We’ll go to Twickenham with confidence after second half display, says Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland

By Max Drinkwater-James

Warren Gatland insisted Wales’ second half improvement against Scotland will see them go to Twickenham to face England next weekend with confidence.

Unanswered tries in the closing 32 minutes of the game from James Botham, Rio Dyer, Aaron Wainwright and replacement debutant Alex Mann almost clinched what would have been a famous comeback victory in their Six Nations opener.

Wales trailed 20-0 at half-time, and 27-o when Duhan Van Der Merwe grabbed his second try early in the second half, before a revival by the hosts saw them fall agonisingly short in a 26-27 final scoreline.

Gatland said: “Test match rugby is about making sure you get the simple things right.

“And then when your opportunities come, you’ve got to be accurate.

“We weren’t that good in the first half, but we were a lot better in the second.”

Asked about the task against England – who edged past Italy 27-24 in Rome – in a week’s time, Gatland said: “We’ve just got to play the way we played in the second half. don’t you?.

“We’ve got to learn from the experience. They had a tough one today as well, England. So, they’re probably in a little bit of a rebuilding phase too.

“We’ll go there with a lot of confidence that we can build on that second half performance.”

Gatland fielded a rather inexperienced side, something which was a hot topic in the media.

However, Gatland insisted his players will learn from days like today.

“That’s the thing with putting youngsters out, You can’t coach experience.

“When you’re out there and there’s 75,000 people, there’s a bit of pressure on and the pace and intensity is a little bit quicker than club rugby.

“It takes time for players to get used to that.”

Gatland was quick to praise one of his youngster choices the Wales boss happy with how rookie full-back Cameron Winnett performed.

“He was good. He was accurate and got some more involvements in the second half,” said Gatland.

“He didn’t get many attacking opportunities in that first half, but for someone making his debut he was accurate, calm and in control.”