Stunned Jones admits ‘we were second best’

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Wales captain Ryan Jones was at a loss to explain his side’s 
26-19 defeat to Samoa in Cardiff last night.

Jones captained Wales for a record 29th time as Rob Howley’s side looked to get their autumn campaign back on track following the loss to Argentina.

But the home team were outplayed by Samoa throughout and Jones said: “I’m not really sure where to start.

“We came second best in quite a few facets of that game. It slowly slipped away from us and we didn’t have enough in the end. Similar faults to last week – we played rugby in the wrong areas.”

It was Wales’ fifth successive defeat and Jones addeds: “When you come off the back of some disappointing results things tend to snowball, but we have to draw a line under that.

“As players we have to take it on the chin because we have two of the best teams in the world coming next (New Zealand and Australia).

“There is no hiding place. We have front up and make sure we turn up in a week’s time.

“What could have been one of the greatest days in my career has turned into one of the lowest.”

Humiliation awaits against the All Blacks next week unless Wales – World Cup semi-finalists only 13 months ago – can summon up a monumental recovery.

The Six Nations title holders saw Samoa score tries through full-back Fa’atoina Autagavaia, centre George Pisi and substitute Jonny Leota, while Pisi’s brother Tisi kicked 11 points in a game when the lead changed hands six times.

Leigh Halfpenny booted four penalties and a conversion of centre Ashley Beck’s 80-metre interception try, but Wales have now suffered five successive defeats and appear clueless in so many different areas.

Their demise is alarming, and although head coach Warren Gatland will return to mastermind next week’s preparations after being away on British and Irish Lions preparatory business, Wales seemingly have little hope of troubling either New Zealand or Australia seven days later.

They also suffered two more injuries – hooker Richard Hibbard and fly-half Dan Biggar the victims – and Gatland faces a Herculean task attempting to turn things around.

Samoa, though, spectacularly avenged their narrow World Cup pool defeat to Wales last autumn, proving good value.

Speaking about facing world champions New Zealand next, Rhys Priestland added: “It’s going to be tough, the hardest game in world rugby.

“The boys are going to have to dig deep and really look hard in the mirror because the last two performances have not been good enough. We have been well short in everything.”