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Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

Roberts smiles through 'pressure'

Autumn internationals - Wales v Australia
Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 28 November Kick-off: 1715 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC TWO Wales and online, full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru and online, live text commentary online and score updates on BBC Radio 5 Live


Wales centre Jamie Roberts takes a high ball against Argentina
Wales centre Jamie Roberts takes a high ball against Argentina

Wales centre Jamie Roberts feels under pressure to be at his best every week after his British and Irish Lions man-of-the-series display in South Africa.

Before the 33-16 win over Argentina on Saturday, Wales had not clicked in attack against New Zealand and Samoa.

But now Roberts believes he and his fellow backs have started to hit form in time for next week's Australia game.

"I'm enjoying my rugby and that's a big thing for me, obviously there's a lot more pressure [to play well]," he said.

"That's what people expect don't they, and players around you expect and that's the way it goes.

"But it's important I just keep on smiling and enjoying it to be honest.

"I'm not the person to let the pressure get to me too much.

"I just go out there and enjoy training, enjoy every weights session I do, enjoy every skills session I do and just work hard."

With victory over the Pumas under his belt, the spotlight will again fall on Roberts next Saturday in Wales' autumn international finale against Australia.

The 23-year-old is then expected to be invited to play for the Barbarians against New Zealand on 5 December at Twickenham, along with Blues colleagues Andy Powell and Leigh Halfpenny.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Argentina game, I felt I worked really hard during the game and it was a great feeling in the changing room after," Roberts said.

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"We're chuffed to bits. I think the changing room was a very happy place after, in contrast to the previous two weeks for us.

"There's pressure week-in week-out on all the players and all the management I suppose, but that brings the best out of you doesn't it?"

Wales scored three tries against a Pumas side that started the day ranked above their hosts in the International Rugby Board world standings.

Fly-half Stephen Jones started the ball rolling by catching Argentina unawares from a penalty, running the ball in for a try when the Pumas had expected him to kick for goal.

Shane Williams added two second-half scores, both the result of mistakes by Pumas players.

"We were really pleased to put that many points on Argentina," Roberts added.

"I think our defensive play was outstanding at times and to score those three tries - I know we scored a couple of tries off the back of their mistakes and loose play, but that's what pressure does to teams."

Now Wales are looking to end their autumn campaign on a high by beating Australia for the second year in a row in Cardiff.

"Last autumn was a great win for us, unfortunately I only lasted 20 minutes [suffering a skull fracture after colliding with Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock], but it was fantastic for Welsh rugby to beat one of the Tri-Nations teams," Roberts said.

The Wallabies have not enjoyed a great tour so far this season, starting with a heavy loss to New Zealand in Japan before an 18-9 win over England at Twickenham.

But a last-gasp Brian O'Driscoll try at Croke Park earned Ireland a 20-20 draw against Australia a fortnight ago and the tourists then fell to a 9-8 loss to Scotland at the weekend.

The Wallabies have a warm-up match against the Cardiff Blues on Tuesday night to iron out any kinks, before the big Wales showdown on Saturday.

"It's a huge week for us again now, obviously Australia lost up in Scotland and they're going to be wounded animals," Roberts said.

"It's a huge win for Scottish rugby. It was a wet Murrayfield, it suited them down to the ground I think.

"It's always hard playing a side who have lost, they'll be looking to put things right and play with that extra fire.

"It's made it a whole lot tougher for us but it's a challenge we're certainly up to and the boys will be firing next week I'm sure."

*Wales coach Warren Gatland will name his team to face Australia at 1300 GMT on Tuesday, with full details available on all BBC Sport Wales platforms

Winger Shane Williams jinks through the Argentina defence

Highlights: Wales 33-16 Argentina



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see also
Barbarians 25-18 New Zealand
05 Dec 09 |  Rugby Union
Williams hungry for more success
22 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Cardiff Blues 3-31 Australia
24 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales leave Pumas chasing tails
22 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Autumn international rugby as it happened
21 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
17 Nov 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales 33-16 Argentina
21 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Scotland 9-8 Australia
21 Nov 09 |  Scottish
Wales 17-13 Samoa
13 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wales 12-19 New Zealand
07 Nov 09 |  Welsh
Wallaby wonders: Aussie rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Wales v Australia: Full record
27 Sep 06 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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