Six Nations

Wales go back to square one

2014-02-09 12:21
Lions coach Warren Gatland (AFP)

Dublin - Wales coach Warren Gatland has promised to take a long, hard look at his team after the Six Nations title holders fell to a humiliating 26-3 defeat by Ireland on Saturday.

Wales conceded 15 penalties and allowed Ireland to turn over the ball 10 times in an error-prone two-try loss, their first away defeat in the tournament since 2011.

"We weren't good enough today. We weren't at the races.

"We will take a long, hard look at oursleves," Gatland said.

"This was probably one of most disappointing performances I've been involved with as Welsh coach," he said.

Wales came into the match one win from matching France's record of six consecutive Six Nations victories, but now need either Ireland or France to drop points if they are to have a chance of retaining the championship they won in 2012 and 2013.

Asked whether Wales still had a chance to win, he said: "It's tough for us.

"It's one step at a time. We won't be looking forward at whether we can win the six nations, we'll be making sure the performance improves against France."

The victory hands momentum to Ireland, who lost four of their five games last year, but are enjoying a resurgence under new coach Joe Schmidt.

"This tournament is about confidence and building momentum and Ireland seem to have that at the moment" Gatland said. "For us it's about bouncing back and showing some character."

Schmidt said Ireland's superior discipline and match fitness helped secure the victory, which he said would act to galvanise some of the squad's younger players before their trip to Twickenham to play England in two weeks' time.

"It's certainly a gathering of confidence," said Schmidt. "But we certainly wouldn't be getting carried away about what we are capable of producing."

"It's going to be incredibly tough at Twickenham," he said.

Read more on:    six nations  |  warren gatland  |  rugby
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