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Wayne Pivac leaves talk of his future to others after embarrassing Wales defeat

PA Wire

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac straight-batted questions about his future after a humiliating Autumn Nations Series home defeat against Georgia.

Less than 10 months before the World Cup, Wales suffered one of their most embarrassing losses, going down 13-12 at the Principality Stadium.

Georgia followed Italy earlier this year in claiming a famous Cardiff win, with Wales’ catalogue of horrors also including home defeats against the likes of Romania (1988), Canada (1993) and Samoa (2012).

Wales have won just three of their 11 games this year, and Pivac – who succeeded his fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland after the 2019 World Cup – will now inevitably feel the heat ahead of next weekend’s clash with Australia.

“You have seen a lot of results at the moment that are going against the form-book, and our result is one of those,” Pivac said.

“I will be here rolling the sleeves up from tomorrow morning, and we will formulate a plan for the week.

“We are here to do a job, we are totally focused on building towards the World Cup. This is clearly a setback, and we are not proud of that result.”

Asked if he felt his position would now be under threat, Pivac added: “Again, that is a question for other people, I would guess.

“We’ve done it (turned things around) before. Unfortunately, we’ve had to do it one time too many from my point of view. It is not a nice place to be.

“Seven days is a long time in rugby, and we will look at it all, including pulling the game to bits. We have to make sure we get the performance we are all happy with and proud of in seven days’ time.”

Former Wales stars Sam Warburton and Jamie Roberts were vocal in their criticism of Wales’ performance after they failed to score a point following flanker Jac Morgan’s second try in the 24th minute.

Substitute Luka Matkava’s penalty two minutes from time inflicted immeasurable pain on Wales.

Morgan scored two first-half tries, but Wales huffed and puffed during a miserable second 40 minutes that Georgia dominated ahead of the countries meeting again at next year’s World Cup.

Wing Sandro Todua scored a 59th-minute try, while fly-half Tedo Abzhandadze converted and kicked a penalty as the visitors repeatedly shunted Wales into reverse gear.

Wales conclude their autumn schedule against Australia next weekend, and Pivac said: “We will review everything, and we will leave no stone unturned in the review process.

“In the second half we had no continuity, and we were probably second-best in a lot of the collisions and the aerial game.

“Every time you lose a game, it leaves a scar. Next week is no different. We need a big week and a very strong performance.”

Wales captain Justin Tipuric said: “It felt stop-start out there. We would have some momentum and then lose it.

“You can speak out there as much as you want, but unless the reactions happen – which they didn’t today – then you are going to be on the back foot.

“In rugby, there are ups and downs. This is definitely a down moment. We have to stick together. On our day, we are a quality side, so we have to go out firing next week.

“It is tough to be the first Welsh team to lose to Georgia. Unfortunately, you have those tough days in your career, and now it is all about how we react.

“We obviously planned to finish this autumn strongly and get momentum after beating Argentina. Unfortunately, we didn’t do that today.

“We let ourselves down, and it is a disappointed changing room.”

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili lavished praise on his players after the greatest day in his country’s rugby history.

“It means everything for us. Not for rugby, the team, but the country,” he said.

“It is not easy to win in Cardiff against the Welsh. We are a small country, and we need examples like that.

“It was self-belief, then it was patience and not thinking about mistakes. We can play for each other much better than anyone else in rugby.

“I told the boys before that maybe we are not as skilful, but we have much more fight in us.”