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Naïve Wales feel Pumas' bite

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 12, 2012

By Dafydd Pritchard

Mike Phillips and Rob McCusker face defeat against Argentina — which means McCusker has now lost on all five of his Wales appearances

Mike Phillips and Rob McCusker face defeat against Argentina — which means McCusker has now lost on all five of his Wales appearances

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ROB McCusker admitted Wales were "naïve" in their defeat to Argentina which extended the back-rower's international losing curse.

The Scarlets captain replaced injured lock Alun Wyn Jones in the first half as the Pumas won 26-12, a fifth loss from five caps for McCusker.

It was a demoralising start to the autumn series for interim head coach Rob Howley and his side, and McCusker believes Wales only had themselves to blame.

"We were a bit naïve at times," he said.

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"I still can't seem to get that win in the red shirt.

"Argentina are looking better year on year and, unfortunately, we were their latest victims.

"We knew what sort of challenge we would get from them but we did not deal with them."

With Wales opting not to select specialist lock cover on the bench, McCusker came on at blindside flanker and regional team-mate Josh Turnbull moved to the second row to cover for Jones.

McCusker said Wales were considering resting some of their first-choice players for Friday night's match against Samoa, but Saturday's result would seem to extinguish such an idea.

With matches against world champions New Zealand and Australia to come, Wales could be staring at a series whitewash so victory against Samoa is imperative.

"We wanted to get the series off to a good start with a win, so it's disappointing," said McCusker.

"We need to get back on the training field and put things right on Friday.

"Samoa have a lot of quality and physicality, even if they do not all have the experience at the top level.

"We might have wanted to rest a few players after the Argentina match but I don't think we can do that now.

"Samoa will be gunning for us after seeing us lose this game."

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  • GorsseinonJoe  |  November 12 2012, 12:59PM

    Clueless, uninspired, naive and bog standard. Ourgrampa is right, Priestland did not inspire, it's time for change. Knoyle, North, Jamie Roberts (while he was on the pitch) Cuthbert are our "thinkers" and game winners, they were awful! Hook disappeared whereas a couple of seasons ago he could be relied upon to get Wales moving. The forwards were inept, even I know you cannot bind on the opposing props elbow and with a team like Argentina you need to be strong, they looked stronger, fitter, had more ideas in the backs and thoroughly deserved their win.

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  • ourgrampa  |  November 12 2012, 12:29PM

    All the pre game hype has again cost Wales a real checkup in selection is needed as at best was awful and the sooner the selectors drop Priestland and the new number 9 plus a few lazy Welsh forwards the better where is the honest genuine Welsh player going to get a chance it to be able to break into the sealed world of selectors the game showed again that the past is gone no team in this era will live on reputation (except those who deserve it like New Zealand) as a Welshman in Australia how am I suppost to continue to keep my support for that performance booing is not going to solve the problem but it should at least get the selectors a kick in the behind for the poor display how dare these players put on a Welsh jersey and play like that losing after a genuine effort is acceptable this game was not in any shape acceptable so Wales get a grip on honesty there must be players who deserve better Tony a Welshman in Adelaide South Australia (again very dissapointed)

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