Line-out ex­pert Hill may be ruled out, ad­mits Gat­land

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Rugby World Cup - At the City of Toy­ota Sta­dium

Wales sliced through Ge­or­gia’s de­fence at will in the open­ing stages on their way to a 29-0 lead at half-time, af­ter tries from Jonathan Davies, Justin Tipuric, Adams and Liam Williams.

The tries by Davies and Tipuric came from iden­ti­cal in­side balls as Ge­or­gia’s first-phase de­fence crum­bled, an ef­fec­tive at­tack­ing move that How­ley and Jones would have been pleased with.

“Scor­ing off first phase is al­ways what you want to do as a back line. We looked at a few as­pects of that and Steve has come in seam­lessly and worked re­ally well. The boys have gal­vanised to­gether and that showed in the first half,” Adams said.

“We had a look at their de­fen­sive set-ups and we iden­ti­fied a lit­tle weak­ness there [on the in­side]. I man­aged to go through for the first one and, to be fair, their winger came across and did a re­ally good job, so I had to pass it on to Gareth Davies. We ended up scor­ing off that and the sec­ond one was pretty much ex­actly the same.”

The Wales vic­tory over Aus­tralia last Novem­ber was a first over the Wal­la­bies af­ter 13 straight de­feats, giv­ing Adams con­fi­dence ahead of their meet­ing in Tokyo on Sun­day. “We know what it takes to beat them, of course. They’ve got some out­stand­ing play­ers and big threats over the ball, so that’s go­ing to be a mas­sive fo­cus for us this week – get­ting over the ball. In the sec­ond half of the Ge­or­gia game we were a bit weak over the ball and got pushed off a cou­ple of times,” Adams said.

“That’s go­ing to be a big em­pha­sis for us with [David] Po­cock and [Michael] Hooper, so we need to

‘My thoughts go to Rob and his fam­ily. Hope­fully he’s pleased with the way we played’

tighten up that and change that point-of-contact area. That will be im­por­tant.”

Mean­while, Josh Navidi, the Wales No8, paid trib­ute to How­ley, who was sent home af­ter an al­leged breach of World Rugby’s bet­ting reg­u­la­tions. It has made for a dif­fi­cult week for all in­volved, and Navidi said: “My thoughts go to Rob and his fam­ily. It would be nice to have him here, but hope­fully he’s pleased with the way we played.”

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