Wales 19 Samoa 26: Rob Howley critical of his side’s display
Wales 19 Samoa 26: Rob Howley admits his side did not perform in a surprise loss at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night
Rob Howley has admitted Wales did not perform well in their 26-19 defeat to Samoa on Friday, but is adamant they have not become a bad side overnight.
After falling to a shock 26-12 loss against Argentina last Saturday, the Red Dragons were looking to bounce back against Stephen Betham’s Samoans.
But tries from Faatoina Autagavaia, George Pisi and Johnny Leota powered Samoa to victory at the Millennium Stadium, despite 14 points from Leigh Halfpenny’s boot and Ashley Beck’s try.
The result was hugely disappointing, especially considering they secured the Grand Slam in last season’s Six Nations, and Howley was critical of his side’s display.
“I have spoken to the players and we are obviously disappointed as a coaching team and group of players,” said the 42-year-old.
“International rugby is about discipline and when we created opportunities in the game, although we did not have many, we were disappointed in terms of our top-three inches at times.
“We were outperformed by a Samoa side whose ability to keep the ball better than us was the most disappointing aspect of the performance.
“We did not have control of possession or in terms of the contact area and that performance was obviously not international standard.”
With regular head coach Warren Gatland set to return for next week’s clash against New Zealand, Howley is hoping for a vastly improved performance.
And going into clashes against the Kiwis and Australia, the former Wales scrum-half insists the meetings are good opportunities to prove they are still a decent side.
“Over the last 12 months we have been to the World Cup semi-finals and won a Grand Slam,” he added.
“We have had the highs and now we are going through a low. We have to bounce back and rugby gives you an opportunity.
“This group of players have been outstanding in training, but when we cross that white line our skills are not up to scratch of international rugby at this moment in time, but we will keep working hard and keep working smart and we will stick together.
“We have two good games against New Zealand and Australia to come and it is something to look forward to.”
© Sportsbeat 2012