Wales centre Johnny Williams calls for ‘patience’ after narrow defeat by England… but is time running out for coach Wayne Pivac?
- Wales were beaten 24-13 by England at Llanelli on Saturday night
- Wales have lost seven of nine Tests since Pivac succeeded Warren Gatland
- Pivac’s side must beat Italy on Saturday to finish fifth in the Autumn Nations Cup
While Wales might be pleased that they avoided a walloping by England, the reality is they are now one defeat from being labelled the worst top-tier team in Europe.
As the Autumn Nations Cup has followed exactly the form of the stilted Six Nations, Wayne Pivac’s side now have to beat Italy for the uneasy pleasure of finishing fifth next Saturday.
They should surely have plenty to beat the Azzurri, who have not managed to win against a Six Nations side in 39 consecutive Tests stretching way back to 2015.
Centre Johnny Williams has urged Wales fans to keep their patience after the latest defeat
Defeat there, then, would be a disaster. Dodging one after only losing by 11 points to the English meant there was a quiet acceptance of the result at Parc y Scarlets.
Wales at least showed more fight and bite — that which they were renowned for under Warren Gatland — but allowing themselves to be content would be a dangerous precedent for them to set.
Nick Tompkins, the centre, measured up the positives and negatives. ‘We’re under no illusion that it was England, we know the rivalry and know how our fans feel about it. We aren’t happy that we lost by any stretch of the imagination,’ he said.
‘But they are No 2 in the world and we could have capitalised on a couple of chances.
Wales have lost seven of nine Tests since Wayne Pivac succeeded Warren Gatland last year
‘Good performances are going to come. If we keep chipping away the rock will crack. We just have to keep pounding at it.’
At the moment, it is more like extracting blood from a stone. There is no evidence — certainly post-Covid — of the swashbuckling attacking treasures Pivac promised to unlock.
Centre Johnny Williams added: ‘I know fans have been going nuts, but keep your patience with us. We will keep building.’
A demolition job on Italy would allow more serious construction to follow next year.
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