Leigh Halfpenny can't wait for Wales' clash with Samoa on Friday
Leigh Halfpenny admits he can't wait to get back to training as Wales prepare for their clash with Samoa this Friday.
For me I just can't wait to get back on the pitch playing. We worked hard over the last two weeks and I guess we'll have to work harder now
Following their shock defeat to Argentina last Saturday, a result Halfpenny described as one of his low points in the national shirt, Wales will be looking for a response against the South Sea islanders.
Wales returned to training yesterday and Halfpenny knows the squad must now work even harder as they look to bounce back against Samoa.
"We didn't meet the standards we set ourselves against Argentina," the full-back said.
"Our ability to keep the ball wasn't good enough. We pride ourselves on our fitness and our ability to keep the ball but we weren't able to build that pressure.
"They slowed our ball down a lot and every time we attacked them there was a wall of white and blue jerseys in front of us.
"I think for us as players and a whole squad it's how we bounce back, how we react from Saturday.
"For me I just can't wait to get back on the pitch playing. We worked hard over the last two weeks and I guess we'll have to work harder now.
"I think over the series, the longer we spend together the stronger we'll get. We'll look at the video and look at what we've got to do better against Samoa."
The pain of the Argentina defeat has left the Welsh squad determined to raise their game against Samoa and Halfpenny, who scored all of Wales' points against the Pumas, admits the defeat was hard to take.
"I've had a lot of highs in the Welsh jersey and a couple of lows and that was one of the lows on Saturday," he said.
"It's hard to take as a player but that's rugby. All we can do now is look at our video analysis and improve. To be honest getting out on that training pitch can't come soon enough for me and we can start putting things right."
Samoa have been preparing for Friday night's clash by taking part in the International Rugby Series in Colwyn Bay. And their free-flowing attacking instincts were in evidence as they put the Russian defence to the sword in a 42-12 win.
The Samoans have proved difficult opponents to Wales in recent times, not least when the two sides met in the pool stages of last year's World Cup. Halfpenny was an early replacement in a narrow 17-10 win and knows exactly what his side will face on Friday.
"With Samoa it goes without saying they're a hugely physical team and they have that unknown about them that they can create something out of nothing," he added.
"They have players with a lot of flair and a lot of running ability. They're able to offload and have a lot of skilful players so it will be a physical and fast game.
"We need to stick to our structures, not let the game go loose and match them physically."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.
The WRU officially unveiled the new pitch today in time for Wales to take on Australia in the first of the Dove Men Series autumn international matches this Saturday. Head Groundsman Lee Evans and colleague Craig Campbell reflect on the 15-week project and look ahead to a pitch perfect future at Millennium Stadium.