‘There is no hiding’: Wayne Pivac insists Wales are desperate to put their Six Nations embarrassment by Italy behind them in their daunting three-Test series in world champions South Africa’s backyard
- Wayne Pivac has admitted Wales’ loss to Italy in March was ’embarrassing’
- The Dragons are currently preparing for a three-Test series against South Africa
- Pivac is hopeful Wales will bounce back against Springboks, starting next week
It’s a long time between drinks,’ quipped Wayne Pivac this week, as he admitted he had been left embarrassed by Wales’ Six Nations humiliation at the hands of Italy.
Pivac’s side landed in South Africa last week ahead of a daunting three-Test series with the world champion Springboks.
It is one made all the tougher on the back of Wales’ last result.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has admitted the loss to Italy in March was ’embarrassing’
A first home defeat by Italy in March was the nadir of Pivac’s Welsh coaching tenure.
The positive for Wales is that even with the best side in the world next up, they can hardly get worse than their Azzurri display.
‘We’ve got to be a lot better than our last game. I say that with a smile on my face,’ Pivac said.
‘We were embarrassed by that last performance, there is no hiding from that.. The players and management have spoken about it.
‘Nobody likes finishing on a sour note with a poor performance.
‘We are a better team than that and need to go out and show it in the first Test while also backing it up with strong performances in the second and third.
Pivac is hopeful his team will get better when they fave South Africa in a three-Test series
‘That’s certainly what we are going to try to achieve.’ Pivac continued: ‘History says we haven’t done well there (South Africa), clearly. In some camps they’d say you’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose.
‘The last Test we played we got wrong and we need to make sure we do everything we can to get this one right. We’ll not be going out there with a careless attitude. We’ll be doing what we think we need to do to try to win the first Test and then set ourselves up for a great series.’ The odds are stacked against Wales in the Rainbow Nation.
South Africa will play on home turf in front of their own fans for the first time since they won the 2019 World Cup this summer.
The first two Tests are at altitude and, as ever, countering the giant Springbok pack and their ‘bomb squad’ of replacements will be the challenge for Wales.
South Africa will play on home turf in front of their own fans for the first time in three years
Pivac’s men ran South Africa close last autumn, but the Wales boss rightly acknowledged his team struggled at the scrum in that narrow 23-18 Cardiff defeat.
With that in mind, a back concern for first-choice tighthead prop Tomas Francis is a huge concern for Wales and Pivac.
Dillon Lewis and the uncapped Sam Wainwright and Harri O’Connor are reserves.
No Wales side has ever won a Test series in South Africa.
‘If we can hold South Africa to one try, as we did against France in the Six Nations, then we would be pretty pleased,’ Pivac said. ‘There was some good stuff that came out of the Six Nations, let’s not forget that. We do know how well we can play when we put it together.’
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