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Wayne Pivac says Wales are trying to change what theyve been doing for 10 years – Wales Online

Wayne Pivac says Wales are trying to change what theyve been doing for 10 years – Wales Online

Wales have fallen to their sixth consecutive defeat after their 32-9 loss to Ireland in Dublin.

Head coach Wayne Pivac insisted he was still the man to turn things around in the face of mounting pressure from the Welsh rugby public.

Question: What was your assessment of that, Wayne?

Wayne Pivac: I’m obviously very disappointed with the first half in terms of our set piece. We weren’t able to build any pressure.

There was malfunctioning at the lineout and there were infringements at the scrum, where we were on the receiving end.

We were unable to really build anything, which was very similar to the first half in the Scottish game. That was frustrating.

The difference being, from a positive point of view, was that through all the territory and possession the Irish had [in the first half], only one try was scored.

The defensive effort, the energy we were looking for was there. Unfortunately, when you are having to make that many tackles, it’s going to take its toll at some stage in the game.

At half time, we were going in there looking to eliminate mistakes in the second half and get our discipline under control because we’d conceded 10 by half time.

It’s very hard to build momentum when that’s the case. That was the discussion after half time and I felt that after half time we were reasonably positive and we started to play some rugby once we held onto the ball and build some pressure.

In the latter part of the second half, more of the first half crept in with the individual error and unforced error.

It’s something we need to look at and address very quickly.

Q: You took Rhys Carre off just before half time – was that ruthless but necessary?

WP: It’s not about individuals, it’s about doing what we think is best for the team at the time.

The set piece was under pressure, it was a scrum on our line and we didn’t want to concede before half time.

We made the change and we didn’t concede.

Q: That’s six defeats in a row now, are you confident you’re the man who can turn things around?

WP: Yes. From a head coach’s point of view in these situations it’s about the vibe in the changing room and among the players.

I think if you were in the changing room, you’d see a very disappointed team but a team that has put in a hell of a shift.

We’d asked for that after the Scottish performance and the positives were the work that we’d put in without the ball.

I’m not sure what the stats were but it was a hell of a defensive effort. That speaks volumes of the group.

Owen Watkin is tackled by Josh van der Flier and Jamison Gibson-Park
(Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

Q: Are you getting the best out of this group of players?

WP: We’ve got a lot of players who have come back from some serious injuries who probably aren’t at their peak at the moment.

They know that and we know that.

It’s very frustrating that the changes we have wanted to make have taken time. Under pressure we’re making some errors that are uncharacteristic for some players.

We’ll go away and have a look at this game, as we do every game, but we have a few games to look at now for any patterns emerging in terms of individuals making errors.

We’ll look at that with selections going forward.

Q: Do you need patience from the Welsh rugby public?

WP: It is the autumn series and we’re not going to change from our plan.

There will be a lot of changes for next week, which were pre-planned. That’s to give the squad a run by the end of the Georgia game and that’s what we’ll do.

We’ll continue to build depth and continue to work hard.

But at the moment, they are bitter pills to swallow by everybody because it’s not as if we’ve been beaten on a regular basis by teams that are that much better.

I think we’re helping the opposition and giving them too many easy ins.

We’re hurting ourselves and we’ll work very hard to rectify it as quickly as we can.

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Q: Are you worried about the way things are going?

WP: Obviously we’re concerned about any performance where we don’t get the result that we’re after and we’ve had a few on the bounce, as you rightly point out.

From my point of view, it’s not about me, it’s about the team and making sure we give them the best preparation and the best opportunity to perform.

Preparation has been good and we’re working very hard as a group.

It’s taking a bit of time for us to click and eliminate the errors that are hampering us at the moment.

They are things which are in our control and we have to make sure that we control them a lot better.

Gareth Davies in action against Ireland
(Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

Q: This is not a bad bunch of players but, looking from the outside, the results are getting worse every week – what’s going wrong?

WP: We’re looking to change what we’ve done over 10 years and we’re trying to change mindsets. It doesn’t happen overnight in my experience.

It’s something that we will continue to work towards because we believe in it.

The players are working very hard and from our point of view it’s about rolling up our sleeves on Monday.

We’re not giving in on this. This is not the World Cup, we’re working towards the World Cup and this is going to take time.

Q: The penalty count was very high again – are you being unfairly treated by the referees?

WP: It’s a mindset isn’t it? Players get into a mindset, coaches get into a mindset and referees get into a mindset.

We wouldn’t agree with every one of the decisions let’s just say that.

Q: This team is unrecognisable from last year – how long until we see them become a Wayne Pivac team?

WP: Pre-lockdown you saw where we were heading, post-lockdown you haven’t seen it.

It’s been full of error. It’s something we’re not comfortable with. We’re working very hard to rectify it and we’ll continue to do that.

I’d like to think that we noticed an improvement each week and this week we saw some improvement without the ball. Certainly the intent was there.

That’s the first place, normally, where things start to go wrong, if you’re not preparing well and doing what you need to do.

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