Warren Gatland: Wales have 'forgotten how to lose'
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has proudly claimed that his team have ‘forgotten how to lose’ after their stunning 24-19 comeback win against France in Paris.
The Welsh trailed 16-0 at half-time after a poor first half showing, with Louis Picamoles and Yoann Huget dotting down to complement a penalty and drop goal from Camille Lopez.
However, the visitors responded outstandingly to run in three second half tries, including an opportunistic brace for wing George North, to come away from the French capital with four competition points.
The win is the side’s 10th consecutive victory, equalling their second-best winning run of all-time.
Sitting on their longest winning streak in 20 years, the Welsh squad will head to Rome next week to attempt to notch a record-equalling 11th straight win.
Gatland acknowledged that his side were not up to scratch in the first 40 minutes, but gave his side plenty of praise for their second half showing.
“France were very good in the first half,” he said to Sky Sports.
“We made too many errors and tried to play too much rugby. We were much better in the second half and created some chances.
“For me, the big difference between the two teams is that we’ve become a side that has probably forgotten how to lose and can dig deep like that.
“On the other hand, they are probably a team searching for some confidence, having not had a great run in the last seven or eight matches.”
Wales are now unbeaten since losing to Ireland in last year’s edition of the Six Nations, and Gatland is hopeful that rich vein of form will help propel his side to their fourth title under his guidance.
“We know that we get better the more time we have together,” he said.
“To win this tournament, you need a bit of luck. We look back on our victories and know that sometimes you have the bounce of the ball.
“It’s tough in the Six Nations when you come up against one of the big teams. France in Paris is a real challenge, and if you can win the first game then you have a good chance of winning the tournament.
“Hopefully we can build on this and start thinking about the rest of the tournament.”
France head to Twickenham next week to face England, who will be well-prepared after their colossal tournament-opener with Ireland in Dublin this weekend.
Head coach Jacques Brunel told Sky Sports the commitment his side showed, particularly in the first half, was commendable, but he was obviously disappointed with the result.
“We have to improve the control we lacked in this match,” he said.
“But facing England will be as difficult a challenge as facing Wales, and it will also be a mental test for us.
“We were fully committed, did lots of interesting things, especially in the first half. Even if we didn’t master everything, we managed to put Wales under pressure.
“We know they have a formidable defence, and unfortunately we didn’t start the second half well and they did.”
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Draft system needed for New Zealand. It works. But the commitment has to be there. Japan team and US based in Hawaii would be good for Super Rugby Pacific, but for all teams to be competitive. Needs far-sighted change and new thinking, otherwise eventually fans will lose interest.Go to comments
Harry hockings!Go to comments