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Gatland, Warburton hail 'amazing win'

2015-09-27 11:05
Richard Wigglesworth (AP)

London - An emotionally drained Warren Gatland hailed his battling Wales side after they overhauled England to score a dramatic 28-25 win that leaves them in a great position to escape from the toughest group in the Rugby World Cup and into the quarter-finals.

Scrumhalf Gareth Davies scored under the posts with nine minutes to go, levelling the match and setting up a grandstand finish.

A seventh penalty by man-of-the-match Dan Biggar then gave Wales the lead and the men in red repelled a final England charge to the corner to secure victory.

The pulsating win at the home of English rugby leaves Wales top of Pool A, dubbed the 'group of death' and means England must beat Australia in a week's time to have any hope of emerging from the group.

Such is the strength of the group that one of the sides ranked, two, three and four in the world will miss the knock-out phase of the competition.

Coach Gatland, whose side turned around a 16-9 deficit at halftime despite a plethora of injuries to an already ravaged side, said Wales had won because they had wanted victory more than England.

"The message at halftime was: 'we're not out of this game, we've been here before, we've been down by eight or 10 points and kept battling away and have come away with the win," he told a post-match news conference.

"There is nothing bigger than a World Cup and we all know how this pool is at the moment. This means a lot to me personally. Today was about courage," Gatland said.

"If you want it badly enough, for whatever reason, it can happen for you and you just have to dig deep. I think we wanted it more in the end."

The victory came despite Wales losing three players to injuries during the sometimes brutal encounter, adding to an ever-lengthening casualty list suffered before and after the start of the six week tournament.

"It was an amazing win given the circumstances," said Welsh captain Sam Warburton.

Wales now turn their attention to the game against Fiji in five days' time.

"It's massive for us. We'd spoken that if we could win today and win against Fiji, then the game England-Australia is absolutely huge, and the pool could be over after that," he said.

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