball with regard to this season's autumn schedule.

Argentina are next up in six days' time, followed by Japan and South Africa, which suggests that life is not about to become easier for Owens and company any time soon.

"It's do-able," Wales hooker Owens said, when asked if Wales can make a rapid response.

"We were frustrated with how the England game went before we went to New Zealand (in June), and we played very well in the first and second Tests.

"We have got to do that this week, and do it quickly.

"They (Australia) have been playing international rugby, we've been playing club (regional) rugby, but we've had a fortnight of training at international Test level, so we can't use that as an excuse.

"We have just got to lick our wounds.

"A lot of it is about winning that gain-line, and they held on to the ball and played the territory much better than us. It felt on the pitch that we didn't win the battle of the gain-line."

Wales were down and out at half-time, trailing by 17 points, as they ultimately suffered an eighth defeat in the last 12 Tests against all opponents.

Owens added: "We had trained at a decent intensity, and we just haven't delivered.

"We need to make sure we are at the races from the start of the game next Saturday.

"We obviously didn't get any ball (in the first-half), which was hugely frustrating. They attacked very well and we failed to match them and meet them on the gain-line.

"They got the momentum, and there was something like an 80/20 split in terms of possession in the first-half, and in Test match rugby, you are not going to get anything with that sort of deficit."

Wales have beaten Argentina in four of the last five Tests, but the 2015 World Cup semi-finalists will be dangerous opponents ready to thrive on any Welsh shortcomings.

"Argentina are on a bit of a roll," Owens said.

"They have beaten Japan and had a good Rugby Championship again, and they are going to be coming here for a win, so we are going to have to turn up, get momentum into our game and deliver.

"They have got a good set-piece, a big scrummaging game, but they have evolved their game as well.

"They off-load a hell of a lot, they have got a lot of trick plays and things like that. They try to play at a high tempo with a lot of off-loads."

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