Wales' number eight Taulupe Faletau (R)
Nice (France) (AFP) - Wales were “relieved” after sealing a 28-8 Pool C victory over Portugal and “delighted” at having bagged a maximum 10 points from their opening two World Cup matches, assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys said Sunday.
“Relief, happy,” the former Wales hooker and captain said when asked of the emotions after Saturday’s hard-fought game, with Taulupe Faletau sealing the bonus point with the team’s fourth try three minutes into injury time.
“We are delighted to get 10 points from the first two games. If you had offered that to us before we came out here, we would have taken your hand off.
“To get the bonus point in the manner that we did right at the end showed the resilience and trying to find a way to win.”
The Wales team featured 13 changes from that which beat Fiji 32-26 in the opening match and Humphreys said that showed in a display that struggled not only to control the game but also to contain the fast tempo of the Portugal team.
“There were a lot of boys who hadn’t played for a while, we made a lot of changes. It was great that we got a bonus point, and they’ve also got a fair bit of game-time,” Humphreys said.
“We made a load of changes to give boys game-time and also to put them in position to go for selection against Australia,” in Lyon on September 24.
The clash against the Wallabies is “going to be a hell of a game. There’s going to be a lot riding on that. I thought Australia were excellent in their first game” when they beat Georgia 35-15.
First up for Australia, however, is a crunch match against Fiji later Sunday.
“It will be a hell of a game,” Humphreys said of the match in St-Etienne.
“It’ll be nice to sit in the hotel room and have a look at it. Fiji have massive threats like they showed when we played them. I am looking forward to it.”
Humphreys confirmed that Tommy Reffell had a “tight calf”, the flanker having pulled out of the match after sustaining an injury in the warm-up.
Jac Morgan replaced him and played a stormer, named man-of-the-match despite doing a training session in the morning after not being initially included.
“He’s incredible. He wasn’t due to be involved. The non-23 did weights and extra-conditioning in the morning! He’s an incredible player,” said Humphreys.