Scott Baldwin: Wales want to go through as unbeaten Pool A winners

Published: Friday 2nd October 2015 by The News Editor

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Wales will qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday night if Australia beat host nation England at Twickenham.

But hooker Scott Baldwin, a try-scorer in the 23-13 Pool A victory over Fiji, has set his sights on progressing as unbeaten group winners.

Whatever happens this weekend, Wales will top the pool if they defeat Australia in eight days’ time, which could also mean avoiding a last-eight appointment with two-time world champions South Africa.

“It does qualify us if Australia beat England, but we want to top the group and we want to beat Australia,” Baldwin said.

“We are going out next week to get the win, first and foremost.

“Last weekend’s result against England (Wales won 28-25) was a massive bonus for us. It showed the tightness of our squad, and the Fiji win backs that up.”

The Wales players will now enjoy a couple of days off before heading to London on Sunday, and head coach Warren Gatland insists he will remain a neutral spectator this weekend when England and Australia face off.

“It’s hard not to be entirely selfish on Saturday because Australia can do us a big favour,” New Zealander Gatland said.

“We would make the quarter-finals, and it’s hard not to think that way.

“But it’s a bit hard for a Kiwi to be jumping up and cheering for the Aussies! So I think I will be quite neutral this weekend.”

Scrum-half Gareth Davies, Wales’ best player, and Baldwin scored tries, while Dan Biggar booted 13 points – he has yet to miss a kick in the tournament – as Fiji were kept at bay.

“It was a really tough physical encounter, and I am absolutely delighted with the win,” Gatland added.

“Given that short turnaround from last Saturday, we had to dig really deep, and I thought the players did well.

“There are a few battered bodies, but we look okay at the moment.

“The boys will have a bit of time with themselves and their families and recuperate before we play Australia and try to win this group.”

Published: Friday 2nd October 2015 by The News Editor

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