OTSU, Japan (Reuters) - Forwards coach Robin McBryde said Wales have “momentum and wind in our sails” following the 29-25 Rugby World Cup Pool D win over Australia on Sunday, but the team got more than they bargained for in an official welcome to their new base in Otsu.
The players and coaching staff were treated to a boat ride on Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake, but were engulfed in a thunder and lightning storm as soon as they set out, making for spectacular scenes.
“We timed it well! In the middle of the thunder, lightning and heavy rain,” McBryde told reporters on Wednesday.
“But the welcome we had was fantastic. There was a massive crowd cheering us onto the boat. We were all okay, I think the scariest thing was when we were asked to play the drums. It added to the experience,” he said.
McBryde said the team was happy for the slower pace of Otsu after the intensity of their battle with Australia and the short turnaround time from their opening win over Georgia.
“It’s definitely not Tokyo. There’s a slower pace to life here, similar to north Wales,” he said.
Wales have a long wait for their third pool match against Fiji on Oct. 9, a game they will expect to win, although McBryde said there can be no complacency because the team has yet to secure a quarter-final berth.
“We know we can manage ourselves, but those first two games won’t matter if we don’t finish the job off,” he said.
“Fiji can be dangerous on their day, that first half against Australia they showed glimpses of what they can do.
“There is competition within the squad and everybody realises what’s at stake. We’ve got some momentum and wind in our sails, and the boys are keen to keep that going,” McBryde said.
He said the medical team would continue to monitor lock Adam Beard as he recovers from an appendectomy, while hooker Ryan Elias was expected back in training on Wednesday after a foot problem.
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Paul Tait