Charteris tips Wales to front up again
October 14, 2011
Luke Charteris feels Wales owe it to their fans to prevail on Saturday © Getty Images
Luke Charteris believes that if the Welsh pack can even gain parity in their forward battle with their French counterparts in Saturday's Rugby World Cup semi-final in Auckland, their lethal back-line will take care of the rest.
Wales came off second best in terms of possession and territory in last weekend's clash with Ireland and yet still came out on the right side of a 22-10 scoreline after outscoring their opponents by three tries to one. That victory was founded on an almighty defensive effort and a stirring display from the forwards, who stunned the Irish with their physicality and intensity.
Charteris is hoping for something similar this weekend against a French pack which really stepped up to the mark against England in the last eight.
"We have to get parity or win the battle up front," the Dragons lock said. "Do that and we have seen what our backs can do.
"We will find out on Saturday whether we have got it right. We are always working on new things. We have the philosophy that if we do our jobs spot-on, we will do well. If we get our processes right, we are confident we are going to get the right result.
"There aren't any issues in the team. There are no egos and no arrogance, we've had a lot of fun and enjoyed the experience. We believed, coming into this tournament, we could win it.
"The coaches encourage us to play quite an expansive game. It's fun to play. I think that's the key, because if you weren't enjoying it, it would be a long campaign."
Charteris has been cleared to start against Les Bleus after overcoming a shoulder injury sustained in the win over Ireland. His availability is a massive boost for the Welsh given that he made 40 tackles alone before being forced off at half-time last weekend.
"That's just the way a game goes sometimes. If they keep running at you, you've got to tackle them and make as many as you can," he said.
"The work-rate was a sign, in the first half, that Ireland had a fair bit of possession. It wasn't ideal. I would rather be making less tackles because it would show we were probably having more of the ball."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action