Wales Sevens have too much on Plate

Paul John is pleased with the performance of his young Sevens side despite losing out at the Plate semi-final stage of the Commonwealth Games.

The Welsh side beat hosts India 57-7and Tonga 38-7 on Day One but lost to South Africa which meant a showdown with three times champions New Zealand in the medal quarter-finals.

Jevon Groves’ men started the day well against the Kiwis, scoring an early try through Llandovery flier Ifan Evans and were just 5-7 down at the break. But New Zealand kept Wales inside their own 22 for most of the second half and scored 24 points. Llanelli’s Aaron Shingler, who made his Wales Sevens debut on Monday ended the tournament with a try but the eventual winners were too strong in the end.

Wales lost wings Kristian Phillips and Alex Cuthbert in the opening moments of the opening game against India, both to hamstring strains, so the fatigue took its toll on the remaining players when it came to playing current IRB Sevens Series champions Samoa in the Plate semi-final. They went in 12-5 down at half-time with a try to Lee Rees but Samoa won every restart and scored three tries to no reply in the second spell.

As they headed for the airport John said, “The Commonwealth Games has been a great experience for us and will no doubt stand us in good stead for the forthcoming IRB Sevens Series. It was disappointing to be two players down for the vast majority of the tournament because that is obviously going to have a big impact on the rest of the squad.

“Having said that, all the remaining players dug really deep with Lee Rees and new cap Tom Prydie performing well even out of position. Aaron Shingler, also new to the Sevens set-up also had a great tournament and it was great to be competitive against New Zealand.”