Warren Gatland and Wales ‘beaten by a better team’

Wales coach says it was the worst performance of his tenure and hints at changes

Andrew Trimble takes the high ball ahead of Wales’ Liam Williams during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andrew Trimble takes the high ball ahead of Wales’ Liam Williams during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sat, Feb 8, 2014, 17:33

Wales coach Warren Gatland could find no excuses after losing to Ireland in the second match of the Six Nations Championship.

The former Irish coach admitted they were beaten by a better team on the day.

“We were well beaten by a better team. No Excuses,” said Gatland after the match. “It was a disappointing performance for us. We were dominated up front and that is what made the difference.

“Credit to Ireland they were a better team than we were today. We were well beaten.”

Gatland and his assistants Rob Howley and Sean Edwards both pointed to the breakdown area, which Ireland won. As a result Wales were unable to bring their big wingers, Alex Cuthbert and George North into the match as much as they would have liked.

Wales also had an issue with conceding penalties.

“We spoke about discipline,” added Gatland, “and we gave away too many penalties. That just gave them the opportunity to kick and work lineout drives.

“It was the most disappointing perfomance from us since I have been the Wales coach. The test now for us is how we bounce back and show character. You do get a bad aday at the ofcice sometimes an today was a bad day at the office.”

Gatland hinted that he may now make some changes in order to freshen things up.

“There was a lot at stake emotionally for the Irish,” said the coach. “That’s a huge part of the performance. Now we have to take a long hard look at ourselves and maybe change personel.”

Wales skipper Sam Warburton refused to abandon hope of retaining the title but agreed with his manager.

“We were definitely outplayed today the best team won,” he said. “We’ve still got three games left, we won the championship last time with four wins and that’s still achievable this year.”

Asked whether there was anger in the dressing room, Warburton said: “It was pretty calm, we’ve got to keep calm. It’ll be a real test of character when we’ve got to bounce back against France in two weeks’ time.

“There’s not much you can say after a defeat like that. It’s a horrendous feeling and we’ll use that as fuel for the next game.”

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