Wales coach Warren Gatland admitted he was ‘not satisfied’ with yesterday’s draw at the Aviva Stadium.
Rhys Priestland’s 72nd- minute penalty edged Wales 16-13 ahead but Ireland snatched a draw thanks to a long range Jonny Sexton penalty. But former Ireland coach Gatland considered it an opportunity lost.
“We’re not satisfied with the result at all,” said Gatland. “I think on reflection we didn’t start well for the first 20 m inutes, but then got ourselves back into the game, dominated territory and possession. We possibly should have come away with the win, but I won’t take anything away from Ireland, maybe the draw was a fair reflection.”
Hailing Wales’ scrummaging performance, where rookie prop Rob Evans excelled and justified his selection, Gatland admitted he hopes Scotland will agree to have the Millennium Stadium roof closed next weekend.
Both teams need to agree for the roof to be closed in Cardiff, and Gatland hopes Scotland will acquiesce in order to produce some running rugby, with wind and rain likely in the Welsh capital.
“We’ve worked hard on our scrum in the last 12 months or so, and I thought our scrummaging was outstanding,” said Gatland. “It was one area where we had some real dominance. The front row did a really good job and the guys coming off the bench too.
“With a bit of luck Scotland might agree to have the roof closed and we can go out and both try to play some rugby.
“Unfortunately it’s our stadium but we don’t have the decision,. We’ll keep fighting.”
Centre Jamie Roberts admitted to a degree of frustration Wales could not hold on to the lead given them by Priestland’s late penalty.
“On 76 minutes, we’ve got the game won, but we exited poorly and ultimately that has gifted them three points,” Roberts said. “If that ball ends up in the Irish 22, it’s game over. So that is disappointing.
“I suppose you look at big moments in games, and we will look back at that and kick ourselves, really, that we didn’t go on to win that game.
“But you have to credit Ireland. They attacked well and defended with width, they held their line well and we chucked an awful lot at them. And vice versa, we defended magnificently at times. It was a good Test match.”
Wales’ attention will quickly switch to next Saturday’s opponents Scotland, and Roberts added: “Scotland are an impressive team. They were desperately unlucky in the World Cup, and I was rooting for them against Australia. Vern Cotter has really taken them on. They have quality players within their side, and they will cause us a huge threat.”
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