Six Nations: Warren Gatland unhappy with Wales indiscipline in defeat to Ireland
Last Updated: 25/02/18 11:45pm
Warren Gatland says indiscipline "came back to haunt us" as the Wales head coach reflected on his side’s defeat to Ireland in the Six Nations on Saturday.
The experienced Kiwi boss, who took charge of his 100th game in charge at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, was left to rue a disappointing 37-27 defeat to Joe Schmidt's side.
Gatland's side made 225 tackles in the game as Ireland dominated possession and territory, while the visitors' penalty count - higher than in either of their opening two matches against Scotland and England - proved costly.
"The disappointing thing from our point of view is that the things we worked on during the week and spoke about in the week came back to haunt us like the discipline, being prepared to go through lots and lots of phases against an Irish team without giving anything away," Gatland said.
"Unfortunately, we didn't do that, and when they got close to our line they were very good.
"We spoke about discipline and how important that was against an Irish team who thrive on playing through lots of phases and squeezing you, and if they do get penalties they are generally pretty clinical at converting them into threes or five points.
"To me, that was the real disappointing thing, particularly from the first half. There were a couple of tight calls in that, but we were the victims of our own demise as well. There were a couple of stupid penalties given away."
Wales will look to return to winning ways when they meet Italy at the Principality Stadium on March 11 and Gatland, who is set to make alterations to his side for the visit of Conor O'Shea's squad, was keen to praise the influence of replacement George North.
"He [North] was good. I really thought he looked dangerous, so it is nice to start developing a bit of depth in those back-three positions," said Gatland.
"It was good to see him get back on the field, he looked dangerous. Having that size and firepower is definitely going to give us another string to our bow.
"We need to make some changes against Italy because we want to see where some of the squad is at this level. Can they handle international rugby?
"The focus changes a little bit. It is important we try and finish in that top three, but also start thinking long term in terms of the development for the World Cup."