Six Nations: Wales get out of jail
REACTION: Wales coach Warren Gatland conceded his experimental side “got out of jail” as they struggled to a 26-15 win over Italy in the Six Nations on Saturday to equal their best run of 11 straight Test wins.
Josh Adams and Owen Watkin touched down in Rome following the break with Dan Biggar laying the groundwork for victory with 14 of his side’s points.
Italy crossed for two tries through Braam Steyn and Edoardo Padovani but the Azzurri fell to their 19th consecutive defeat in the tournament.
“It wasn’t a great performance, but sometimes you have to win ugly,” said Gatland.
“We got out of jail. We weren’t as accurate as we could. We didn’t play that well but we’ll take a win and move on and start thinking about England.
“We were looking at the bigger picture, we wanted to everyone an opportunity to be involved in the first two games,” the New Zealander said.
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Wales made it two wins out of two after last weekend’s 24-19 win over France in Paris, and go top of the Six Nations table.
“We want to have as good a World Cup as we can, there are no regrets, we’ve won two from two matches and now have a couple of weeks to set up nicely for the England match.”
They last achieved 11 consecutive victories in 1910 and will bid to break the record against England at the Principality Stadium in two weeks’ time.
“We didn’t speak about it this week,” said Gatland. “We’ll probably speak about it before England.
“We’ve got a chance at home and there will be some atmosphere.”
Italy followed their 33-20 loss to Scotland in Murrayfield by extending their losing streak in the competition going back to February 2015.
“Obviously we’re very disappointed it was a match in which we had our chance in the second half,” said Italy coach Conor O’Shea.
“It’s bloody hard. We have the ability, but when you don’t have the confidence it’s difficult.
“We want to win the war but have lost another battle.”
O’Shea’s side next host Ireland in Rome in two weeks time after the Irish bounced back from their opening loss to England to beat Scotland 22-13.