WARREN Gatland’s Wales look set to revert to type this weekend, with the New Zealander hinting at a return to their direct approach.
Prior to the Six Nations, there had been suggestions from the Welsh management that they may look to develop further layers to their game, by adopting a wider game.
“We’ve gone out last week to play a little bit in the wider channels, and try and develop our game a little bit,” said Gatland.
“I said we didn’t execute that well enough, if you look at the stats we would have been a little bit more direct.”
Wales have often been criticised during Gatland’s era for adopting a one-dimensional style of rugby based on winning the collisions and dominating the contact area.
This style of rugby, dubbed by critics as ‘Warrenball’, has seen Wales win 75% of Six Nations encounters since Warren Gatland took the helm in 2008.
However, there is a school of thought that this direct approach has stifled Wales’ development, with the Welsh only triumphant twice against Southern Hemisphere opposition during the Kiwi’s reign.
“We’ve looked at the game closely.
“We’ve identified that by doing what we were trying to do, trying to be a bit more expansive, we’ve still got to be a bit more accurate and be a little bit square.
“We were probably a little bit lateral in some of our running across the field and didn’t pick off and execute some three on two’s as well.
“So it’s just making sure we get that balance right, and the mix and balance between what our ten does with his kicking, running, and passing game that wasn’t quite so good in terms of the balance that we’re looking for.”
Arguably the most impressive aspect of the Welsh performance last Sunday against Ireland was their scrum dominance.
The former Ireland coach has warned emerging Scarlets props Rob Evans, and Samson Lee to expect a sterner scrummaging examination against a strong Scottish scrum on Saturday.
“I think it will be tough, yeah, but I think we scrummaged really well last week. That was one of the most pleasing aspects of our performance and the way that the front-row scrummed, and the pressure we put under Ireland.”
Gatland was also quick to praise Dan Biggar for his miraculous recovery from an ankle injury that forced him off in the early exchanges against Ireland.
“It’s good that he has recovered. He really struggled in that first 20 minutes against Ireland but it’s great to be able to name an unchanged side, with Dan coming through, fit and ready to play.”