Wayne Pivac: Wales need to be more clinical

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Wales boss Wayne Pivac wants his team to be “much more clinical in the big moments” as they prepare to conclude their Guinness Six Nations campaign.

Scotland are their opponents under an open roof at the Principality Stadium, with Saturday’s game going ahead despite world sport being severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Welsh Rugby Union said: “WRU representatives have been in dialogue with Welsh Assembly Government minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething, who provided much-needed clarity on the Cobra meeting held yesterday.

“Throughout, the WRU board have followed the scientific advice of government, Public Health Wales and medical experts and determined that any game would be held or postponed based on that advice.

“Enhanced facilities for hand-washing and sanitisation will be available at the stadium, and there are measures in place to manage any issues with attendees on the day.

“In addition, supporters are urged to follow the advice that is widely available on government websites in relation to the virus.”

Wales are on the back of three successive Six Nations defeats – against Ireland, France and England – which they have not experienced in European rugby’s blue riband tournament since 2007.

Scotland, meanwhile, will be in confident mood after defeating Italy and then destroying France’s Grand Slam dream, although they have not won on Welsh soil for 18 years.

Wales were beaten by England at Twickenham in their last Six Nations outing
Wales were beaten by England at Twickenham in their last Six Nations outing (Adam Davy/PA)

And their fixture list does not get any easier post-Six Nations, as they have three Tests against New Zealand and an appointment with world champions South Africa scheduled between July and November.

“There were times in the French game that were frustrating, but what we’ve got to do is be much more clinical in the big moments,” Pivac said.

“Clearly, there have been some good tries scored in this tournament and a lot of good ball movement.

“What we are seeing is our decision-making. When you (go) from one style of rugby, which was pretty black and white and one the boys were used to, some of them have got new roles now and it’s about getting that balance right.

“Going from one extreme to the other, we are probably somewhere in the middle.

“Clearly, we are disappointed with the French game, and getting back into the English game and then having that 15-minute period where we let it slip away again. That’s the grey area I am talking about with the players.

“Do we move the ball here? Do we go for field position? That will come in time, but we feel the players are happy and they are enjoying the training sessions, the way we are trying to play the game, and they can see it building.

“They know we are a couple of passes or good decisions away from winning those close Test matches.

“Moving forward, that will put us in good stead for when we play the best teams in the world. You’ve got to do that to win a Rugby World Cup.”

Pivac has made four changes for Scotland’s visit, handing a Test debut to Sale Sharks prop WillGriff John and also calling up scrum-half Rhys Webb, John’s fellow front-rower Wyn Jones and lock Cory Hill.

Alun Wyn Jones, meanwhile, will equal New Zealand World Cup-winning captain Richie McCaw’s world record of 148 Test match appearances this weekend.

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