WARREN GATLAND

Wales On Sunday - - SPORT ON SUNDAY -

DAN Big­gar stepped off the bench to land a dra­matic late penalty to se­cure Wales their first vic­tory over Aus­tralia since 2008. It was 9-6 at the fin­ish af­ter a scrappy game of few high­lights.

But Wales ended on the right side of the score­line, halt­ing a run of 13 suc­ces­sive de­feats against the Wal­la­bies.

Here’s what Wales coach Warren Gatland had to say af­ter­wards... WHAT QUAL­I­TIES DID YOU HAVE IN THAT MATCH THAT WAS DIF­FER­ENT TO PRE­VI­OUS GAMES? WARREN GATLAND: “I think we have learned from those ex­pe­ri­ences. I thought our com­po­sure last week (against Scot­land) was pretty good and to­day our com­po­sure to­wards the end was good.

“There was no com­po­sure from me, I was strug­gling in the last few min­utes, I thought, here we go, deja vu, we are go­ing to lose it in the last minute.

“In fair­ness to the boys they dug deep and prob­a­bly from a de­fen­sive point of view, it was the most com­fort­able that I have felt play­ing against Aus­tralia.

“Nor­mally with their pace and in­ten­sity and run­ners, there are threats all over the place, but I thought we did a good job to­day and looked com­fort­able with­out the ball for long pe­ri­ods. That was re­ally pleas­ing.” YOU HAVE SPO­KEN THAT IS NOT ABOUT GET­TING A MON­KEY OFF YOUR BACK, BUT DO YOU FEEL IT IS NOW A MON­KEY OFF YOUR BACK? WG: “We have spo­ken in the last cou­ple of years about what we are try­ing to do in terms of the plans lead­ing up to the World Cup and we feel we have fol­lowed through on ev­ery­thing we have said we wanted to do.

“We have cre­ated a lot com­pe­ti­tion with play­ers dis­ap­pointed that they are not in the team and we think we are go­ing to be build­ing nicely for the next 10 months.

“It is al­ways nice to get that win against a south­ern hemi­sphere team so there is a bit of pres­sure on the guys who will take the field next week against Tonga.

“Hope­fully, we will get our­selves an­other good per­for­mance.” WILL YOU BE PICK­ING A DIF­FER­ENT XV V TONGA? WG: “Prob­a­bly, I think we will make a lot of changes and that is be­cause we feel pretty com­fort­able with the depth we have cre­ated and the com­pe­ti­tion within the squad.

“We didn’t al­ways get that right. When we have made those changes against a tier two na­tion, the per­for­mance has been poor. We have snuck home and won games pretty ugly some times.

“We have more strength now and I think the play­ers who take the field next week will give a great ac­count of them­selves.” WHAT IS THE IN­JURY NEWS? WG: “Leigh Half­penny has got an HIA, he has to go through the pro­to­cols. George North had a dead leg, Tom Fran­cis had a bit of a back strain, we knew that at half-time, that is why we made that change pretty early.” WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW ON THE LEIGH HALF­PENNY IN­CI­DENT? WG: “I thought it was reck­less, I thought it was a penalty and po­ten­tially a yel­low card. He is go­ing to make con­tact with him be­cause he has gone to charge the ball down, but he has kept that shoul­der in that po­si­tion.

“I asked whether he could have turned his back or put an arm out to soften the blow.

“I think ev­ery­one can make up their own opin­ion on what they see.

“The bad thing for Leigh is that he has got to go through the re­turn to play pro­to­cols. We will make sure he is right.” DO YOU HAVE IS­SUES WITH THE CON­SIS­TENCY IN THOSE SORTS OF CALLS? WG: “No. It is a tough job out there for a ref­eree.

“I was at a ref­er­ees and coaches meet­ing in Lon­don dur­ing the week and we had some good dis­cus­sion and de­bate about the game and player wel­fare and look­ing af­ter the play­ers. I just think it is a tough game to ref­eree and a tough game to get things right.

“If a ref­eree puts his hand up and says he made a mis­take I am happy enough with that.

“I spoke to Wayne Barnes who was on the touch­line against Scot­land last week and I felt the first penalty against Nicky Smith was the wrong call in the scrum. I just said to Wayne can you have a look at that for me, we had a chat on Wed­nes­day and he said ‘yes I got it wrong’. I am happy with that.” WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE IM­PACT OF YOUR BENCH? WG: “I thought the bench was out­stand­ing. It gave us some real im­pe­tus. I spoke to the play­ers

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