Wales urged not to ‘go off-script’ against Georgia
Jonathan Humphreys says that Wales “cannot afford to go off-script” when they tackle Rugby World Cup opponents Georgia in Nantes on Saturday.
Wales need a point from their Pool C finale to win the group, having already secured a quarter-final place through beating Australia by a record 40-6 scoreline nine days ago.
They lost 13-12 at home to Georgia when the countries last met almost a year ago, and Wales assistant coach Humphreys has emphasised a fierce sense of determination in the camp.
“There has been a bit of an edge about training, which is what we want,” forwards specialist Humphreys said.
“We are just keen to continue the progress that we’ve shown. That is a big driving force for us, and we have talked constantly about that.
“I expect them (Georgia) to play a bit, and they are strong up-front – we are under no illusion about that.
“They are a dangerous outfit, and we cannot afford to go off-script.”
Few could have imagined Wales reaching the last eight just 11 months after Georgia triumphed 13-12 in Cardiff, and Humphreys added: “We’ve had five months together. We are more like a club team than an international team.
“We came in earlier than most teams, we know what we wanted to improve and we haven’t deviated from that.
“Probably the messages that went out in May, they haven’t changed at all.
“Every day, it has been working on those fundamentals that we felt were important and would make a difference.”
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made six changes for the Georgia clash, with Dewi Lake captaining a side that also sees starts for wing Rio Dyer, fly-half Gareth Anscombe, scrum-half Tomos Williams, lock Dafydd Jenkins and flanker Tommy Reffell.
Centre Nick Tompkins will continue his midfield partnership with George North, meanwhile, and look to maintain the form that has made him among Wales’ most impressive performers at the tournament.
“We want no dip in our performance,” Tompkins said.
“We want to get better, we don’t want to take our foot off the pedal – that’s the last thing we want. We want confidence and momentum and to keep on going.
“I want to just keep getting better and keep pushing myself. There are a lot of things I need to improve on.
“I am happy with some areas, but there are some things I really need to push myself on.
“You look at some of the other centres out there and how well they are doing, and you want to emulate that.
“Being together as a squad for five months means you can have those little conversations and make little tweaks.
“You are all looking for little things to tweak and improve. It has been really healthy, and it has been all of us pushing each other.”
Tompkins has also voiced his support for the World Cup bunker system, whereby incidents of foul play can be referred and a yellow card retained or upgraded to red.
“I like it,” Tompkins added.
“Decisions are tough at the moment anyway, referees are under a lot of a pressure to keep the game moving quickly and get the right decision.
“I think it is brilliant, I like that model. To cut down the pressure we put on referees, especially, is good.”
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