Warren Gatland: Wales coach sees positives in loss against England

By Richard WilliamsBBC Wales Sport at Twickenham
Replacement Rhys Priestland is tackled by Danny Care
Wales had lost to England at Twickenham during the 2016 Six Nations in March

Wales coach Warren Gatland believes there were positives from the 27-13 defeat by England at Twickenham.

His team led 10-0 after 12 minutes but conceded five tries as England prepared for their tour of Australia in style and left Wales with headaches ahead of their trip to New Zealand.

Gatland said: "I thought there were a lot of positives about the first half.

"I'm disappointed with aspects of the second half but they were not things that we can't fix."

Gatland's team play three Tests against the world champions next month - starting in Auckland on 11 June - and also a midweek match against Waikato Chiefs on Tuesday, 14 June.

Wales have never beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand and have not beaten them anywhere since 1953.

They are likely to be without Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate, who suffered hamstring and shoulder injuries as he captained the team against England.

"There are things for us to work on," added Gatland.

"Things like we conceded two tries from break out lineouts - a bit of line speed and a bit of trust on the outside. Things that are easy enough to fix.

"It was good to get the game under our belt, we needed it. We were blowing a bit."

England's Luther Burrell in action against Wales
Luther Burrell (centre) scored England's first try in their win over Wales

It was a knock-on

Gatland felt Jack Clifford's try early in the second half should not have been awarded.

It came within a minute of scrum-half Ben Youngs scoring and saw England turn a three-point half time deficit into a nine-point lead.

"I accept the decision but he [Dan Cole] has put his hand out and there's no attempt to catch the ball so to me it's an easy enough decision that you rule that as a knock forward," added Gatland.

"It's a pretty important decision at a pretty vital time of the game for us to concede that try."

He also defended fly-half Dan Biggar, who England coach Eddie Jones felt protested too strongly after the try was awarded following television replays.

"Dan was adamant it was a knock-on. There wasn't any abuse from Dan towards the referee - that would be unacceptable," Gatland said.

Must improve intensity

Jones also said he was surprised by the nature and margin of England's win, which would have been greater had fly-half George Ford not missed 14 points' worth of kicks.

"I'm surprised we won this game so easily today. I thought it would more difficult," said Jones.

"Australia will attack at us in a way that will be much more difficult to defend."

Gatland conceded his team will have to improve before they face the All Blacks.

"We have to work on our consistency and intensity in training because when you play against a team like the All Blacks and they just keep coming at you for the whole 80 minutes," he said.

"We're pleased to get the game under our belts and there is plenty for us to work on.

"It's not anything that's un-fixable. We have to take the positives out of today.

"I put a lot to it down to players just haven't played at this level for a long time."