Wales suf­fer in the sun as cam­paign starts poorly

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT SUNDAY -

WALES head coach John Kear is look­ing for im­prove­ments after his side’s heavy de­feat against Pa­pua New Guinea in their open­ing match of Rugby League World Cup 2017.

After trail­ing 26-0 at the in­ter­val in hu­mid con­di­tions, Wales con­ceded a sim­i­lar amount of points in the sec­ond-half.

Re­gan Grace’s try in the cor­ner on the last play of the game were the only points that John Kear’s men recorded.

The game was stopped briefly when Wales’ Ben Evans claimed he was bit­ten on a fin­ger in a tackle by Wellington Al­bert. Ref­eree Ben Cum­mins put the al­le­ga­tion on report, to be in­ves­ti­gated after the match.

“I didn’t think we per­formed well in any as­pect of rugby league to­day,” Kear said.

“I think it’s been a very harsh les­son.

“The south­ern hemi­sphere fel­las re­ally do carry the ball very ag­gres­sively and, if you don’t stand up to that, you end up get­ting rolled and los­ing field po­si­tion.

“We just never got any op­por­tu­nity to at­tack be­cause we couldn’t pre­vent the roll on from Pa­pua.

“I’ve got to com­pli­ment them, but I think peo­ple will now prob­a­bly see how to han­dle them.

“We in­di­cated how to han­dle them to our guys, but we didn’t do it very well.”

The Dragons will now take on Fiji in Townsville on Sun­day, Novem­ber 5, in their sec­ond match of the tour­na­ment.

On their next fix­ture, Kear said: “We’re aware that Fiji are sim­i­larly a very good side and that Townsville of­fers sim­i­lar con­di­tions to these.

“We’re go­ing to have to strip our­selves back and have a re­ally good look at our­selves.

“We have to look at team se­lec­tion, prepa­ra­tion, per­son­nel and we re­ally have got to have a good look at our­selves in all as­pects in or­der to come up with some­thing bet­ter.”

Wales coach John Kear

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