Wales coach learns 'valuable lessons'

Robin McBryde (Gallo Images)
Robin McBryde (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Wales head coach Robin McBryde believes his youthful side learned some valuable lessons in their hard-fought triumph over Tonga in Auckland on Friday.

Alex Cuthbert's classy finish got Wales' two-Test summer tour off to a flying start before the forwards shunted over the line for a late penalty try in the 24-6 victory. Sam Davies added four penalties to keep the resilient Tongans at arm's length.

McBryde gave first caps to nine players at Eden Park, and he reckons they will be better for the experience against Tonga in difficult conditions.

"Sometimes you have just got to leave the players out there to learn lessons," he told Wales' official website.

"I was very pleased for Sam Davies. There was a big pressure kick in the second half, but he got it over. You have got to allow players time to make mistakes, learn the lessons and problem solve on the way and I think they did that pretty well. It was difficult conditions with the rain.

"We just have to learn to respect the ball a bit more and respect the conditions. There were a couple of loose passes that just put under pressure. We just stuck at what we were doing up front. 

"We put quite a bit of pressure on their ball at lineout time It was a good effort up front. I felt we could have played it a bit tighter at times."

Next up for Wales is a trip to Apia to take on Samoa, who were heavily beaten by the All Blacks in the game that followed the Wales triumph at Eden Park. 

Cuthbert is an injury worry after hurting his shoulder in the act of scoring, while Scott Williams needed stitches on a cut.

"All in all I thought it was a performance we can be proud of," added McBryde.

"It wasn't a complete performance but it was played in difficult conditions in heavy showers. Tonga didn't disappoint with the physical nature they came at us. They posed threats, but I felt we looked really comfortable. The aim was to get the result whilst developing individuals in the process."

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