Activate discovery+Sep 23
Jonathan Davies feels Wales must continue to do the hard graft off the ball to make the most of when they do get it in their hands.
Hopes of a successful Guinness Six Nations title defence are all but over following a 23-19 defeat against England at Twickenham.
The final scoreline did not tell the whole story, however, as Wayne Pivac’s men rallied from trailing 17-0 at early in the second half, during which they ran in three tries.
Wales, now bottom of the table, must lift themselves for the visit of Six Nations leaders France, who are expected to march on towards a first Grand Slam since 2010 when they head to Cardiff on March 11.
Davies, though, believes if Wales can work at “stuff that people don’t really want to do”, then they can make the most of the opportunity to play their own expansive game.
“When you break down the (England) game and look at areas that we can improve on and keep building, you can take some positives with how we played with the ball in the second half,” the 33-year-old centre said.
“We want to play with tempo and speed, with that you have to be accurate. I thought there were periods in the second half when we had control of the ball and it was pretty positive.
“We did some good stuff, but inevitably, it is a results-based game and we didn’t get the result in the end.”
Davies added: “The ability we have when we have players on the ball is important and there is a lot that goes into making sure that you can play like that.
“We had value on those fundamentals in the game on Saturday when we wanted to, but it is making sure that we have that for the full 80 minutes.
“You have got to maintain the ball and keep it for longer periods of time if you are going to play with it more.
“If you don’t have correct numbers or accuracy over the ball cleaning out their threats, you are going to lose the ball.
The ball in our hands is the most important thing and that is what we always want to do since we were kids - no one wanted to really defend
- Jonathan Davies
“Sometimes it is the stuff that people don’t really want to do. If you value that, then it goes a long way to helping you maintain the ball and keep the ball.
“It was something that we spoke about. It is the tasks that don’t really get the plaudits, that is what we have to value for everyone else then to flourish.
“The ball in our hands is the most important thing and that is what we always want to do since we were kids – no one wanted to really defend.
“It is good fun, but like I said, it is all about accuracy and winning games, so we can’t go running up blind alleys. We have to make sure that we execute what we need to do.”
The experienced Scarlets and British and Irish Lions centre was again among the replacements at Twickenham, where Owen Watkin and Nick Tompkins were named in the starting line-up.
“It is new territory. I would love to be playing more, but it is whatever is best for the team and helping the boys prepare,” Davies said.
“I want to involved as much as I can. At the moment, this is my role and I will do it to the best of my abilities.”