Wales got their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign off on a winning note on Sunday evening as they held off a frantic Fijian comeback to secure a 32 – 26 victory.
Starting fast, the Welsh raced into an 8 – 0 lead courtesy of a Josh Adams try and a Dan Biggar penalty.
This lead would be short-lived, however, as the Fijians blitzed the Welsh defence with two spectacular quick-fire tries to throw the contest wide open.
Wales would regain the lead ahead of halftime as George North powered through the Fijian defence in the 29th minute.
Seemingly back in control, the Welsh would once again be dragged into a helter-skelter affair as the Fijians appeared to cross for their third try in the 34th minute, only for the ball to be dislodged.
This lack of control clearly irked Welsh flyhalf Dan Biggar, who laid into North for not kicking the ball out as the half-time hooter went.
Shouting “Get the f****** ball off” at his long-time teammate, Biggar sent a message to his team that they needed to regain their composure.
Speaking about the incident post-match, Welsh head coach Warren Gatland applauded Biggar’s actions, saying,”I didn’t have a problem with it.
“It’s about making people accountable. At times in that first half, there were opportunities for us to put the ball through the hands and shift with ball in hand or maybe a kick option as well.
“We used that little bit too much space, got some great turnovers, and we probably weren’t as clear on some of our communications or decision-making as we needed to be.
“There’s nothing wrong with players in terms of challenging each other. We want that as part of the group so that everyone is accountable.
“That peer pressure is huge in terms of that and taking responsibility. Those sorts of criticisms aren’t personal. We talk about it being a point of care.
“It’s about the team and individuals getting better because we need to be comfortable with being critical.”