Lions coach remains upbeat

Lions coach Shaun Edwards believes there is still plenty of reason for Wales to be optimistic despite two Six Nations defeats so far this year. [more]

Lions coach remains upbeat

Lions coach Shaun Edwards believes there is still plenty of reason for Wales to be optimistic despite two Six Nations defeats so far this year.

The Dragons were narrowly beaten by France last Friday and are now preparing to face reigning Grand Slam Champs Ireland at Croke Park a week on Saturday.

But while the losses to England and the French still hurt defence coach Edwards, he remains confident that the squad have shown enough quality over recent seasons to bounce back in Dublin.

"We have a pretty good record in the Six Nations with a 75 per cent win ratio. That’s a good winning ratio for any coaching team,” said Edwards, who joined the Welsh set up alongside fellow Lions coach Warren Gatland in 2008 and led Wales to a Grand Slam that same year.

"We are judged on the Six Nations with the World Cup coming up but we have seven players missing including five British & Irish Lions.

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"We have tried to be exciting to watch in all three games – there is no doubt about that. We are certainly not boring.

“Maybe we need to kick more in the first 20 minutes of a match in future. But we will go to Dublin and give it our best shot.

"We turned Ireland over in 2008 but we know we will have to be at our best to do it again."

Statistics show that Wales have conceded seven tries in their last three games but Edwards points out that five of those tries have come from interceptions or poor discipline.

He says he knows there is room for improvement but that there have only been two periods when he has been unhappy with the way in which Wales have defended.

"We are judged on performances and the statistics don’t look good,” added Edwards.

"But we have only conceded two attacking tries in three games when we have had 15 men on the field. That’s the same as when we won the Grand Slam in 2008.

"Three more have been interceptions while the other two came when we had 14 on the park.

"We have been frustrated and disappointed but it’s mainly been through our own errors and ill discipline.

"But there have only been two periods of play where I haven’t been happy – 10 minutes with 14 men against England and the first half versus Scotland.”

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