Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby World Cup

Welsh face tough trail to final after Oz defeat

By Andrew Baldock

Alun-Wyn Jones accepts that Wales will need to "do it the hard way" in their quest for World Cup glory.

Wales' 15-6 defeat against Australia in Saturday's Pool A decider at Twickenham considerably increased their tournament degree of difficulty.

Victory over the Wallabies would have meant a quarter-final appointment with Scotland next Sunday, but they must now tackle twice world champions South Africa 24 hours earlier, and if they win that, then New Zealand potentially await.

World Cup history is also stacked against Wales, with no team having won the tournament after finishing runners-up in their group.

"If we are going to win the World Cup, we are going to have to do it the hard way," Wales lock Jones said.

"Nobody has ever done it from finishing second in their pool, but there has got to be a first.

"We have lost to one southern hemisphere team, but if we're going to progress to where we want to be, then we are going to have to beat another two.

"They (South Africa) faltered in their first match (against Japan) but, like a lot of teams, they have grown throughout the tournament. We pushed them last summer and gave a good performance to beat them last autumn. I think they still have a point to prove after their initial performance (against Japan)."

Wales failed to capitalise on the scoreboard when Australia had two players - Will Genia and Dean Mumm - sin-binned, and Jones added: "We were held up (over the line) three times.

"We should have capitalised when they were down to 13 men, but we didn't, and you have got to move on."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph