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Wales seek to clarify scrum issues

Assistant coach Robin McBryde has revealed Wales will again consult the International Rugby Board over the performance of referee Romain Poite.

The Welsh management were unhappy with how Poite handled the scrum in their first Test hiding against South Africa on Saturday.

Wales had been confident of keeping on the good side of the Frenchman, having previously sought IRB clarification over Poite's decision to continually penalise and eventually yellow card Gethin Jenkins in the Six Nations loss to England at Twickenham.

But they encountered further issues in the 38-16 reverse at Kings Park.

"We are seeking a bit more clarification on the scrum from (IRB referees' boss) Joel Jutge, who I will meet again this week," said former hooker McBryde.

"I don't want to be too critical because there are a lot of things for referees to look at. It's the specifics of the technical aspects of the scrum.

"There are a couple of times when we've been penalised and we want to make sure we're seeing the same things as the referee.

"We met Romain before the game and still those decisions went against us. We just need to clarify things."

But the tourists know Poite's performance in no way influenced the outcome in Durban, where Wales were blitzed by the Springboks.

And fly-half Dan Biggar admitted the Wales camp are hurting after being swept aside with ease.

"It is hugely disappointing to lose any game, but what made it worse was it felt like South Africa did not have to work particularly hard for any of their points," he said.

"They are an outstanding team, they were clinical and if you give these sides a sniff they will take it.

"But what can we do? Give up this week and take another hammering or do we roll our sleeves up, show a bit of mental toughness and togetherness and try and go out to put in a spirited performance and upset the odds.

"That is the view we are taking. That's the way to go rather than feeling sorry for ourselves and thinking it will be same again.

"We are hoping it won't be, we have dusted ourselves down, we have some very strong characters in this camp and we want to surprise the 'Boks on Saturday."

The disappointing nature of Wales' performance was only added to by the experience on show in the starting XV.

Wales could call on over 700 Test caps and 10 British & Irish Lions but were miserably off the pace.

It leaves head coach Warren Gatland and company with a major selection dilemma given the strong displays of youngsters like scrum-half Gareth Davies, wing Jordan Williams, prop Samson Lee and full-back Matthew Morgan on tour.

Lock Luke Charteris admits there will be plenty of nerves around the camp ahead of the team announcement for the second Test.

He said: "We are over here with a big squad, because of the midweek game, so the options are there for the coaches if they want to make changes.

"After what happened on Saturday, I guess there will be quite a few nervous boys come team selection day on Thursday."


From Belfast Telegraph