Saturday 1 October 2016

Peel craves positive spin in northern hemisphere game

Published 05/02/2016 | 02:30

Dwyane Peel issues instructions during the Wales training session held at the Millennium Stadium on March 16, 2007 (Getty Images)
Dwyane Peel issues instructions during the Wales training session held at the Millennium Stadium on March 16, 2007 (Getty Images)

Rumours of the demise of "Warrenball" may have been greatly exaggerated if the whispers echoing across the Valleys are to be believed.

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Then again, those intimately involved - including the eponymous Warren (Gatland) himself - would strenuously argue that Warrenball was never alive in the first place.

"The Warrenball tag is overplayed," admits two-time Grand Slam-winning scrum-half Dwayne Peel.

"But if you have Jamie Roberts, you have to use his strengths. It looks easy to just run him and Jon Davies down the channel but that is still the strength of their game.

"If you're asking Jamie to distribute like a Gordon D'Arcy, that is not his game. You may as well play to people's strengths. If you pick him, use him for what he is good at."

What he expects will happen is far different from what he hopes will occur on Sunday and beyond.

Peel is demanding a change in emphasis, not just from the Wales, but the entire northern hemisphere in response to the World Cup shut-out. His is not a clarion call to consign conservatism to the tip heap; rather a gentle hint that long-term gains can thrive amidst short-term aims.

"The World Cup highlighted the south's focus on trying to score tries, you look at what Argentina did in that first quarter against Ireland.

"It's a very positive thing from them and they were determined to kill Ireland off. We can all learn from that. It's in our game.

"Look at Super Saturday. If that mentality is in us all the time we can only get better.

"It's not saying we use the Six Nations to practise, don't get me wrong, the Championship deserves the respect it has because it is still the best championship in the world.

"But we have to use these games to express ourselves and get better. It's a mindset thing.

"Maybe you might lose a game on the way by risking things but you will get better because you will be challenging your skills under pressure.

"It's about testing yourself at the highest level. Once you're getting better in the long run, it has got to be a step forward."

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