Roberts calls for balance
February 10, 2011
Jamie Roberts endured a difficult return to action against England © Getty Images
Jamie Roberts has warned Wales that a 'gung-ho approach' against Scotland on Saturday could result in disaster.
The Cardiff Blues centre has reminded his team-mates of their clinical Murrayfield win in 2009, although recent statistics suggest that the game will be open and free-flowing.
The last six meetings between the sides have produced 283 points and 28 tries but given their damaging winless streak Wales will not want to get involved in a rollercoaster clash similar to last season's thriller at the Millennium Stadium.
"Balance is key this weekend. We can't afford to take a gung-ho approach and chuck the ball around," Roberts said. "When we won 26-13 at Murrayfield two years ago, it was one of the most clinical performances we've seen from this Wales team, I think.
"We were outstanding for the first 50-60 minutes. It was one of those games where we worked very hard off the ball, and it paid dividends for us. We carried strongly and put them to the sword, and that's what we need to do again this Saturday."
Roberts made his long-awaited return to the international arena in last weekend's 26-19 loss to England but the British & Irish Lion was left frustrated after touching the ball just five times across the 80 minutes.
Wales coach Warren Gatland has publicly stated the need for his midfield powerhouse to become more involved this weekend - and also for other players to utilise Roberts' skills.
"I am not a massive believer in statistics after a game," he said. "But, having touched the ball just five times, you have to ask the question why? Some of that is down to me looking for the ball more, but a lot of it was down to the game. It was just one of those matches where you don't get involved. Sometimes you have them. I haven't really experienced that at international level before, but it has happened at regional level.
"I don't think it was the case that I played poorly. It's a balance between carrying the ball and playing a role in the team and maybe keeping the width. I found myself on the wing quite a bit in phase play, holding the width for the team.
"Sometimes you are dealt that responsibility in a match. You are playing your role in the team by doing that and allowing someone else to have the ball in their hands, but I will certainly be looking to get my hands on the ball more. It's important I am maybe a bit more selfish in my approach and just get the ball in my hands and boss it a bit more. That's the way I need to be, I think."
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