Wales 19-26 Samoa, Millennium Stadium, November 16
Phillips issues rallying call
November 18, 2012
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips looks to the heavens during his side's defeat to Samoa on Friday night © PA Photos
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips has demanded his side silence their critics by immediately bouncing back from their shock defeat to Samoa.
The Islanders claimed a stunning 26-19 victory at the Millennium Stadium on Friday night that left the Six Nations champions' end of year campaign in tatters following their opening loss to Argentina.
Next up are world champions New Zealand who have swept Scotland and Italy aside in the last fortnight -scoring 93 points and 11 tries in the process. In contrast, Wales have notched just one try but Phillips is confident they can bounce back to top form.
"I don't want to offer excuses because we are bigger than that," said Phillips. "We know we are going to get a lot of flak now, but it's important that we show we can stand up to people. We have to be strong.
"It is quite a young group and a lot of them wouldn't have experienced something like this, but the senior players have, and we can bounce back. We've done it in the past and we can do it again.
"We have had a lot of injuries, which has been unfortunate, but we can't look for excuses. These things make you stronger and we have to be positive and learn from this."
Wales have now lost their last five games and another would make it their longest losing run for 10 years. That looks a real possibility with Wales a shadow of the side that swept all before them in the Six Nations.
"You have to get the basics of rugby right," said Phillips. "We have to improve these things. We are obviously devastated. It was really poor (against Samoa) and we just weren't good enough.
"There were too many errors, our discipline wasn't good enough and we gave away too many penalties. They came to spoil the breakdown and kick the ball, but it's just really disappointing. The players on the pitch have to stand up. We are making silly mistakes, dropping the ball, giving silly penalties away. It is fine margins, and it's the players that have to stand up."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"Here is the line-up I believe will take to the field on Saturday, let the abuse commence." Tom Hamilton has a punt at the Lions' starting XV for the first Test in his latest Tour Diary
"Drafting former Lions heroes and rising stars into your side at short notice may make for great copy but it does not make for a great side." Graham Jenkins on the lesson from the Lions' first loss
"At full-time I could not see the field for people dancing in front of me." Tom Hamilton reflects on the Lions' defeat at the hands of the Brumbies in Canberra
To coincide with the Lions' tour of Australia, and in association with Dove Men+Care, we are asking you to vote for the greatest Lions moments of the professional era