Thursday 19 September 2019

'They didn't play any expansive rugby...we're holding a little back' - Gatland dismissive of Ireland despite Welsh loss

Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland ahead of the Guinness Summer Series match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 7, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland ahead of the Guinness Summer Series match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 7, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Ireland. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
David Kelly

David Kelly

Warren Gatland dismissed the new number one side in world rugby by claiming that Ireland didn't play any expansive rugby in securing their second win in successive weeks against Wales.

"I was really pleased with the first-half," said the former Ireland coach.

"We were reasonably positive. Ireland went back to what they were traditionally good at, 85% off nine, off nine, and using Bundee Aki.

"It’s been effective for them. When they play that way, we've been successful coming realty hard at those one-off runners and stopping those collisions with good discipline.

"Otherwise they’ll squeeze you in the 22. They were good in that area but they didn't play any expansive rugby that could trouble us out wide.

"Their lineout functioned well and it was a big moment when Leigh Halfpenny marked the ball. We've a few things to learn.

"We've been successful  in the past against them when we've been collision dominant.. We just didn't have enough territory and possession against them.

"They went to the air well and they were dominant in the breakdown. I’m not too concerned, we had a turnover of players.

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"We're holding a little back and a few guys are worried about getting on the plane. It’s not like Six Nations game where you're worried about winning, when you’d be kicking for more territory.

"We coughed up a lot of ball. We could have folded with all of that territory against us so our character was good. Other teams could have folded with that amount of territory against them.

"The referee missed a few high tackles against us although he pulled us up a few but that happens."

Wales are confident Rhys Patchell will befit enough to travel to Japan assessed after leaving the field with a HIA.

"We’ll talk to the medics and see how he gets on in the next few days," added Gatland, who only has two out-halves in his squad.

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