Wales v Australia, Millenium Stadium, November 6
Gatland upbeat despite loss
ESPNscrum Staff
November 6, 2010
James O'Connor scorches past Shane Williams before feeding Kurtley Beale who scores, Wales v Australia, Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, November 6, 2010
James O'Connor scorches past Shane Williams en route to setting up Kurtley Beale's try © Getty Images
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Warren Gatland refused to be too downbeat in the aftermath of Wales' 25-16 defeat to Australia as he lamented a number of critical errors that cost his team.

The New Zealander, who recently signed a new five year deal with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), watched his team beat Australia up in the scrum but they could not contain the Wallabies' attacking backline while Stephen Jones missed two penalties. And the former Ireland coach believes his side can be optimistic ahead of next week's visit of the Springboks to Cardiff.

"A couple of turnovers were costly," Gatland told the BBC. "The first half we played real well but we missed a couple of crucial shots at goal that hurt us. There were a number of positive things out there, I thought we scrummaged really well, I thought the lineout was good but a couple of costly turnovers made it tough for us.

"We wanted to really take them on at scrum time, we wanted to be really direct and we knew how creative they were. A couple of costly turnovers and they scored points off them. In a close game, if we had have been accurate and taken our points and kicked our goals it could have been a different story."

Asked if he would look at bringing Ryan Jones back into the side for next week's visit of South Africa, the coach admitted he would look at making changes.

"Ryan's still recovering from injury and hasn't had a lot of rugby," he said. "We need to look at one or two players and the impact some of them made off the bench. I thought the bench were pretty good in how they gave us some impetus towards the end. We have to pick it up for South Africa, they will be really physical. There were a lot of positives today but we have to work and make sure that a couple of critical errors went against us in the end."

Wallaby captain Rocky Elsom admitted the first game in Europe was all about the result and acknowledged there was plenty of work ahead before taking on England next week.

"We came over the week," he said. "Wales played well, they came at us so to come away with win was good. We will have to have another look at the scrum, when you're in you don't see it so well so we'll have another look during the week. Wales played particularly well, they showed a lot of spirit but we weathered it well, particularly in the second-half.

"For this match, we were just keen to get the win. We knew Wales were dangerous, we'll worry about England tomorrow. It's obviously not perfect, there were issues with the carry and obviously the scrum will get a bit of focus."

Man of the Match Kurtley Beale cut a happy figure as he collected his champagne and the in-form fullback said his cutting edge was coming from his enjoyment of the game right now.

"I'm very pleased, the boys stuck at it," he said. "The Welsh gave it everything, so the boys deserve full credit for stepping up in defence. I really enjoy my rugby at moment and playing my part with the team. Robbie [Deans] gave me a job to do, I just concentrate on that and I'm happy I'm doing that job. We're all very close, good balance of young blokes and old blokes and we mix well. "

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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