Fast and furious for Rees
SWANSEA ball boys may take their time but at the Millennium Stadium they prefer to give their side an edge by getting a move on.
Two years ago the Six Nations game between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium was settled by six points.
Which made the manner of the only converted try scored by Warren Gatland's side all the more galling for the visitors. Earlier this month Charlie Morgan was keen to waste time for Swansea City in their Capital One Cup semi-final against Chelsea, leading to Eden Hazard getting red-carded for clipping him while booting the ball from underneath his body.
The Wales ball boy at the Millennium Stadium was more keen to get on with things.
When Jonathan Sexton kicked out on the full he handed Matthew Rees another ball and the hooker promptly took a quick throw-in, which is against the laws.
But it was not spotted by referee Jonathan Kaplan or touch judge Peter Allan and scrum-half Mike Phillips raced down the touchline to score a crucial seven points, much to the anger of the Ireland side who harrangued the officials.
“I was given ball, I chucked it to Phillsy and he did the rest,” said Rees. “There were a few Irish players who kicked up a bit of a fuss, but the try was awarded and the rest is history.
“It was about time something went our way, normally things go against us. We were fortunate to get away with it and we went on to win the game. Hopefully, it won’t take something like that to win on Saturday. Would I think twice about doing it again? No, definitely not.”
Wales will do anything they can to get an edge given that they head into the Ireland game on the back of seven successive Test defeats.
That form guide has led to last year's Grand Slam winners being written off by many.
“That’s always going to be the case with the autumn series we had and losing our last seven,” said Rees, who is in a battle for the starting spot at hooker with Ospreys ace Richard Hibbard.
“But we put enough pressure on ourselves as a team and we won the Grand Slam last year.
“We know how important it is to get off to a good start in this competition. It gives you momentum and a good start is the most important thing this weekend.”
- The Welsh Rugby Union will reduce ticket prices for some games in the 2014 RBS 6 Nations tournament.
The WRU has decided to reduce prices for the Italy and Scotland games and not increase the 2013 prices for the 2014 game against France.