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Wales need to smarten up - Jenkins

Gethin Jenkins has claimed Wales must be "a bit smarter" as they dust themselves down after their 25-16 defeat to Australia and prepare for next Saturday's Millennium Stadium appointment with world champions South Africa.

Wales have lost their past 11 Tests against the Springboks, conceding almost 370 points in the process, but they could be reinforced by the return from a broken hand of their British and Irish Lions full-back Lee Byrne, while last season's Wales skipper Ryan Jones will be reassessed in his battle to overcome a torn calf muscle.

"We knew we had a bit of dominance up-front, but we also knew how strong they were out wide and how clinical they would be if we weren't on the ball in defence," Jenkins said. "I think we can just be a bit smarter in the way we play sometimes."

It was another sobering loss against top southern hemisphere opposition - a 10th from 11 attempts since coach Warren Gatland took charge.

Lions Test prop Jenkins though, believes Wales can fix the problem areas.

"We missed a few key opportunities," he added. "Our game-plan was to keep it quite tight and work them up-front, and we had a little bit of success.

"We've done a lot of scrummaging the past two weeks, pretty much every day. We knew it was going to be a big part of the game, and going forward over the next few weeks.

"We could have perhaps pushed our dominance home a bit more, but at the end of the day we didn't stack up enough in defence.

"There was a big emphasis on taking out their seven (David Pocock). We know how good he is in that area (breakdown) and for most parts of the game we did the job, but a few times we didn't and they capitalised.

"We've really got to work on switching on from any turnovers and getting back in the (defensive) line. Once we lost the ball, we sort of switched off a bit and they punished us. It's a team game. You can't always win in all areas of the game."


From Belfast Telegraph