8:26am Monday 17th March 2014
By Andrew Penman
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons flanker Toby Faletau says Wales can go to South Africa this summer with plenty of confidence despite a disappointing Six Nations title defence.
Warren Gatland’s men finished third in the table after a thumping 51-3 win over 14-man Scotland at the Millennium Stadium.
Falatau crossed for one of seven tries against the Scots, who had Stuart Hogg sent off after 22 minutes.
George North and Jamie Roberts both grabbed a brace and Liam Williams and Rhodri Williams scored their first international tries.
Faletau says Wales can be pleased with the record Six Nations win and use it as a platform to build on in South Africa this summer.
“We wanted to end on a good note and we’re happy with the result,” said the 23-year-old Wales and British & Irish Lions star.
“It’s not mission impossible in South Africa. We’ll be going out there with optimism.
“The boys won’t be going out there to lose and hopefully it will be a good tour for Wales.”
But, despite his optimism after a big win, Faletau is under no illusions that Wales’ Six Nations title defence has been a let-down.
“Scotland were a bit more vulnerable when they got the red card and we managed to get a few points on the board,” he said.
“We were good in patches but I guess we could have been more clinical, which is something we need to work on.
“I guess overall we’ve got to be disappointed with how the tournament has gone for us,” he added.
“We wanted to win the championship but it didn’t quite happen for us.
“This win is bittersweet I guess. We’re frustrated and we’ve got regrets about the way we played in Ireland and England.”
On a personal level Faletau has had a good tournament, however, with forwards coach Robin McBryde hailing the Dragons number 8 as Wales’ most consistent forward throughout the campaign.
“I don’t know about that,” said the modest Tongan-born star. “I’d probably give myself a two out of ten!
“There’s always plenty to work on and I’ll be going back to the Dragons now to work on my game.”
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