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Pivac praises Rees-Zammit’s “express” pace after Fiji win

Pivac praises Rees-Zammit’s “express” pace after Fiji win

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac lauded Louis Rees-Zammit’s “express” pace after the winger’s late score helped his side edge out 14-man Fiji.

Pivac’s men finished 38-23 winners against the flying Fijians who had winger Eroni Sau sent off after 25 minutes and also saw Albert Tuisue and replacement prop Eroni Mawi sent to the sin bin, as they spent a quarter of the game playing with 13.

Gloucester flyer Rees-Zammit showed every ounce of his pace to score a crucial late chip and chase try, storming past Fijian defenders to dot down for a score that had the Principality Stadium crowd on their feet.

Pivac said: “That’s what he can do. You can’t coach that.

“That’s just express pace. I was just pleased for him because he was marked fairly heavily on the left wing.

“But I was really pleased he showed that individual brilliance and raw pace. It’s great to have him in your side when he can do those sorts of things.”

Fiji rushed into a ten-point lead in Cardiff and despite ill-discipline hampering them throughout, they continued to showcase plenty of entertaining free-flowing rugby.

Captain Waisea Nayacalevu scored their two tries, the second of which was a sensational team effort that started from inside their own 22 and finished with the outside centre diving in at the corner.

But eventually Wales’ numerical advantage told, and they added some late gloss to the scoreline with the clock in the red when Player of the Match Liam Williams dotted down.

However, Pivac admitted he was not surprised to see his side put through their paces by Gareth Baber’s Fiji and revealed there is plenty to improve ahead of Australia’s visit to the Welsh capital in their final Autumn Nations Series clash next week.

He added: “Probably the same view from the start of the game to the finish. It was everything you’d expect from a Wales v Fiji game, or at least the couple I’ve been involved in.

“They’re always close affairs. Everything we talked about came to fruition. There was a lot of offloading going on in the early part of the game.

“We talked about, from a defensive point of view, being accurate on the ball-carrier and not letting them get those offloads away.

“They got a few as they tend to do and started well. The biggest problem for us in those first 60 minutes was we had separation at the breakdown.

“They’re very strong over the ball. We talked about that all week long. That’s a concern and something we’ll be working very hard on in the week.

“One, that the ball-carrier look after the ball a bit better but also that we don’t have separation with the ball-carrier and the guy cleaning out the rucks.”

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