Jones - Pressure helped us

Lock says Wales did not shy away from scrutiny before Scotland clash

Last Updated: 13/02/11 3:00pm

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Jones: Embraced pressure

Jones: Embraced pressure

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Alun-Wyn Jones believes Wales used the intense pressure they have come under recently as motivation in their convincing win against Scotland.

Wales went into the clash at Murrayfield on the back of an eight-Test winless streak, but showed no signs of their recent poor form as they claimed a 24-6 victory.

After their Six Nations opening-night defeat to England, another loss would have piled further pressure on coach Warren Gatland ahead of a trip to Italy.

But Ospreys lock Jones says that the Wales camp made a point of embracing the pressure ahead of the make-or-break clash on Saturday.

"Usually, you are told to avoid pressure and not think about it," he said.

Mentality

"There was a bit of a mentality this week, though, of knowing we were under pressure and then embracing it.

"We seem to play better rugby the more under pressure we are, especially later on in games, so we said let's embrace it from the start, and we did.

"Flippin' heck, we play great rugby under pressure - we have done against the likes of South Africa and New Zealand.

"If you look at some of our performances, we have been guilty of not getting into games as early as we should do. We were very conscious we were under pressure, but we embraced that pressure from the off.

"Yes, international rugby is a results-based game, but it was only a matter of time (before Wales won).

Happy

"It is nice to see some smiles on faces. It was one of our best defensive performances - we shut them out - and we had that composure under pressure."

Gatland thinks the performance of the side still needs to improve in the coming weeks but was delighted with the attitude his players showed under intense scrutiny.

He said: "The boys fronted up, and that's what it is about in sport at the highest level.

"Whether you are a player or a coach you will come under pressure, and it's about showing character and responding to that.

"I thought the players could have easily lacked confidence as they have been under the pump, but they continued to work really hard and front up. The performance needs to improve, but the result was good."

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