Gatland urged to keep the faith in beaten Welsh pack

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A CALM response to the debacle in Dublin was never likely but Wales have been urged not to panic by ripping up the script and starting again.

The pack is in the firing line after being dismantled by Ireland's front eight in a 26-3 defeat at the Aviva Stadium that dealt a huge blow to hopes of a third successive Six Nations triumph.

There has been much talk of a Plan B being needed but it was the execution of head coach Warren Gatland's power game – which has won successive titles – that let them down so badly.

That was down to their forwards being hammered by their Irish counterparts and has prompted questions about the future of experienced props Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones, the fitness of skipper Sam Warburton and the form of chop-tackling blindside Dan Lydiate.

Those same questions pondered by the Welsh rugby public are being asked at Wales' Vale of Glamorgan headquarters.

"We were well beaten up front, weren't we?" said Gatland. "We'd spoken all week about discipline and we gave away 17 penalties.

"We worked hard all week on maul-defence and I think they scored 20 points from mauling us.

"We probably need to look at some individuals and give it a shake up.

"And we'll look to see if we need to do that or give those players we selected an opportunity to redeem themselves."

And Lloyd Burns, who played alongside the pack at the 2011 World Cup, believes the second option is the best one – it's time to stick with his former teammates.

He believes that if Gatland keeps the faith then he will reap the rewards against the French at the Millennium Stadium a week on Friday.

"It's always the way, when you are winning everyone thinks that you are world-beaters and when you lose they think everything needs to change," said the former Newport Gwent Dragons hooker.

"They were very poor against Ireland, who were superb tactically, but they have not become a bad side overnight.

"Sometimes change is a good thing but I don't think there are too many options, although I would like to see James Hook come in at 10.

"Warren gets paid the wages he does to make these calls and I am sure if he sticks with the players then they will come back at France.

"They need to up their game but you can bet your bottom dollar that they will. Things have gone so well with two titles in a row but now they need to stand up after a defeat."

Comments (2)

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4:17pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Nunker says...

The faith of one man is not much use when there is no morality in a team of fifteen players, since the disagreement between the WRU and the Region the devastation have grown amongst the players , the sprit of rugby in the four top Welsh teams have been broken , the way things are this will not get better until all the players are all of the same mindset standing happy on there own soil, coaches and fans cant see what is in the mind of the players but can see it in there game, at this level of Rugby a team must be 100% to achieve, this don't come from a team wrote on paper its on the field where it counts . Graham Cafyn
The faith of one man is not much use when there is no morality in a team of fifteen players, since the disagreement between the WRU and the Region the devastation have grown amongst the players , the sprit of rugby in the four top Welsh teams have been broken , the way things are this will not get better until all the players are all of the same mindset standing happy on there own soil, coaches and fans cant see what is in the mind of the players but can see it in there game, at this level of Rugby a team must be 100% to achieve, this don't come from a team wrote on paper its on the field where it counts . Graham Cafyn Nunker
  • Score: 2

7:10am Wed 12 Feb 14

Nunker says...

Mr Gatland it is known by the majority of the people in Wales that you have been doing an excellent job for the Welsh Rugby, I feel real sure that they would all agree when I say there could not be one who would be any better,And following up to my last comment , I feel strongly that it is a crying shame that the national sport should come to such devastation at a time like this ,when there are so many of the Welsh fans and critics who was believing that you was going to break records and put history in the Welsh books , I feel in my heart for you Mr gatland after you brought the men to be of world quality only to stumble in the dealings of others involved bringing darkness over the hills and valleys., Forgive Them For they Know Not The game Of Rugby A very sad fan Graham .
Mr Gatland it is known by the majority of the people in Wales that you have been doing an excellent job for the Welsh Rugby, I feel real sure that they would all agree when I say there could not be one who would be any better,And following up to my last comment , I feel strongly that it is a crying shame that the national sport should come to such devastation at a time like this ,when there are so many of the Welsh fans and critics who was believing that you was going to break records and put history in the Welsh books , I feel in my heart for you Mr gatland after you brought the men to be of world quality only to stumble in the dealings of others involved bringing darkness over the hills and valleys., Forgive Them For they Know Not The game Of Rugby A very sad fan Graham . Nunker
  • Score: 0

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