The Wayne Pivac team is watching as the Rugby World Cup declines to stake their claim on Wales games

Graham Henry couldn't quite believe his eyes after watching his first pair of Welsh rugby.

He had just been appointed Wales head coach and intended to see as many matches as possible to measure the quality at his disposal.

It is fair to say that it was not an uplifting experience.

Some might say it was deflating. Incredibly so.

"I was a bit taken aback by the standard," he said later.

"It looked like things from the third division."

Wayne Pivac is different because he has been here for more than five years already, and so knows a lot of what there is to know about Welsh players.

He was out and about over the weekend running the rule of potential candidates for his squad against the Barbarians on November 30.

What would he have learned?

Brand Orders saw all four matches …


When the Cardiff Blues announced their side against the Cheetahs, eyebrows were raised for some quarters as the team sheet showed Evans on the inside, with Jason Tovey on line # 10.

It would be the same Evans who started a game on the fly-half for Wales this summer.

But John Mulvhill's switch worked well, especially with Evans lighting up Arms Park with his skillful intervention.

He and Tovey worked together for just 35 minutes before the former Dragon left the field injured, but Evans continued to make the play without a small aplomb after moving back to the fly-half.

Jarrod Evans helped the Cardiff Blues to a 30-17 victory over the Cheetahs

Carrying the ball in both hands, he looked quite generous as he directed operations with skill and authority, threw out 30 passes, many of them beautifully delivered, and gave Blues the width of opponents who had goalkeeper Jasper Wiese dispatched on 14 minutes to a reckless challenge.

He also ran the ball on 13 occasions, striking out six defenders.

There were also a couple of good kicks plus a pass that pushed Cheetah's No. 12 Janse van Rensburg backwards.

It was an eye-catching effort from the 23-year-old who failed to win the Wales & # 39; World Cup after a difficult afternoon against Ireland in Cardiff. On this evidence, he looked at that part, whether it was inside the middle or the fly half. Pivac would have been encouraged.

Forget the late yellow card for a deliberate knock-down in the final seconds.

The 23-year-old was the weekend's outstanding Welsh player with some distance.

Loading video

Video not available


Steff Evans and Rob Evans also failed to complete the global tournament after being cut when Warren Gatland made his final team call.

But both were influential for the Scarlets in their home win of 20-17 over Benetton.

It was a victory that was tougher than it should have been, with the Welsh region making a series of questionable decisions on the field that saw them reject kickable penalties.

Fly-half Dan Jones eventually sealed the deal with a nervous final gasp shot at the sticks after the Italians withdrew on equal terms.

But the West Walians were still seriously indebted to the Evans boys.

Steff Evans has looked more like his old self this season, causing Benetton no problems with his good running.

Scarlets wing Steff Evans

He also bagged an opportunistic attempt, leaping as visitors walked near the dead-ball line.

For his efforts, he received man-of-the-match bauble.

But Rob Evans also did his job.

Arguably, the most surprising omission from the Warren Gatland World Cup is that he emerged from the bench to bolster the Scarlets & # 39; under-pressure scrum. He wasted some time forcing a few penalties out of Benetton's front row, and he also crashed for a try.

Does Pivac look to rehabilitate the pair at test level sooner and later?

Hard to say, but big moments win games and breed confidence and the two Evanses delivered for their team in poor conditions in Llanelli.


He has constantly been outstanding for the Scarlets since arriving from New Zealand three years ago.

And with Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny injured and others still resting after their efforts in Japan, the full back or wing is expected to wear Wales' No. 15 jersey against the Barbarians two weeks on Saturday.

But he wasn't the best against Benetton.

Scarlets Johnny McNicholl

Every so often he slides past defenders, as if he is laden with fat, leaving clumsy tacklers in his slipstream with quick feet and even faster thinking.

But the Italians used line speed to chase him down, and on a wet night there were uncharacteristic errors.

McNicholl often tried to do too much and was flipped a few times.

There were still flashes from his running game, but he struggled to break free as often as usual.

However, Pivac knows what he is about.

The man from Christchurch is a cool customer with a lot of skill and a lot of class, a quality that is permanent.

If he is in Pivac's team to face the Barbarians, it will be because he deserves it.

WILLIAMS takes the high road

Up in Scotland on Friday night, the Dragons were spellbinding for a performance not resolute against a team from Edinburgh that had put up 46 points on the Scarlets two weekends earlier.

Old warrior Richard Hibbard led a gutsy defense effort and returned the clock as he did not reject attacks with uncompromising tackle. When they stopped counting, the ex-Wales international had interned 18 hits and missed one.

Taine Basham was also prominent with 17 tackles and just the lone lapse. The Dragons forward struggled to get his hand on the ball, but the young flanker just flew up the field at one point, as if fired from a cannon, and though he coughed a turnover or two, he is a player Pivac will no doubt keep track of.

There was also a lovely sample, created by Rhodri Williams and Sam Davies and completed by Adam Warren.

Williams was actually the Welsh team’s best player of the evening.

His play was not entirely without flaws, but there is an intelligence about him, and the way he made room for the trial ran wide before finding Davies was unique, as was Davies & # 39; late passport and Warren & # 39; s goals.

Rhodri Williams during training

One criticism of William's last term was that he blew hot and cold, but he is fast, can box-kick accurately and run a game. He tends to take a second too long to perform his plays at the bottom of the rucks, but that's the consistency he needs most.

If he can find it, Wales should look at him again because he has too much to offer to stay in the cold.

WalesOnline has launched a new WhatsApp service dedicated to keeping up to date with the latest rugby news!

If you are reading this on your mobile and want to sign up for all Welsh rugby updates, please follow this link, and follow the instructions on your phone to sign up.

Submit alternatively RUGBY to 07557 203 473 in WhatsApp. Then save the phone contacts number as: WalesOnline Rugby (Uppercase and lowercase letters).

Your phone number is never shared with other users, nor is it used for marketing purposes.

For more information on signing up, read more here.


There are many who feel that Matthew Morgan plays best rugby as a career, and the Cardiff Blues back offered valuable support to Jarrod Evans in attacking the Cheetahs.

He ran beautifully at times and at night he lost nothing in comparison to his talented opposite number Rhyno Smith.

A Morgan break saw him quite rocket over 40 yards, and on another occasion he improved Smith in a one-on-one.

There were errors. He delayed making a tackle in the build-up to a Cheetahs try and lobbed a kick out to the full.

But by and large, he was heavily in credit.

Will Boyde, with his technique over the ball and low center of gravity as a carrier, also had a great game. One turnover was executed as soon as his opponent barely knew what was going on.

Seb Davies? A step in the right direction, certainly, while stepper Willis Halaholo had a point to prove from the bench and Harri Millard ran strong.

Finally, there are Ospreys, injury success and immensely bad against the Southern Kings in Swansea.

Scott Otten, Morgan Morris, Olly Cracknell and Rhodri Jones were among those to be exempted from criticism, but the backlog was largely atrocious.

It looks Pivac would not have been impressed.

. (tagsToTranslate) Wales Rugby Team (t) Jarrod Evans (t) Steff Evans (t) Rob Evans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *