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Gatland disappointed by heavy South Africa defeat but admits lessons were learnt

Gatland disappointed by heavy South Africa defeat but admits lessons were learnt

Gatland disappointed by heavy South Africa defeat but admits lessons were learnt

Warren Gatland was disappointed as Wales fell to a 52-16 defeat to South Africa but insisted his side learnt a lot in Cardiff.

The reigning world champions came to the Welsh capital with a strong lineup packed with experience and the hosts, who named an experimental side, could not match their intensity.

The Springboks ran in eight tries, including two interceptions and a penalty try, with replacement hooker Sam Parry’s second score for Wales a consolation late on.

And Gatland was frustrated by the manner of some of the tries his side conceded, although he admitted South Africa barely put a foot wrong themselves.

He said: “Physically, we were dominated both sides of the ball, for me that was disappointing. We gifted soft tries as well.

“I thought South Africa were very good, they didn’t make many mistakes, they carried the ball well, their defence put us under pressure.

“For a lot of those players playing against them, world champions, fully loaded, it’s an experience for Wales.”

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Despite the defeat, Gatland made it clear he felt a lot of the issues were fixable and he would be taking that into account when naming his World Cup squad on Monday.

“It’s about looking back at some of the soft points we conceded and before half-time as well where can we fix those problems – they’re definitely fixable,” he continued.

“We need to be a little bit better in terms of the contact area and cleaning out and defensively coming off the line a bit more and winning some of those collisions.

“We let them dictate the pace of the game and play on the front foot.

“We’ll go back to the hotel tonight as a coaching team and get as close to the final squad as we can.

“We’ll then reconvene Sunday morning and if we’ve got any doubts about the squad we’ll let the players know on Monday.”

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