WALES BOSS WARREN Gatland says he would give Ireland loosehead prop Andrew Porter “a kick up the backside” for his failed effort to prevent Liam Williams from scoring in Cardiff yesterday.
The Ireland front row was penalised for a late tackle on the Wales fullback during Ireland’s 34-10 win at the Principality Stadium in a performance that saw him give up six penalties in total.
While Gatland acknowledged Porter’s excellent work to hold up an earlier Welsh effort over the Irish tryline, he believes that the Irishman could have been sin-binned for the attempt on Williams.
“I’m not sure Andrew Porter needed to do that because he was clearly scoring the try,” said Gatland.
“With Porter, if I was his coach I would give him a kick up the backside.
“He had a great tackle on the line to hold up Jac Morgan. He probably needs a reminder that potentially that could have been a costly yellow card in a big game.”
Gatland also stated that Ireland’s Iain Henderson and Bundee Aki could have seen yellow cards, although the Wales head coach indicated that he didn’t feel they were glaring misses by referee Karl Dickson.
Henderson was penalised for making contact with Williams after the Wales fullback had kicked the ball, while Dickson pinged Aki for a tackle off the ball.
“I thought the tackle on George North when he was tackled off the ball was potentially a yellow card because it was a good attacking position and he doesn’t have the chance to clear out,” said Gatland.
“Iain got up there, you could argue he could get his body potentially out of the way.
“I’m not sure, there’s a lot worse, they weren’t massive incidents. I’m comfortable with the ref, there have been times with yellow cards that they are given away too freely.”
As it was, Williams was the only player sin-binned for his high tackle on Johnny Sexton in the second half.
That yellow card signalled the end of any hopes of a big Wales comeback victory. They found themselves 27-3 down after a dominant opening 30 minutes from Ireland and though they regained momentum thereafter, they couldn’t find the finishing touches aside from a Williams try early in the second half.
Gatland said he had been happy with Wales’ overall performance despite their dire start.
“Strangely, I’m not that disappointed with many things in the game,” he said.
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“The things I’m disappointed in are things that I can fix up – the first half, the slow start, and the penalties we gave away, which seemed to be needless. They created a momentum off that.
“When you look at the game, we had pretty much the same number of entries into their 22 and they came away with the points while we missed out on one or two tries.
“We put ourselves in a position which we could have taken advantage of but didn’t. They’re a good side and are doing that at the minute. They’re clinical.
“For us, we’ll take a lot from that to work on the positives. There are things we need to work on but I thought we put them under some pressure and created some opportunities but weren’t quite good enough at the moment to finish those off.”
Gatland added praise for Andy Farrell’s team.
“They are a very good side, the number one side in the world, and they showed that this afternoon,” he said.
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