Roberts tips Wales to bounce back
October 18, 2011
Jamie Roberts is desperate for Wales to finish their campaign on a high note © Getty Images
Jamie Roberts insists that Wales will have no problem lifting themselves for Friday's Rugby World Cup third-place play-off against Australia.
The Welsh were left heartbroken by the nature of their semi-final defeat by France, Warren Gatland's men responding heroically to the dismissal of captain Sam Warburton after just 18 minutes only to be denied what would have been a deserved victory by some wayward goal-kicking, with James Hook missing two first-half strikes on goal, Stephen Jones striking a post with a conversion attempt and Leigh Halfpenny falling just short with a long-range penalty attempt with five minutes to go.
However, Roberts insists that the players have put their misery to one side and are now intent on pipping the Wallabies to third place.
"We are a very dedicated group of guys - we are very passionate," the centre said. "You wear the Wales shirt and regardless of the occasion, you give it your all. We will certainly be giving it our all on Friday.
"We want to end the tournament on a high. It would be disappointing to lose to Australia and go home having lost two games [in a row], so we certainly want to win."
Meanwhile, Roberts feels that the absence of Warburton, who was suspended for three weeks for his tip tackle on Les Bleus wing Vincent Clerc, is not just a blow for Welsh fans as it has robbed neutrals of the chance to see the young flanker go head to head with Australia's highly-rated openside David Pocock.
"I think it's a great shame we don't get to see Pocock take on Warburton," the Cardiff Blues midfielder said. "That would have been an incredible battle to watch. Sam has proved that he's up with the best in the world in this tournament."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September