Today's rugby news as Biggar identifies Wales' 'invaluable' star and coach says disallowed try was 'really clear' (2024)

Here are your rugby morning headlines for Sunday, July 7.

Wales need to learn how to win quickly - Lake

Wales captain Dewi Lake says Wales quickly need to learn how to win after falling to an eighth consecutive defeat.

Warren Gatland's side slipped to a 25-16 loss in Sydney as Joe Schmidt's Australia took the first Test.

Wales now head to Melbourne having slipped to their lowest ever world ranking of 11th, while a loss at AAMI Park would exceed the longest stretch of defeats across Gatland's two stints in charge.

With both sides having been, in many ways, unknown quantities heading into this tour, defeat in Sydney now puts pressure on Wales to level up the series - although skipper Lake feels the pressure has been on for some time.

"Backs have been against the wall for a while," he said. "We've spoken about that, putting pride back in the little things for us as a group.

"As we said, we probably left some opportunities out there tonight. Credit to the Wallabies, they took theirs. For us as a young group, it's about learning to win Test matches.

"That's sticking in games, putting points on the board. They made us chase the game and towards the end, that's tough to do. It's about learning to win for us, quickly."

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Biggar: Williams 'invaluable'

Dan Biggar says the experience of Liam Williams is "invaluable" to Wales with such a young side.

Wales fell to defeat in Sydney with a number of players lining up with just a handful of caps to their names.

Biggar, who was working as a pundit for Sky Sports, believes the CV of the full-back will help those around him who haven't been through these difficult types of experiences just yet.

He also picked out the likes of Aaron Wainwright and Cory Hill for what they can bring to the group too.

“I think someone like Liam Williams is invaluable because he’s been there, played with a lot of us, been there and been part of winning Six Nations, winning matches on tour," Biggar said.

“He’s going to be hugely important. But also people like Cory Hill, who’s been around the block a little bit, Tommy Reffell, played a lot of rugby and won the Premiership with Leicester. Aaron Wainwright, who I thought was brilliant on his 50th cap, those guys now, all of a sudden, have to go from being your players to your guys who are speaking up in meetings, saying ‘this is how we do it, this is what we need to do’ etc. Those guys carry a huge amount of sway.”

Wales disallowed try 'really clear'

Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt says the decision to chalk off James Botham's try was 'really clear'.

The Cardiff flanker thought he had got Wales back into the game after forcing his way over from a maul in the second-half, only for the TMO to rule it out.

Warren Gatland said he would seek clarity on the decision, while Dewi Lake felt Wales had got their detail at the lineout to set up the driving maul right - with both clearly in disbelief at the decision.

However, Schmidt was adamant the right call had been made.

“It is really clear," said Australia's new coach. "The law says whoever rips the ball has to be connected to the jumper and there is clear air there.

"There are four match official who made that decision, not me so I will just leave it with them.

"It looked pretty unequivocal in their mind. Those are the decisions we do not have any control over.

"Something things happen and you just have to get on and play the game. I had some experiences last year where you felt you didn't get the rub of the green and you just have to wear that and get on with the game."

Borthwick backs Smith after missed kicks prove costly

England coach Steve Borthwick has backed Marcus Smith after the fly-half's missed kicks proved costly in their narrow defeat to the All Blacks.

England went down 16-15 to New Zealand in Dunedin, with Smith missing three of his five shots at goal. However, Borthwick was quick to come out in support of the playmaker, who was crucial in setting up England's go-ahead try for Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in the second-half.

"In the changing-room, you could sense from all the players a feeling of disappointment, because we set out to win," he said.

"There was pride in the effort, but also frustration. Marcus produced some moments of magic out there today.

"We can talk about mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes and Marcus also produced magic on that pitch."

Springboks the better team on the day - Farrell

Ireland coach Andy Farrell admitted the better side won on the day as South Africa prevailed 27-20 at Loftus Versfeld.

The Test series between the world's two best sides has been an eagerly anticipated one, with the back-to-back World Cup winners drawing first blood in Pretoria.

"In the cold light of day, I thought South Africa deserved to win the game," said Farrell.

"First half, I thought we was off. We gave away access for them to be able to play their game.

"Defensively, we was a bit passive, certainly for the first try but then the story of the game for me, after some words at half-time, I thought it was courageous the way we defended and got ourselves back into the game."

Today's rugby news as Biggar identifies Wales' 'invaluable' star and coach says disallowed try was 'really clear' (2024)
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