Planet Rugby

Gatland happy with tough test

01st February 2014 20:20

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Challenged: Warren Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland admitted his side had overcome a tough challenge with their 23-15 win over Italy on Saturday.

The champions laboured to beating the Azzurri, scoring two tries from Jamie Roberts and Scott Williams but mainly working defensively in the second half.

"It was tough. We've got to give Italy a lot of credit," said Gatland.

"We are pretty satisfied. There were some real positives, and there were some things to work on.

"We definitely kept them in the game in terms of a couple of crucial turnovers and an intercept, but we are off to a reasonable start and I wouldn't be surprised if Italy win a few games in this competition.

"It will focus the minds for next week (when Wales tackle Ireland in Dublin). It wasn't an easy run-out and it was tough, which was the way we wanted it.

"There are just are a few things for us to fix up on in terms of making sure we are a bit more accurate and clinical. We know we get stronger as a tournament goes on. It's that first one, and now we can look forward to the rest of it."

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones conceded his team had avoided a potential banana skin, but was happy with the ambition shown by the two-time champions.

"It probably looked as if we were under more pressure than we actually felt out there," said Jones.

"We were a bit ragged at times, but we showed ambition and a will to play.

"We showed ambition, and at times you get mistakes, but that was a big potential banana skin, if you like, to get out of the way.

"We were acutely aware of the performances Italy put in last year, hence the realisation of how difficult this was going to be today."

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