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Jamie Roberts knows Wales must move on from their Australia disappointment

Published 06/11/2016

Jamie Roberts has offered no excuses for Wales' poor performance against Australia in Cardiff
Jamie Roberts has offered no excuses for Wales' poor performance against Australia in Cardiff

Jamie Roberts has described Wales' heaviest home defeat for 10 years as "a kick in the backside."

Australia's 32-8 Principality Stadium triumph - the Wallabies were in cruise control for most of a hopelessly one-sided contest - left Wales clutching at straws for any positive elements.

But the recovery act has to begin rapidly, with Australia's Rugby Championship rivals Argentina in Cardiff next Saturday, followed by appointments with Japan and South Africa.

Wales have won just three of their last 12 Tests, while they remain without a victory in the opening game of an autumn campaign since they beat Romania in Wrexham 14 years ago.

Australia could, and should, have won by a greater margin, and not since New Zealand inflicted a 45-10 drubbing on them in 2006 had Wales been so horribly outclassed on home soil.

It cannot be ignored that Wales went into battle without five front-line players - Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, Jonathan Davies and Liam Williams - while scrum-half Rhys Webb now appears a fitness doubt for the remaining three November games after suffering an ankle injury.

But the absentees could not remotely paper over damaging cracks in a Wales performance scarred by ineffective forwards, poor defending and frequently being left bewildered by Australia's all-singing, all-dancing attacking game that delivered tries for Stephen Moore, Reece Hodge, Tevita Kuridrani, Bernard Foley and Dane Haylett-Petty.

"W e have to look at the video and be honest and up front on Monday," Wales centre Roberts said.

"We just got beaten on the gain-line, and that is rugby, ultimately.

"In the first-half, as the game was going on, we just couldn't slow their speed of ball. Their ruck speed was very quick, so in defence we just couldn't get off the line and we made some poor reads, myself included.

"Rugby is about momentum, it's about speed of ball, and we just didn't win that battle against Australia. They played some good stuff in attack and caused us problems, along with some poor defensive reads from us.

"Argentina will pose a similar threat with a lot of pace out wide, and if we allow them momentum, speed of ball and space in the game, it will be another tough day.

"It's certainly a kick in the backside for us, and we go into training on Monday and we have to address the issues."

Wales' interim head coach Rob Howley looks certain to make changes for the Pumas encounter, with flanker Warburton and lock Jones likely to be back, and it must also be hoped that key backs Williams and Davies are available.

Howley, meanwhile, could also look at possible starting spots for fly-half Sam Davies and lock Cory Hill, two Test rookies who settled comfortably and impressively when they made second-half appearances off the bench.

"We've got to learn from it," Roberts added.

"Argentina are a formidable outfit this year, and they have improved a lot the last few years. We will rock up to training on Monday and learn from our mistakes and go again.

"We've been there before. A lot of us have been there before. It was a bad day at the office for us, and it happens in rugby, it happens in sport.

"You would like to blame a lot of different things for a result like that, but there is no point being too complicated about it. They beat us.

"The speed of ball, and certainly with the possession in the first-half, they blew us away. You can dress it up all you want, but we lost the gain-line battle."

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