Luke Charteris says Wales cannot afford to lose a Six Nations game
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 09/02/16 1:06pm
Luke Charteris accepts Wales have no margin for error if they are to be crowned RBS 6 Nations champions after drawing 16-16 with Ireland on Sunday.
The Irish raced into an early 13-0 lead but Wales fought their way back into the contest and took the lead with a Rhys Priestland penalty in the 72nd minute before Jonny Sexton levelled for the home side with a penalty of his own.
The draw means Wales are likely to have to win home games Scotland, France and Italy as well as a daunting trip to Twickenham to face England if they hope to capture their first Six Nations crown since 2013.
"We have to win all four," Wales lock Charteris said.
"We saw last year how close this tournament has been over the last few years. Unfortunately, there is no Grand Slam or Triple Crown to go for now, but we have to knuckle down and get four wins from four.
"I saw a bit of the [Scotland versus England] game, and [Scotland] looked good.
"It was a physical game against England - both packs went at it - and they will be a challenge, especially with us having one day less recovery, so we will have to look after ourselves."
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is scheduled to name his team for the Scotland clash on Wednesday, with fly-half Dan Biggar the leading injury concern following his first-half departure with an ankle injury.
He was replaced by Priestland, whose goal-kicking helped haul Wales back into the contest from 13-0 adrift, with Gatland confirming immediately after the match that Biggar had suffered a sprained ankle.
Reflecting on the Ireland encounter, Charteris added: "We spoke about getting a strong start, and we didn't do that.
"Ireland got on top of us for the first 20 to 30 minutes. Credit to them, they kept the ball well, got across the gain-line a bit too easily, and that made it tough for us.
"Unfortunately, we have had a few slow starts, but we have been around long enough as a team and we back our fitness and back our composure.
"No one panicked out there. They played well at the start and we had to address it and slowly but surely we clawed ourselves back into the game.
"I thought we did well to come back. We dug deep to get out of a hole and we went through I don't know how many phases in that passage of play to get the three points [after 74 minutes], then unfortunately gave three back very cheaply straight after that.
"I thought Rhys came on and played very well to be fair. He certainly gave us opportunities to win the game.
"We keep saying we are lucky that we have that strength in depth in terms of players. When Gareth [Anscombe] pulled out, Liam [Williams] stood in and played very well. You need to have that."