sport news Warren Gatland let down as a lack of discipline spoils his return as Wales boss trends now
Wales improved quickly the longer they spent under Warren Gatland’s guidance during his first trophy-laden spell as head coach.
But this was not the homecoming the New Zealander would have envisaged. For the Welsh Rugby Union, a humbling by Ireland was a huge disappointment after a fortnight of negative off-field headlines.
Gatland’s side simply did not turn up in the first half of his first game back in charge and Ireland needed no second invitation to take advantage.
Wales have had little time to acclimatise to a new coaching staff, but that is no excuse. Wing Josh Adams acknowledged as much. The bare facts are that they conceded 15 penalties — including nine in the first half — and missed 33 tackles. No team can win a Test producing those sorts of numbers.
‘No, definitely not. 100 per cent,’ said Adams, when asked if rustiness was a reason for Wales’ poor start. ‘There are no excuses. We definitely need to be better and you have to credit Ireland as well. They’re a good team. They’re physical and well drilled.
Warren Gatland was left frustrated with Wales' lack of discipline as they lost to Ireland
‘The disappointing thing is that in the first 20 minutes of any game, whoever you’re playing, you expect to be fronting up in a close, tight contest. But they blew us away. That will be something we’ll look to try and improve.’
So with a trip to Scotland, after their impressive win over England, up next, can Wales improve in the space of just a week?
‘I’m definitely confident that will be the case,’ added Adams. Welsh supporters will hope he is right.
There is no disgrace in losing to Ireland right now. Andy Farrell’s team are