Wales wing Josh Adams has made an impassioned plea to Welsh fans after a fifth consecutive defeat for Wayne Pivac’s men.
Defeat to Scotland in the Six Nations saw Wales slump to a fifth-placed finish – just a year after winning a Grand Slam – as the transition from Warren Gatland to Pivac has proven quite bumpy.
But Adams, who cut a frustrated figure at times in Llanelli on Saturday, has urged the Welsh public to stick with Pivac and his team as they look to end the losing run.
“Of course you can understand that,” said Adams when asked about Welsh fans being frustrated.
“I was a supporter once and I know exactly how they feel.
“It is difficult because we never want to lose, especially at home. I can only reiterate myself and say stick with us. We’re very grateful for your support at home.
“We’re doing our best and I’d like to thing every single one of us represents the country with pride. We put our bodies on the line because we are all proud Welshmen.
“I’ve no doubt we’ll continue to work hard, pull together, no matter the results.”
“We have created that pressure on ourselves from the results we’ve had recently. Everyone expects us to win and that’s great because we want to win every single game.
“That’s going to be the key focus for us moving forward – to do everything in our control as best we can so we come out the right side of the result.
“It’s about how you react when your backs are against the wall. A few things and results have gone against us, but I believe today was a better step up from France.
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“Now we’ve got two weeks to get ready for Ireland and we’ll make sure we put ourselves in the best possible place for the Aviva Stadium in a fortnight. It’s the beginning of a new competition for everyone.”
Wales’ run of five defeats is their worst since 2016, as Pivac’s attempts to bring in a different style of play to Gatland’s have not clicked.
For Welsh fans, it is perhaps mystifying how a team can go from a Grand Slam to a five defeats in six matches.
For the players too, it’s undoubtedly hard to reconcile the boom or bust nature of Welsh rugby as you go from the brink of a World Cup final to the hysteria of a full-blown crisis in a mere 12 months.
That’s not for a lack of trying to understand, of course.
“It’s difficult to put your finger on at the minute,” added Adams. “We had a look at the breakdown last week, we were probably a little soft in France and could have slowed their ball down.
“We got on the wrong side of Andrew Brace today on a few occasions. I thought there were a few we could have been awarded for a holding on penalty.
“We have to learn to adapt to the referee as it goes on. it’s hard to put your finger on now, but I’m sure we’ll have a close look in the coming weeks to get ourselves right.
“Obviously in the Six Nations it was his (Pivac’s) first real tournament where he was implementing his philosophies with Byron (Hayward) in defence and Stephen (Jones) in attack.
“I’m sure you could all see the way we were going about it in the Six Nations and I thought we did it fairly well at times. I thought we were pretty good.
“The break hasn’t helped, but then I can’t use that as an excuse as we’re all professional rugby players and should be picking things up quickly. At times we struggled to get some continuity or to string some phases together.
“We might have gone two or three plays over five or six phases. We started to get some dents on them and a few soft edges, but it’s just about getting continuity and so everyone is really comfortable with their role in the team.
“None of us want to lose. Every player in a stage of their career will have a patch where they don’t pick up a few wins. It’s how we come together as a team, which we are working extremely hard in the week on to do that.
“We are putting in some mileage to put ourselves in the best place to perform on a Saturday. The result isn’t what we wanted but that doesn’t mean we’ll dwell on it. It’s a line in the sand now.”