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'Absolutely woeful' - Pivac commited 'sackable' offence claims Wales great

By Ian Cameron
Wayne Pivac /PA

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Wales great Jonathan Davies has torn into head coach Wayne Pivac after his side fell to a humbling Six Nations defeat to Italy in Cardiff on Saturday.

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Kieran Crowley’s Italy Italy stunned their hosts 22-21 to secure a first-ever win in Cardiff, which also ended their nightmarish 36-game losing streak in the competition.

Questions are once again being asked around the future of Pivac, who despite coaching the men in red to a championship win in 2021, is once more under the cosh from the media and public alike.

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Davies, who has voiced his concern about the direction of Wales in recent months, laid into Pivac on Welsh television’s flagship rugby show – BBC’s Scrum V.

“If you lose to Italy, it’s sackable,” Davies told his fellow panelists. “If they want to get rid of him, they can, it’s justifiable to do it. The performance was absolutely dreadful. The Italians were the better team. Again, our attack was absolutely woeful. I’ve no idea what they’re trying to do. Dummy-runners, they don’t tip off – the only tip-off in the game was Faletau to Watkin and we scored. Forwards don’t look capable of getting over the gain line, when you can’t do that it’s difficult to do anything.

“We have to look deeper than that. If we won yesterday. If Wyn Jones had scored that try or Josh Adams had made that tackle… we are papering over cracks again. It’s far deeper than that. The under-20s lost today, the regions got smashed in South Africa and I don’t think the best players are playing for Wales at the moment and there’s no one coming through. And in the summer we go to South Africa.”

He also took aim at assistant coach Stephen Jones’ attack strategy, which has been blunt to say the least.

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“Ultimately, Italy and France had the same tactic; kick the ball to Wales and let them attack us. Because they knew Wales’ attack wouldn’t break them down.

“So you’ve got to ask what Stephen Jones’ ideas are. We don’t counter-attack. Selection; I don’t think we’ve got the back-row right, I don’t think we’ve got the midfield right and all of a sudden we change the back three as well. There’s no consistency. I can’t understand.”

Jiffy recently told RugbyPass that he fears Wales could be heading into the doldrums once more after two decades of relative Test rugby success.

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“I’ve seen the way the likes of Ireland have developed in comparison to us, and things need to change below the national side,” Davies told RugbyPass in February. “People will say everything is all right because Wales have done well, but how long is that really going to last?

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“We’ve been very lucky that we’ve had a great bunch of players who have stuck together, and done really well with limited resources but where has the planning and the strategy been over the past four or five years to ensure we continue to be successful?

“In England you ask a player who he plays for, and he’ll say I play for Harlequins and then England. But in Wales it’s different, a lot of players know they are guaranteed their place in the Wales side no matter how they play at regional level.

“That isn’t right. It’s all about creating a competitive environment below the national side, and competition for places is paramount when it comes to developing players.”

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