Jamie Roberts: Knocked out cold – but I can still recall how badly we played

 

I cannot remember leaving the pitch at the Millennium Stadium last weekend but I can't wait to get back on it tonight. There is a desperation across the team to get out there again and right the wrongs of the Argentina game – we owe the Welsh public a drastic improvement.

It's been a tough week. My memories of Argentina are hazy to say the least. It is the first time I have ever been knocked out cold on a rugby pitch. It was my fault – I didn't get my technique right in the tackle and Gonzalo Tiesi caught me on the sweet spot on my chin. I went out like a light – gone before I hit the ground.

I walked off the pitch but that is all lost in the haze. The first thing I remember is being in the medical room and watching the game on TV. I have watched the match back since and it did not make for good viewing.

We were well below the standard needed to win Test matches. Against a team of the quality and intensity of Argentina you are not going to win with that sort of performance. Credit where it is due to Argentina – they scored two good tries, limited our attacking game and they deserved everything they got from the match.

We are fortunate that rugby is one of those jobs where you get a chance to redeem yourself so quickly– so it is important for all of us who take the field in Cardiff tonight to make amends. That is what the fans and our coaches deserve. We have to be better.

Against Argentina at times we were tactically naïve. We played rugby in the wrong areas and should have looked to play more for territory – we lost the territory statistics by a margin. That's important to get right tonight. Secondly, our kick challenge was not good enough and against Samoa we cannot afford to be so lax again. But most costly was the simple fact that we switched off a couple of times and it cost us a couple of tries.

The preparation ahead of Argentina was good so it's understandable that the coaching team are so frustrated and disappointed. It comes down to us – the players are the only ones who can put it right. The responsibility is on us to correct the wrongs of last weekend; we have to deliver.

I'm fit and ready to go again and that is a relief. There are strict protocols to follow in returning to play after being knocked out. I did nothing on Sunday, some cardio work on Monday, got a bit more intense on Tuesday and then had contact on Wednesday before the medics gave me the all-clear.

Argentina was a fourth defeat in a row but the performances in Australia over the summer were not bad. Last weekend was a slide in performance and we know we are better than that – we still have a core of players who have fond memories of being successful in the Millennium Stadium, winning Grand Slams. Last weekend will be a motivation to get that feeling back for us, the coaches and our supporters.

We are expecting a bruiser of a game. Samoa are formidable opponents: athletic, physical and clever. Fifteen of their matchday 23 play in England or France. We beat them in the World Cup but it was one of the toughest matches I have played in my career. It was physical, very tough – you can't afford to miss tackles against these guys because they know how to punish you. And then when you have the ball it feels like you are running into brick walls against their tackling. We know what's coming.

They have improved noticeably over the past three years as they showed in the World Cup. The history books tell you that more often than not we beat teams like Samoa – but it was the same for Argentina and they beat us on our own turf.

I will be lining up alongside Ashley Beck for the first time tonight. He has the potential to be a very good player and now he has to take that regional form for the Ospreys onto the biggest stage. The scene is set for him – he has the attributes; he's big, he's agile, he's a good distributor, he's calm and cool on the ball, not afraid to take time on the ball.

Similarly, Justin Tipuric has been outstanding for the Ospreys and he faces the same challenge – can he reproduce it in a red jersey? Previously he missed out on selection because of Sam Warburton's class but this is his chance. This is what drives the squad forward, having quality of strength in depth – when you are looking over your shoulder knowing that if your levels drop there is someone who can compete for your shirt. That is how you get the best out of players at international level.

Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker