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Wednesday 1st
posted by Morning Star in Sport

WALES coach John Kear hit out at the World Cup organisers yesterday after they refused his request for water breaks during his side’s opening game against Papua New Guinea.

The Welsh were blown away by the Kumuls in the tropical heat of Port Moresby and Kear’s disappointment turned to anger when he witnessed both Ireland and Scotland taking water breaks after 20 and 60 minutes of their fixtures with Italy and Tonga in Cairns, northern Queensland.

“That’s the one thing we’re really irritated about,” Kear (left) said. “As a coach, I have the players’ welfare in mind. We requested water breaks and we were declined them.

“But we looked at other games taking place on the same day with temperatures not as high as ours and the humidity not as torturous, and there were water breaks. We feel aggrieved that we were turned down.”

Wales, who were crushed 50-4 by Papua New Guinea, have moved on to another tropical area in Townsville, where they will play Fiji on Sunday needing to pull off a shock victory to keep alive their qualification hopes, and Kear has made a plea to the organisers to reconsider his original request.

“We’ve asked for the protocol to be examined and for a little more common sense to be shown. When it’s a European team that is playing in temperatures and in conditions that are totally foreign to them in PNG and in Cairns and in Townsville, I think there should be areas of grey rather than black and white and I hope common sense will prevail.”