RUGBY : Wales coach Warren Gatland felt his side had been guilty of failing to take their chances as they were forced to cling on to claim a 17-13 victory over Samoa in their second autumn international at the Millennium Stadium.
Wales coach Warren Gatland felt his side had been guilty of failing to take their chances as they were forced to cling on to claim a 17-13 victory over Samoa in their second autumn international at the Millennium Stadium.
The hosts created 11 line breaks but only managed to score one try, an early effort from wing Leigh Halfpenny, during an error-strewn display in Cardiff.
Gatland said: “We created a lot of chances and made a lot of line breaks and we should have put the game away and won comfortably. That’s disappointing, there is a positive in that we have created that many chances but we haven’t been clinical enough.”
He added: “You have to look at the negative stuff in terms of catching the ball or players trying to offload the ball when they should hold on to it.
“At half-time we felt if we kept the tempo up their forwards would struggle and they did struggle, but to be honest I was disappointed with the amount of ball we kicked away, particularly when we had the chance to keep the ball in hand.”
After Halfpenny’s try, Wales’ first in Cardiff since February, the hosts had threatened a runaway win.
It did not materialise though as Wales needed three Dan Biggar penalties and a long-range Halfpenny strike to keep the determined Pacific islanders at bay.
London Irish centre Seilala Mapusua’s second-half interception try plus two penalties and a conversion from fly-half Fa’atonu Fili, had threatened another colossal upset to go with the visitors’ World Cup wins in Cardiff in 1991 and 1999, but Wales just held out.
Assistant coach Rob Howley was equally scathing about the hosts inability to finish off the openings they created. “We kicked the ball away 15 times in the first half,” he said.
“In the second half we broke through on three or four occasions and we didn’t finish it off. That stat tells you everything, 11 line breaks and one try, it’s simply not good enough.”