Davies: Much more to come from Wales
February 11, 2012
Jonathan Davies touches down during Wales' win over Ireland © Getty Images
Centre Jonathan Davies has warned Scotland there is plenty more to come from the Wales backline ahead of Sunday's Six Nations meeting at the Millennium Stadium.
The Scarlets three-quarter ran in two tries as Wales' mix of guile and grunt behind the scrum proved too much for Ireland in Dublin last weekend, and Warren Gatland's side are heavily-fancied to make it two wins from two against the try-shy Scots in Cardiff.
This time last year Wales were accused of being too predictable in attack, but since the installation of Rhys Priestland in the fly-half shirt the Welsh three-quarters have shone, backing up a series of strong World Cup displays with a George North-inspired success at the Aviva Stadium.
Gatland said in the wake of that win that his side had only been at about 70 per cent of their capabilities, and Davies certainly believes the backline can get even better. The 23-year-old said: "On the weekend it was great to be part of a good all-round performance by everyone, and it's good to see a balance coming in to our play and an understanding with each other. "Partnerships take a while to develop but everyone is starting to get comfortable with each other and what we need to do on the field.
"Jamie (Roberts) and I have both worked hard on different aspects of our game and tried to improve. People say we are quite similar in that we are two big guys who can carry the ball well but we have subtleties in our game and skills that maybe the other does not have.
"It has taken a while but as long as we understand each other and the lines of running of each other, the more games you have the better the partnership will get as a whole."
Many are writing off Scotland's chances following their 13-6 defeat against England, a game where Andy Robinson's side were guilty of failing to take a host of try-scoring opportunities.
Fly-half Dan Parks was the major casualty of that Murrayfield reverse as he chose to retire from Test rugby after Charlie Hodgson's try from his charged down kick proved the difference in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh's Greig Laidlaw is the man charged with sparking Scotland's backline into life as they look to end a run of four games without a try, and the visitors have made their desire to keep the ball in hand clear by asking for the Millennium Stadium roof to be shut to ensure perfect conditions.
And Davies is wary of the threat posed by the wounded Scots, who are without a win in Cardiff since 2002.
He said: "They have said they will look to keep ball alive and we have to make sure we don't fall into the trap of playing a game of sevens or touch rugby. We like a high tempo but it is about having that balance and structure and not getting too loose.
"They have great strike runners behind and we have to be on our toes in defence as they have a very talented backline. They will be looking to chuck the 50-50 balls and the long passes and try things."
While Laidlaw will be looking to add some much-needed creativity to Scotland, his diminutive stature means Wales will hope to use their gargantuan three-quarter line to take advantage of their physical edge.
Davies said: "It will be interesting to see where they will defend him in the line, they may swap and change things around. We have calls in place for wherever he is to make sure every scenario is covered.
"But he is an attack-minded player and a good running threat who will look to bring runners into the game so it will be a tough ask to keep him quiet but we have been working so hard on defence."
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