Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Edwards expects better from Wales

Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards is expecting a much-improved performance from his team in Saturday's second Test against Japan in Tokyo.

A second-string Wales struggled to overcome hot conditions and a well-drilled Japan team before finally edging out their hosts 22-18 in Osaka.

"Since I have been here we have always tended to improve in the second Test or as a tournament goes on," he said. "We have seen in the Six Nations and at the Rugby World Cup that the team gets better and better and hopefully that will be the case on this trip as well. There are no guarantees but that's certainly the plan."

Edwards added: "If we manage to win then that will be the first time I have been involved in a winning streak as long as six Tests with Wales, and that would be a great feeling."

Wales will seek confirmation from referee Greg Garner over the availability of a television match official on Saturday, following Japan's controversial try that almost led to Wales suffering a first-ever defeat to the Asian side.

Despite previous briefings with inexperienced South African referee Lourens van der Merwe, Wales were stunned to discover midway through the first Test there was no video official at Kintetsu Hanazono Stadium.

The Six Nations champions only learned of the absence when fly-half Dan Biggar asked Van der Merwe to review his penalty kick, ruled wide by the touch judges, 26 minutes into the game.

Wales captain Bradley Davies also then asked Van der Merwe to consult over Japan's opening try after hooker Emyr Phillips appeared to be obstructed, only to be told there was no TMO.

Edwards said: "We will meet with the ref in the next few days and we will have to clarify the situation because it was very surprising last week. Clearly we felt there was obstruction for Japan's first try but they got away with it.

"Had there been a TMO I'm sure he would have disallowed the try but we had not been told there wasn't one. It wasn't until Dan asked about his kick and then lads queried the try that the referee told us. It's not a criticism of him because he was unsighted for the try but it just shows what we have at our disposal back home to clear these things up."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph