Relieved Gatland hails Welsh defence

Date published: February 15 2015

Wales coach Warren Gatland was relieved man after Sunday's bruising victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Wales revived their Six Nations title ambitions following last week's painful home loss to England but it was close-run thing as the visitors were forced dig deep to keep a physical Scotland side at bay.

"There's satisfaction and relief," Gatland told the post-match press conference.

"We've taken a lot of criticism after last week – particularly our second-half performance.

"Today we've gone and deserved the result and deserved the victory.

"It was a tough game out there. The players said afterwards that it was the toughest Scottish team they'd played in a long time.

"It's always difficult to get a result in this competition away from home, so we're pretty happy with that. Both teams fought really hard to the end.

"The big thing today was that our kick and reception stuff was outstanding. We got dragged into a game we didn't want last week. It was very slow.

"We got dragged into a dog-fight last week and we didn't want that to happen today. We defended exceptionally for a number of phases."

Wales won a number of penalties at the breakdown, allowing Leigh Halfpenny to keep the scoreboard ticking.

"There were some improvements from last week," said skipper Sam Warburton.

"But we allowed them to stay in the game. You have to give Scotland credit for that. We are relieved to get the campaign back on track."

"Today was big improvement in terms of opportunities we created," added Gatland.

"Scotland kept fighting to the end. They are the toughest Scotland team we've faced for a number of years."

Warburton admitted that defeat would have signalled the end of Welsh title hopes this year.

"We knew that if we had lost the championship would have been over for us," he said.

"That was our mind-set and we were on edge. But that was a good thing."