It was a day of spilled chances and spurned opportunities for Wales on day one of the South African Sevens tournament.
It was a day of spilled chances and spurned opportunities for Wales on day one of the South African Sevens tournament. Wales lost all three their games in pool D of the competition, being played at the picturesque Outeniqua Park in George and will have to contest the Bowl competition tomorrow. They face Zimbabwe in the opening game of the bottom section of the competition.
Wales started badly; losing 31-5 against a strong Samoa outfit and did very few things right in that match.
A splendid try by James Lewis, after some fluent passing by his inside backs, showed a glimpse of what the side is capable of, but for the rest of the match, poor handling gifted the Samoans a bunch of tries.
"Yes, we were never in the game, to be honest. We just did everything wrong," coach Paul John admitted afterwards.
In their second match, Wales, sporting their yellow jerseys, played much better against the highly fancied Kenya.
Good defence held the Africans at bay for long periods, but the second seeds in the pool still managed to score first.
Two tries before the break had Wales 12-5 up at the interval.
Wales were awarded a penalty try when Rhodri McAtee was held up when in a try scoring position and Jason Tovey duly converted.
Their second came after splendid work by Dafydd Hewitt. He monstered a Kenyan in a tackle and from the resulting turnover David Evans scored a great try.
Kenya scored early in the second half when McAtee fell off a tackle to allow the Africans to draw even. A late Kenyan try, after some good interplay bluffed the Welsh defense, secured a 19-12 win.
Their last pool game, against the undefeated Portugal, resulted in the best match of the day.
Portugal scored early for a 5-0 lead, before Wales scored the try of the day. Started in their own 25 by Jimmy Norris, Craig Hill's score put his side in the lead.
That was extended after a great run by Chris Davies left two defenders in his wake and Wales were 10-5 up at the break.
A great dummy sold by James Merriman gave Wales their third try just after the break, but then Portugal, who earlier beat both Samoa and Kenya, started their comeback.
Weak tackling allowed the Portuguese to score and with 28 seconds remaining on the clock, they scored again to beat Wales 19-17.
"We had our chances against Portugal and Kenya, but did not take them," John said afterwards.
"It is very frustrating. We created the try scoring opportunities, but did not execute. And in those final minutes against Portugal, we lost our heads a bit and that allowed them back in the game. We will have to do better tomorrow," John said.
As the countdown continues for RWC2015, Tournament Chief Executive Debbie Jevans visited the Millennium Stadium to discuss preparations for the eight matches and reveal the positive news that 100,000 tickets for games at the home of Welsh rugby have sold in the last seven days.
Jason Harries is targeting a first win on the World Series circuit this season with Wales. The series returns to action this weekend in Dubai where Harries is part of a team hoping to build from its efforts in round one in October.
Wales skipper Jevon Groves says his side have addressed a few points from Gold Coast and aim to 'hit the ground running' in the next two rounds of the World Series, kicking off with this weekend in Dubai before heading off to South Africa next week.
Wales Sevens manager Steff Thomas is hopeful his side can build from a quarter-final spot in the opening round of the World Series in Australia when his side take part in the forthcoming double header in Dubai and South Africa.