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Page last updated at 20:08 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

Gatland delight at Wales defence

Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones stops England fly-half Andy Goode in his tracks
Wales lock Alun Wyn Jones stops England fly-half Andy Goode

Warren Gatland said he always had faith that Wales would hold off the challenge of an improved England in their 23-15 Six Nations win in Cardiff on Saturday.

"When we spoke at half-time we said... it's going to be really tough, can we pick the pace up, can we pick the tempo up," said the Wales coach.

"I thought the way we defended in that last seven or eight minutes, I didn't think England were ever going to score.

"We got stronger as they game went on, it was really positive."

England outscored Wales by two tries to one - Paul Sackey and Delon Armitage crossing for the visitors, while Leigh Halfpenny claimed Wales' five-pointer.

Gatland praises Wales character

But England were forced to give away a string of penalties - Stephen Jones kicking five of them and Halfpenny another long-range chance - and had two players sin-binned.

"I'm pretty happy, it was a real good Test match, it was a tough Test match," gatland added.

"You've got to give England a lot of credit because they actually came here and tried to play a little bit of rugby and defended really well."

It was Wales' eighth consecutive Six Nations win, equalling a tournament record.

"I'm pretty proud that we've equalled the number of victories. I'm pretty impressed with the players in the dressing room. I think the team is developing nicely," Gatland said.

Wales captain Ryan Jones credited England with putting up a tough fight.

"They certainly did their homework," said the Ospreys back-row.


"They were very physical. I'm just very proud. We talked about this team having a big heart and showing composure and that's what we did."

With Wales unbeaten it keeps them on course for back-to-back Grand Slams.

But Jones warned that they will not get too far ahead of themselves, especially with a trip to face France in Paris looming in a fortnight.

"There are certain tags being placed on us from outside, but if you see us in the camp you know we just see ourselves as contenders like anybody else," Jones added.

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see also
Wales 23-15 England
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Johnson rues missed opportunities
14 Feb 09 |  English
Lions Watch
06 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations guide 2009
28 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh

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