Nick Tompkins says Wales need consistency and can’t ‘just be a flash in the pan’

Next up for Wayne Pivac’s side is Grand Slam-chasing France in Cardiff

Andrew Baldock
Monday 28 February 2022 22:00
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Nick Tompkins has targeted improved discipline by Wales
Nick Tompkins has targeted improved discipline by Wales

Nick Tompkins accepts that Wales need to be “consistently relentless” as they move towards the final phase of this season’s Six Nations.

Wales’ hopes of a successful title defence were effectively ended by a 23-19 defeat against England at Twickenham.

They now have to lift themselves for an appointment with unbeaten leaders France in Cardiff, with Les Bleus moving ominously towards their target of a first Grand Slam since 2010.

It is a tall order for Tompkins and company, although recent Six Nations history favours Wales in the fixture, having beaten France four times from the last five meetings on home soil.

Wales outscored England 3-1 on tries, with centre Tompkins, wing Josh Adams and scrum-half Kieran Hardy all claiming second-half touchdowns, but poor discipline proved their undoing as Marcus Smith kicked six penalties.

Nick Tompkins scored a second-half try against England (Adam Davy/PA)

England led 17-0 before Wales began to make an impact on the contest, with their second 40-minute performance proving in stark contrast to that of the first half.

“Our discipline can’t let us down like that,” Tompkins said.

“Against any good side, they are going to put points on you, and that’s the way international rugby is. Everyone knows it.

“We need to be more consistent. It can’t just be a 10-minute spell, you can’t just be a flash in the pan, you need to be consistently relentless on teams.

“Whatever that is – looking after the ball, decision-making, work-rate – I think we have those, but we need to be relentless with it, I think.

“I can’t say I am not disappointed, frustrated or feeling hurt because I truly thought we were going to come back at the end.

We need to be more consistent. It can't just be a 10-minute spell, you can't just be a flash in the pan, you need to be consistently relentless on teams

Wales centre Nick Tompkins

“The fight these boys show is fantastic, but you can’t have a first half like that where we give away that many points.”

France are averaging 34 points and four tries a game in this season’s Six Nations, and victory over Wales next week and then England eight days later would complete a clean sweep.

And if Wales repeat the slow starts of defeats against Ireland and England over the past three weeks, then it could be a long night.

“We’ve got to keep working hard, and we’ve got to click pretty quick,” Tompkins added.

“We all know the job we need to do, and we’ve got to work hard to do it.

“We have got to come out fighting, show what it means to us and what we’ve learnt from the England game.

“The discipline is the thing we really need to sort out, and that comes from how we work. We will keep working on that.

“I think it is going to be absolutely buzzing (for the France game). It is going to be really good, and I am excited about it.”

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