Wales have developed more variety in their game and France are in for a surprise if they go into Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final expecting a one-dimensional approach from the Six Nations champions, winger Josh Adams said on Saturday. France coach Jacques Brunel said on Friday that his team knew exactly what to expect from the Welsh at Oita Stadium, a suffocating defensive blanket, pressure applied at the set piece with the occasional burst of individual brilliance.
Adams, who will go into the match as the tournament’s joint leading try-scorer with five in four matches including a hat-trick against Fiji, said that assessment was possibly outdated. “Maybe in the past we’ve kept games a little bit closer and kicked a little bit more ball, but that’s dependent on the gameplan and how we look at the opposition,” Adams told reporters on Saturday.
“You identify areas where you can put teams under pressure, and if that’s keeping things tight with the forwards and putting more boot to ball that’s what we’ll do. “I definitely think in the last four games we’ve moved the ball quite well, and have scored some good tries, actually. It’s another string to our bow.”
Wales will go into the match with plenty of confidence having won all four pool matches and beaten France in seven of their last eight meetings. Coach Warren Gatland said on Friday that they had yet to put in a complete 80-minute performance in Japan and Adams said getting all facets of their game working was part of the quest for that.
“We not only can grind teams down with the pack we’ve got, dominate aerially with the kicking game, we can also move the ball around and use our threats in the backs,” he added. “It’s nice to keep teams guessing sometimes, whether we’re going to come hard with the pack or shift it wide, but it’s another string to our bow. It’s all about trying to get a complete game. “You never will, but it’s trying to get as close as you can to that.”
The winners of Sunday’s quarter-final will play South Africa or Japan in the last four.