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Biggar wants to ruffle feathers

Dan Biggar insists Wales' ongoing woes against the southern hemisphere's big three are not down to a lack of mental strength.

Last weekend's 38-16 first Test defeat to South Africa in Durban further extended the tourists miserable record when taking on the Springboks, New Zealand and Australia.

Since head coach Warren Gatland took charge in 2007 there has been a solitary win from 24 encounters with the world's top three, against Australia in 2008.

With the World Cup 15 months away and a testing group including England and Australia to negotiate, a southern hemisphere scalp is a must if Wales are to harbour genuine ambitions of being contenders for the William Webb Ellis trophy.

And Ospreys fly-half Biggar maintains Wales are confident they can claim a much-needed victory as they target redemption in Saturday's second Test in Nelspruit.

"It's pretty tough playing those sides, they are outstanding teams and they give you very little to feed off," said the 24-year-old.

"I do not think it is a mental issue in terms of crossing the line and beating these teams, but the more time we go without winning the more of an issue it becomes.

"Once we do it, it will give us that belief and be a turning point for us in beating them game in game out.

"It is tough but we have got to keep going. We have to make sure we instil belief in ourselves and try and ruffle a few feathers."

One of the most surprising aspects of Wales' defeat in Durban was their poor defensive effort.

Under Shaun Edwards tutelage the men in red's defence has been a considerable asset, allowing them to stay in games even when not on top form.

But that was not the case as five tries were shipped to the 'Boks.

Edwards has made clear how unimpressed he was with certain aspects of the defensive display, and the touring squad have no doubt been put through their paces rigorously.

But Biggar praised Edwards for the calm demeanour with which he handled his half-time team talk last weekend, believing it to be key in an improved second half performance and a reason for optimism ahead of the second Test.

"Analysis has been pretty uncomfortable this week," he said.

"But Shaun Edwards was excellent at half-time on Saturday.

"He knew he could have come in ranting and raving at all the mistakes we had made but he knew that would not solve anything there and then.

"He was constructive and he was excellent in how he rallied the boys, pulled us together. He got us to relax and go out and try and have more parity second half.

"That was very important. It is not the time for ranting and raving because there is only so much that can achieve.

"We will be harsh on ourselves, no doubt, but no-one will feel sorry for themselves. We are going to go out on Saturday and give it a really good go."


From Belfast Telegraph