Wayne Pivac’s side will wave goodbye to the Welsh football team when they go to Qatar… but his side lacks the same excitement and energy after last week’s demolition by New Zealand
- Wales football team rolls out of the Vale Resort near Cardiff on Monday
- Wayne Pivac’s rugby team training next door will be there to wave them off
- These are exciting times for football, but not the same for the rugby team
- After breaking up through New Zealand last week, they are only third in 2022
Wales football team rolls out of the Vale Resort near Cardiff on Monday. Destination: Qatar. Among those who have to wave them goodbye to their first World Cup since 1958? Wayne Pivac’s rugby team training next door.
“Hopefully they bring it back!” said Taulupe Faletau.
These are heady days for Welsh football, but around the rugby team, not quite the same excitement and energy. The victory over Argentina was in any case a shot in the arm. After last week’s demolition by New Zealand, this was a crucial victory, only a third for Wales in 2022.
Wayne Pivac’s rugby team will be on hand to wave goodbye to the Welsh football team to Qatar
Faletau and Tomos Williams scored the try and captain Justin Tipuric led a fine defensive effort. And Louis Rees-Zammit, 21, enjoyed a promising first international start as a fullback.
“I enjoyed it,” he said. “When the opportunity arises to oppose, my eyes light up.”
Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny have dominated the No. 15 jersey for years. With both injured, Rees-Zammit’s pace and distance offers another option.
These are exciting times for Welsh football, but it’s not the same for the rugby team
Pivac side does not have the same excitement and energy as the football team
“All week, Leigh and I were on the computer doing a lot of analysis,” said Rees-Zammit (above). “It was only the second time I played there.”
And that paid off in this “ping pong” game with Argentina. Georgia and Australia will present different problems. But the Gloucester wing doesn’t care much.
“We were short of fullbacks, so I said I would play there if needed,” he said. “I support myself.” From 15, he made more yards (75) than any other Welsh player.
The victory over Argentina was in any case a shot in the arm. After last week’s demolition by New Zealand, this was a crucial win, only a third for Wales in 2022
But man of the match went to number 8 Faletau, who celebrated his age of 32 by scoring Wales’ first attempt. “He’s an old man now, isn’t he?” joked Tipuric, embodying their spirit.
What a blessing for Pivac to have such experience and leadership.
An injury to Dan Lydiate gave Jac Morgan the chance to shine as a flanker. Wales will get to know the damage done to Lydiate’s arm and Will Rowlands’ shoulder on Monday as they try to build on this win.