Warren Gatland refuses to give Ireland any great credit after victory
"Ireland have given Georgia a template of how to play against us. They choked us to death."
Warren Gatland and Wales have lost three of their four World Cup warm-up games and have just one fully functioning outhalf as they head to Japan. Still, the Kiwi is bullish about his team's World Cup chances and remains unimpressed by Ireland's game-plan.
Gatland addressed the media after witnessing his Wales side throw away a half-time lead to lose 19-10 after a chastening second half. Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt admitted, post-match, that Ireland's performance was not always pretty but he was pleased with how his side dominated the Grand Slam champions in the second half.
"Ireland did what they do well. Play off nine, off nine, off nine and using Bundee Aki for gainline stuff. In the times when we've played Ireland in the past, and head success, you have to be a bit more collision dominant and your discipline has to be good. You have to be terriers."
The Welsh coach returned to the point later in his press briefing when he stressed his side were never troubled by Ireland out wide, despite the fact that their first try came off an expansive backline move that ended with Rob Kearney scoring... out wide.
Rob Kearney's 15th try for Ireland, and his first since the 2015 World Cup
Rare and beautiful, like the lad himself! pic.twitter.com/JGiBO9KZtR
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) September 7, 2019
Asked if Ireland could have success at the World Cup with what he considers such a limited, attritional game-plan, Gatland responded:
"It’s been effective for them. You have to stop their one-off runners and keep your discipline. When we’ve been effective, it’s because we’ve been disciplined and stopped their runners off nine.
"They didn’t play any expansive rugby that troubled us. When they play that way, they’re hard to stop. You need to get turnovers and we were unlucky in that area."
Gatland feels a few of his squad were easing off in the second half as the warm-up cycle finish line was in sight. He looked unperturbed by his side's loss and insisted better things were to come in Japan.
"You hold a little bit back and you work on things," he said. "These are warm-up games, not a Six Nations game where it matters about winning. We’ve got these under our belts."