CARDIFF (Reuters) – Wales coach Warren Gatland insisted there are “a whole lot of positives” for his aspect regardless of their complete dwelling 34-10 defeat to Eire within the Six Nations opener on the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
Wales had been outmuscled up entrance and outscored by 4 tries to 1 as Eire cantered to victory to spoil Gatland’s homecoming following his re-appointment to the pinnacle coach position he final held on the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
“There’s a whole lot of positives,” Gatland instructed reporters. “We might have gotten over the road a few occasions within the first half. It might have been nearer after which it’s a distinct recreation. It might have been an attention-grabbing final 20 minutes had we taken some possibilities.
“I believed the second half was an enormous enchancment. We spoke about placing them beneath stress with line velocity. We created a lot of possibilities however we weren’t medical sufficient. The entries into the 22 had been the identical. That’s an enormous work-on for us.”
Gatland believes unforced errors additionally hampered his aspect, whose solely rating got here by way of fullback Liam Williams.
“We’ll proceed to work on issues,” he stated. “There have been some good moments and we made some good breaks. We had good momentum of their 22 and we didn’t capitalise. We had a lineout the place we overthrew and one other the place it wasn’t straight.
“Worldwide rugby is a large step up from membership rugby. A whole lot of our gamers have been in that very same place as Eire the place you don’t make too many errors.”
Wales journey to Scotland for his or her second recreation and accomplish that with out skilled lock Alun Wyn Jones.
“Alun Wyn failed a HIA (Head Harm Evaluation) and he received’t be out there for the subsequent recreation. (Prop) Tomas Francis got here off with a good calf so we’ll have to take a look at him.”
Gatland hopes a few of his youthful gamers will seize their probability at Murrayfield and had reward for centre Joe Hawkins and wing Rio Dyer.
“There have been a whole lot of good moments from him (Hawkins). Some good footwork. He’ll study from some moments the place the ball has been turned over after a break. I believed Rio Dyer confirmed some stuff too.
“I’m not that upset with the efficiency. There are issues we will repair, if we could be medical and be extra disciplined. We’ll work on that.”