Planet Rugby

Wales were always in control - Jones

03rd February 2014 06:21


Alun Wyn Jones Wales v Italy SN 2014

Wants improvement: Alun Wyn Jones

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones always felt his side were in control in Saturday's 23-15 victory over Italy in Cardiff.

The defending champions were under the cosh when the second of Michele Campagnaro's two tries saw Italy close to within a single score. But Leigh Halfpenny's third panalty ended the Azzurri's resistance with six minutes remaining.

Wales boss Warren Gatland admitted that the finish was a nervy one but Jones said the players on the pitch were always confident they would close out the game and get their quest for a third successive tournament title up and running.

"It probably looked as though we were under more pressure than it felt on the park," he explained.

"One of their tries was an interception and one was from a kick. It was a case of locking down the hatches and sticking to what we'd been doing..

"The message was to be simple on our exits, simple in our play and to get back into our patterns. With the kickers we've got, we knew that if we got opportunities for points we'd just take the three and keep stretching the scoreboard, which we did.

"It's a big potential banana skin to get out of the way. We were acutely aware of the performances Italy put in last year and we realised how difficult it was going to be."

Wales's willingness to run the ball at almost every opportunity brought some handling errors but Jones said that is perhaps expected, although he wants improvement when they face Ireland in Dublin next weekend.

"A willingness to play with ambition comes with mistakes," added Jones.

"We were looking to play and use the ball - something we've been criticised about in the past.

"We seemed to spend a lot of time around the fringes of their 22 but we probably squandered it and were a bit soft.

"Ultimately, we started to come back into the game but we couldn't keep the tempo up, particularly at set-piece time for certain reasons. But we need to hold on to the ball when we get into those (scoring) areas.

"In the past we've seemed to get more points the more phases we go through and we really don't want to put ourselves under pressure at those times."

Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs vs CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , July 26
Crusaders 38 - 6 SharksCrusaders vs Sharks Report
Waratahs 26 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , July 19
Brumbies 32 - 30 ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Report
Sharks 31 - 27 HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 12
Crusaders 34 - 8 HighlandersCrusaders vs Highlanders Report
Reds 3 - 34 WaratahsReds vs Waratahs Report
Lions 60 - 25 CheetahsLions vs Cheetahs Report
Stormers 10 - 34 SharksStormers vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 11
Blues 8 - 11 ChiefsBlues vs Chiefs Report
Brumbies 47 - 25 Western ForceBrumbies vs Western Force Report
Bulls 40 - 7 Melbourne RebelsBulls vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Sunday , July 6
Waratahs 44 - 16 HighlandersWaratahs vs Highlanders Report
Saturday , July 5
Crusaders 21 - 13 BluesCrusaders vs Blues Report
Western Force 30 - 20 RedsWestern Force vs Reds Report
Stormers 16 - 0 BullsStormers vs Bulls Report
Cheetahs 27 - 20 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
Friday , July 4
Chiefs 24 - 16 HurricanesChiefs vs Hurricanes Report
Lions 34 - 17 Melbourne RebelsLions vs Melbourne Rebels Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 28
South Africa 55 - 6 ScotlandSouth Africa vs Scotland Report
More International Match results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 16 - 9 CrusadersHurricanes vs Crusaders Report
Waratahs 39 - 8 BrumbiesWaratahs vs Brumbies Report
Western Force 14 - 40 BluesWestern Force vs Blues Report
Friday , June 27
Highlanders 29 - 25 ChiefsHighlanders vs Chiefs Report
Melbourne Rebels 20 - 36 RedsMelbourne Rebels vs Reds Report
More Super Rugby results
International Match
Saturday , June 21
Australia 39 - 13 FranceAustralia vs France Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
5Leicester Tigers00