PA Sport

We'll bounce back - Rees

We'll bounce back - Rees
By PA Sport

04/02/2013 at 09:06

Matthew Rees has no doubt the Wales squad will "stay tight" in their quest to avoid this season's RBS 6 Nations campaign unravelling with indecent haste.

Wales, on the back of a 30-22 home defeat by Ireland, next tackle pre-tournament favourites France in Paris, where defeat would leave them not only out of the title running, but heading towards possible wooden spoon territory with Italy and Scotland - both away - and England awaiting them.

Given that Wales were World Cup semi-finalists less than 16 months ago and are the Six Nations title holders, their current malaise of eight successive defeats offers a stark comparison with those highs. "As players, we are the ones who have got to react. We've been there before and done it (won in Paris)," Wales hooker and former captain Rees said.

He added: "Confidence has been hit by this (Ireland) result, but when we look back at the video, and especially the second-half with the chances we created, as long as we can create those opportunities and finish them there is no reason why we can't go out to France and get a result.

"We proved how good a team we can be, and we have got to stay tight. I am sure this team will. We didn't take all our opportunities. We scored a few tries in the second half, but it wasn't enough.

"A slow start cost us, those first 20 minutes, but the pleasing thing was we came back in the second half and gave ourselves a good shot of getting a result, but in international rugby you can't afford to give 20 points away and expect to win.

"We have go to take this on the chin and make sure we get ready for France. We've got a tough schedule ahead of us in terms of three games on the road."

Wales were punished for a dreadful start after they fell, rather than blasted, out of the Six Nations starting blocks. In two of their last three home games - against New Zealand and Ireland - they trailed 33-0 and 30-3 adrift before stirring themselves into action.

Wing Alex Cuthbert, one of Wales' try-scorers said: "I messed up on a couple of opportunities. I will be very hard on myself, and I know the coaches will be as well. We set high targets to aim for, and I guess I was a bit below par in this game. I've got things to work on this week."

Wales also saw another addition to their lengthy injury list when flanker Aaron Shingler suffered a rib injury, but Ospreys forwards Ryan Jones (thumb) and Richard Hibbard (shoulder) could be available for France after missing the Ireland game.