Thu 14 Jul 2022 | 08:27

Continuity to give Wales the edge in Cape Town?

Continuity to give Wales the edge in Cape Town?
Thu 14 Jul 2022 | 08:27
Continuity to give Wales the edge in Cape Town?
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SPOTLIGHT: Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is banking on continuity to give his team the edge over the Springboks in Saturday’s series decider in Cape Town.

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Pivac’s starting team for the third Test only features one change from the team that edged the Boks 13-12 in Bloemfontein last weekend. Josh Adams comes in to replace injured Alex Cuthbert on the left wing.

In fact, Saturday’s starting XV is the same as the one that lost 29-32 in the first Test in Pretoria.

It’s a different story for the Boks.

After starting the series with an experienced and powerful side, head coach Jacques Nienaber made 14 changes to his starting XV for the second Test.

And after his team’s historic defeat last weekend, Nienaber recalled his big guns for this weekend’s decider.

While Nienaber and his coaching team were looking for ‘answers’ over the last few weeks in terms of selections, Pivac had a different plan in place and he hopes it pays off.

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“We wanted to get some combinations going and then reward good performances and we have been able to do that,” said Pivac.

“The main thing for us is making sure the boys have petrol in the tank, so they are ready to go for Saturday.

“This week has been a little bit of adjustment from last week.

“It’s a big occasion on Saturday and it’s one which the boys are looking forward to and we would like to think that the effort will be there as it has been in the first two Tests.”

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The story continues below…

Continuity is key

For Pivac it all comes down to continuity and that is something that has brought success for teams in the past.

“We [Wales and Springboks] both wanted to come into the series wanting to achieve the same thing and that is to win a series,” said the Wales coach.

“I think we are at different parts of our season. For us, it’s around getting some continuity and for South Africa, it’s around looking at their squad with what they got coming up.

“We go into a break now before starting the season going into the World Cup. We are at slightly different ends of the spectrum.

“I understand exactly what they did by doing that [wholesale changes].

“Yeah, they got a pretty fresh squad, but we would like to think that we got a bit of continuity.

“The boys have played together and they are in their third week of training together, so hopefully that is going to put us in good stead.”

On the physical challenge of facing the Boks three weeks in a row, Pivac added: “They [Springboks] had a week to freshen up and our boys have gone pretty much toe to toe with two different sides over the last two weeks.

“We will be physically ready and I think it is a big mental challenge for us to get up and go again after the excitement of last week.

“We celebrated that and now it’s a matter of getting back out there and going for one more big game.”

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Main photo: @WelshRugbyUnion

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