In­jury blow to Davies as Gat­land woes grow

The Rugby Paper - - Front Page -

JONATHAN Davies is a se­vere doubt for Wales’ three re­main­ing Au­tumn Tests af­ter he suf­fered an an­kle in­jury in the 29-21 de­feat to Aus­tralia at Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium.

Cen­tre Davies fell awk­wardly late on in Cardiff and is set to miss Wales’ clash with Georgia in Cardiff on Satur­day.

“It looks like an an­kle in­jury with Jon. He’s be­ing strapped up and on crutches,” said Gat­land, whose team suf­fered their 13th straight de­feat to the Wal­la­bies. “It doesn’t look brilliant.”

The ab­sence of Davies would be a huge blow for Wales as they are al­ready with­out the crocked Sam War­bur­ton and Ross Mo­ri­arty. Rhys Webb and Justin Tipuric also sat out the clash with the Wal­la­bies with leg in­juries.

Vic­tory saw Aus­tralia ex­tend their win­ning run over Wales and Gat­land says his team “shot them­selves in the

foot” as they were outscored four tries to two.

St­ef­fan Evans scored Wales’ first try and re­place­ment Amos crossed too, but by then Gat­land’s side had paid the price for fail­ing to turn pos­ses­sion into points.

Aus­tralia scored through Tatafu Polota-Nau, Adam Cole­man, cap­tain Michael Hooper and Kurt­ley Beale and fly-half Bernard Fo­ley kicked three con­ver­sions.

Gat­land in­sisted his team will be all the bet­ter for the hit out when they face Georgia on Satur­day.

“We’ll make a lot of changes and there will be some younger boys get­ting a chance,” Gat­land said. “Some play­ers who have been out of the squad for a while will get an op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s a chance to put them­selves in con­tention for the All Blacks game. We’re dis­ap­pointed with the re­sult, but some guys have had their first caps at home and they’ll be bet­ter for that ex­pe­ri­ence. There are times when we’ve played Aus­tralia and lost in the last minute. This was dif­fer­ent.”

Evans, who scored his third Test try in as many starts, held his hand up for his part in de­fen­sive er­rors which al­lowed Aus­tralia to score four soft tries.

“Get­ting three tries in three games is a bonus, but I thought we played some good stuff as well,” Evans said.

“I just took it in my stride and tried to get my hands on the ball, but our er­rors cost us the game and you’ve got to be ac­cu­rate against a team like Aus­tralia.

“We can build on this per­for­mance, but our er­rors let them into the game be­cause in the sec­ond half, it was all us.”

Aus­tralia head coach Michael Cheika turned his at­ten­tions to a meet­ing with Eng­land af­ter this vic­tory.

Cheika said: “We un­der­stand the pun­dits over here don’t think we have much of a chance. One guy said ‘re­spect to Aus­tralia, but a de­cent club side would beat them’. So I don’t think there is too much for them to worry about.

“It is not about fun with Ed­die (Jones), we will have fun in our own camp and we will pre­pare our­selves each day the best we can.”

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