Wales look to improve on Dubai 7s form and not take a step back against the Kiwis in South Africa

December 5, 2013 12:55 PM

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Wales face unenviable challenge this weekend in South Africa on the HSBC Sevens World Series, but squad captain Adam Thomas believes his side can don the crampons and scale the peak at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

World champions New Zealand await in Pool C alongside Portugal and USA for the third round of the world series. The Kiwis will still be smarting after their humiliation at the hands of Fiji last weekend in Dubai where the South Sea Islanders dumped them out of the Cup competition with a stunning 44-0 thrashing.

Defending champions New Zealand lead this year's series after two rounds and possess the most experienced squad at the tournament with 293 events between them but that doesn't faze Thomas, who sits out the tournament with a shoulder injury.

"Before we face New Zealand though we have to tackle USA who didn't have a great tournament in Dubai so they will be dangerous while Portugal are a tough team as well so it's going to be difficult for the boys."

The Kiwis will be looking to bounce back after last week's meltdown to Fiji which means Wales will be on red alert when the two sides clash on Saturday.

"The fact they will be looking to get back to winning form after Fiji got one over them last weekend in Dubai won't place any added pressure on our boys," explained Thomas.

"Looking back on Dubai there were plenty of positives to come out of the first day when we topped the group - against Scotland, Spain and Australia we probably produced our best first day performance in a long time.

"Our game management in all three games was spot on - even against Australia in the last game where we could have taken our foot off the accelerator but we didn't - the boys didn't shy away from the challenge and prevented Australia from scoring so we were able to top the group."

Wales entered the Dubai Cup competition full of confidence against England but despite trailing just 7-5 at the break, four second half tries by the red rose brigade saw England swarm to a 33-12 win which condemned Wales to the Plate section.

"Day two was a big opportunity for the boys but we didn't take it. We were still in the game against England until the last two or three minutes before it slipped away from us," added Thomas. "The boys dug deep to bounce back against Kenya in the Plate semi but against Argentina in the Plate final we fell away and lost 21-5."


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