´Job done´ for Gatland and Wales after big win

11 March 2018 19:34

Warren Gatland was delighted with Wales' 38-14 win over Italy after he made 10 changes to the side that lost to Ireland last time out.

Gatland's decision to hand minutes to fringe men against the Six Nations' bottom side was seen as controversial by some, but the hosts cruised to victory at the Principality Stadium with George North scoring a brace.

And the Wales coach considered Sunday's game to be a big success as the much-changed team took five points and climbed into second place ahead of next weekend's final-round clash with France.

"It's job done," Gatland said. "It's what we wanted.

"To make that many changes and win comfortably was pleasing. Some elements were frustrating and we'll work on that. But we achieved what we wanted to do and we have our destiny in our own hands next week.

"[Playing after so many changes] is always tough. That cohesion takes time. It always looks easier in training. Sometimes we look outstanding, other times not so much. That's to be expected."

Gatland was particularly pleased with the performance of Hadleigh Parkes, who scored one try and was denied a second.

"[Parkes] doesn't make any mistakes," he said. "That's the difference between quality players. They can go through games and not make mistakes.

"That's his second man of the match. He's so accurate. He has a boot, a good pass. He's got an all-round game.

"He's a bit of glue for us at the minute. We have good players but they sometimes need a cool head around them to keep them calm at times."

Parkes starred as one of the five players to keep their place, later agreeing with his coach's assessment that winning with a supposedly weakened team is a big positive for Wales.

"It's a huge opportunity for a lot of the boys," Parkes told BBC Sport. "It's about building depth going forward. It's quite exciting really."

On the battle for second place, he added: "It's very exciting and makes next weekend very exciting. It's going to be another big game. Hopefully we can put in another performance."

Latest news

13 December 2018


12 December 2018