Tournament veteran Gatland has Wales on the right path

Tournament veteran Gatland has Wales on the right path

Wales have made a perfect start in their bid for a quarter-final place in the Rugby World Cup Pool C. Despite tense moments against Fiji and a spirited showing from Portugal, Wales managed to secure 10 points from their opening two games. Many questions surrounded the team before the tournament, including whether coach Warren Gatland should have returned for a second spell in charge and if there was enough experience in the squad. However, Gatland, in his record fifth World Cup as a coach, has guided Wales to two bonus-point wins. Their next crucial match will be against Australia on September 24.

Gatland expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, stating, “If someone said you’d have 10 points from the first two games, we’d be happy with that.” In both matches, Wales faced pressure but found a way to win. They repelled a late rally from Fiji for a 32-26 victory and secured their bonus point against Portugal with the final play of the game. Although their performances have lacked polish, Gatland acknowledges the major concerns with their lineout and ball handling.

However, Gatland believes that these experiences of “winning ugly” could be invaluable for the young group if they reach the knockout stages. He emphasized the importance of learning from these situations, stating, “You can’t coach experience. You have got to sometimes go through that and learn that as players.” Gatland draws from his previous reign with Wales, where they had lost tight matches in the last few minutes.

As Gatland celebrates his 60th birthday, he will closely watch the Pool C match between Australia and Fiji. A win for the Wallabies would greatly increase Wales’ chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals, while a Fiji victory would leave them in a vulnerable position. Nevertheless, Gatland’s young group has done everything they can, and the pessimism surrounding the squad may start to dissipate.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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