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Bennett wants strong set-pieces

Huw Bennett

Hooker Huw Bennett has emphasised the need for a strong set-piece game when Wales face a flamboyant Fiji side in Cardiff on Friday night.

The South Sea Islanders make their first Millennium Stadium appearance since 2005, but it is just three years since they inflicted World Cup torture on Wales by knocking them out at the pool stage in Nantes.

"The scrum and lineout have been good so far," said Bennett, who takes over from rested skipper Matthew Rees. "Fiji are a powerful attacking team, and they like to play when they have the ball in their hands. We know we have to tire them out through the set-piece, and we know that will help us through the game."

In keeping with most of the Wales team involved, Bennett was not among the matchday squad for that World Cup shocker at Fiji's hands. He was, though, part of Wales' 2007 World Cup squad, and he recalled: "It was just a massive disappointment.

"I don't think we disrespected them, but they sent us out of the competition and we had to pack our bags and go home. There was a huge feeling of frustration after the game, and it is something we are looking to put right. It will be at the back of a lot of our minds on Friday.

"It was one of the lowest points in Welsh rugby in recent times. I can't remember many that left you feeling as low as that.

"We cannot let them play as freely as they did that day. We need a strong set-piece, to be physical and play it tight when we need to. We also have to play the game in the right areas of the pitch this time."

Bennett wins his 37th cap on Friday and he is determined to show what he can do after playing second fiddle to Rees for much of his Test career.

"When you have a guy in the same position as you who is captain, you know what the situation is," he said. "It can be frustrating, but you know you just have to do a job when you come off the bench.

"Since Warren Gatland came in as coach, it has been myself and Matthew fighting for the position and it's been pretty tight. It just means when you get a chance, you have to take it."