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North: We know we can reach another level

09.03.19 - Scotland v Wales - Guinness Six Nations - George North of Wales.

North: We know we can reach another level

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George North says Wales will be looking to reach another level when they bid for the Guinness Six Nations title against Ireland at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday.

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Warren Gatland’s side sealed a 13th straight win by downing Scotland 18-11 in Edinburgh as tries from Josh Adams and Jonathan Davies preceded a supreme defensive effort.

Wales’ final tournament encounter is with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland, and wing North believes there is still more to come from him and his team-mates.

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Reflecting on the win over Scotland, North said: “In the first half we came out strong. We probably left an opportunity or two out there which would have changed the game completely.

“In the second half we didn’t really get into our groove.

“There were too many errors in key areas of the field and we allowed Scotland straight back in. To be fair to them, they put us back in our 22 and we were under a lot of pressure.

“From our point of view, it was good to get the win. It wasn’t the performance we were after, but it certainly puts us in a good position in terms of carrying on to the Ireland week.”

Wales’ last three games with Ireland have ended in one win apiece and a draw. It shows how tight the competition between the two sides is.

Looking ahead to what will be a huge clash with last season’s Grand Slam winners, North added: “We had to focus hard on this [Scotland] game. It could have been a big stumbling block for us and we just got away with it.

“Ireland are a quality team who have come to Cardiff before and done a job on us. We will debrief the Scotland game and we’ve only got a short turnaround, so it’s full steam ahead for Saturday now.

“I guess Ireland have had a similar sort of tournament to us. They’ve shown great glimpses, but also not had the consistency. They are still dogging it out. It makes the last game very interesting.”

Against Scotland Adams scored a sublime individual effort as he sidestepped past Blair Kinghorn.
Then centre Davies finished off a flowing, 23-phase team move.

After the break the hosts threw everything at Wales at BT Murrayfield, but Gatland’s men made a total of 194 tackles with the outstanding Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric leading the individual count.

“We’ve shown glimpses, but we haven’t really hit our straps yet,” said North. “For us, we know there is another level there. We have just got to make sure we are on one page in terms of consistency and get a good week’s prep in and then focus on Saturday.

“There is a good belief in the squad and a good vibe. We can dog games out when we need to.

“There is plenty to work on from our point of view from the Scotland game. There were too many handling errors and too many turnovers. We’ve got a big week of prep to put it right.”

Adams made it three straight tries in as many matches as he crossed against Scotland following earlier efforts in the tournament in games with Italy and England.

The experienced North likes what he sees in the 23-year-old.

“Josh is brilliant. He is hungry, he wants to learn, he wants to play, he is energetic, and he has got an unbelievable skill-set and mindset,” he added.

“His finish was his only real opportunity and he took it with both hands. That was a world-class finish by anyone’s standard.

“It’s great to work alongside him. He asks questions, we challenge each other, and hopefully it brings out the best in both of us.”

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North: We know we can reach another level
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North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level
North: We know we can reach another level