Welsh caught by opening barrage

Australia B 51 Wales 41
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The Independent Online
Kevin Bowring, the Wales coach, admitted to disappointment after his side suffered another defeat, but he insisted his team are still on the right track despite their defeat by Australia B in Ballymore.

"Of course, I don't like us conceding nine tries but we did score six ourselves and we are looking at the positives like that," Bowring said. "We came back in the second half when we started running at them and when we do that they are as human as anyone else."

The tourists have lost four in a row after their easy tour opener and lifting morale for the second Test a week Saturday could be a major job for the coach. Bowring must also find a way of firing Wales up to meet the traditional whirlwind Australian openings.

They went 24 points down in as many minutes. "We have to learn to deal with the early pressure and we are still naive in the tackle area. They scoop the ball back and that is a harsh lesson we are learning."

Wales did battle their way back with first-half tries from the full- back Wayne Proctor and the wing Dafydd James. The centre Gareth Thomas, scrum-half Andy Moore, flanker Andrew Gibbs and stand-off Arwel Thomas crossed in the second half, the latter also adding 11 points with the boot, but Australia B were always in control.

The tour party retreat to the outback town of Moree today with plenty to think about before that second Test.

Australia: Tries Herbert 3, Larkham 2, Brail, Gavin, Hardy, Payne; Conversions Bowen 2, Payne. Wales: Tries Gibbs, James, Andrew Moore, Proctor, A Thomas, G Thomas; Conversions A Thomas 4; Penalties A Thomas.

Wales: W Proctor; S Hill, G Thomas, N Davies (capt), D James; A Thomas, A Moore; A Lewis B Williams, L Mustoe, P Arnold, D Jones, A Gibbs, K Jones, E Lewis.

Australia B: S Larkham; M Hardy, D Herbert, R Tombs, R Constable; S Bowen, S Payne; D Crowley, M Foley, A Heath, D Giffin, J Welborn, B Robinson, M Brial, T Gavin (capt).