Wales v France, Six Nations, February 26
Gatland laments Welsh mistakes
February 26, 2010
France's Alexis Palisson capitalises on an interception, Wales v France, Six Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, February 26, 2010
Alexis Palisson punished a glaring Welsh error for the opening try © Getty Images

Wales coach Warren Gatland was proud of his side's efforts despite their disastrous first-half showing in a 26-20 defeat to France at the Millennium Stadium.

The visitors cruised to a 20-0 half-time lead thanks to the home side coughing up two intercept tries, to Alexis Palisson and Francois Trinh-Duc, but were pegged back in the second-half as Wales briefly threatened a repeat of their famous comeback against Scotland.

"We have been the architects of our own demise. Two intercept tries were really costly. It is hugely frustrating," he said. "We felt if we kept the ball in hand we could finish over the top of France in the second half.

"Our fitness was superb and we had France on the ropes. They were out on their feet. There was only one team playing rugby and we had 70% territory and posession in that second half. Unfortunately we pushed the self destruct button and gave away a couple of intercept passes.

"At no stage did we feel under pressure because I don't think they played a lot of rugby. If we can stop being our own worst enemies and get it right we are not far away from being a very good side.

"We could have thrown in the towel at half-time but we played some fantastic rugby in the second half and showed some great character and put ourselves in a position to win the game. That was the most positive aspect I will take out of today's game."

Wing Shane Williams scored his 50th try for Wales in the dying seconds but also lamented their first-half mistakes.

"It was a bit of deja vu, the way we've started the last three games," he told BBC Sport. "It's very frustrating, sometimes you get punished for trying to play rugby. We try to play rugby, we started positive but two intercepts made it very difficult for us. Sometimes we try to play too much and it was all catch-up in the second half again."


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