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Wales leave Gatland 'pretty angry'

REACTION: Head coach Warren Gatland said Wales’s nerve-wracking 32-26 victory over Fiji on Sunday in a pulsating World Cup match was “pretty significant” although he added he had been “pretty angry” at his side’s chaotic end to the match.

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The New Zealander admitted there had been some dumb decisions taken on the pitch by his players as Fiji stormed back from 32-14 to make it an edge of the seat thriller.

Had Semi Radradra not spilled the ball in the last move of the match with the tryline begging Fiji would have had a kick at goal to win it.

The extent of the Fijians’ pressure was reflected in Wales totalling 237 tackles according to World Rugby¬†stats.

“It is pretty significant for us as everyone expected Fiji to win,” Gatland told reporters.

“What I am pleased about is there is some really positive stuff and some really good learnings for young players which will build our confidence.

“We had things under control and then unnecessarily made some dumb decisions and put ourselves under pressure.

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“I was pretty frustrated and angry about last period of the game.

“However to me the sport is about being honest and make sure we learn from it.”

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Wales leave Gatland 'pretty angry'

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Gatland said he had been thinking of going down to the changing room once Wales moved 18 points ahead with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Gatland had no problem with flyhalf Dan Biggar mouthing off at fellow veteran George North at the end of the first-half for choosing to run the ball out of their 22 instead of kicking it dead.

“It’s not personal, it’s professional,” said Gatland, who turns 60 later this month.

Biggar, who like his great Ireland rival Johnny Sexton on Saturday, became his country’s World Cup record points scorer with 12 points moving to 109.

“I think it would have been his mother’s birthday today [on Sunday] and she passed away a few years ago,” said Gatland.

“So today [Sunday] would have been pretty emotional for him. I hope she was looking down on him.”

Wales leave Gatland 'pretty angry'

‘On its feet’

Gatland’s Fijian counterpart Simon Raiwalui congratulated Wales on their win but was clearly unhappy about some of the decisions taken by referee Matt Carley.

The Englishman sin-binned a player from each side but gave the Wales far more ‘final warnings’ than he did the Fijians.

“It is pretty tough to talk about such things in the heat of the immediate post-match,” he said.

“Referees have got a tough job and I respect what they do.

“However, there has to be consistency.

“There were a couple of occasions where I do not believe we got the rub of the green.”

Raiwalui, who stepped into the vacancy when Vern Cotter surprisingly resigned in February, said he was “proud of his boys.”

“However, I said to all the boys well done we were just not clinical enough,” said the 48-year-old former Test lock.

“We played well throughout the match.

“The one thing which was really pleasing was our fitness which traditionally we have let drop off in matches did not this time.”

Fijian captain Waisea Nayacalevu had a fabulous match, scoring a superb try – his fourth in successive Tests a personal record – and being pivotal in their second one.

He refused to be drawn into the referee debate.

“We made mistakes on the field and we paid for it,” said the 33-year-old centre.

“Wales took advantage but we fought to the end and it was unlucky that final pass went to ground,” he added.

As for what the reaction would have been in Fiji had Radradra scored and then the try converted Nayacalevu gave a broad grin.

“I can only imagine the whole country would have been on its feet.”

Source: AFP

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