Coach Warren Gatland admits Welsh 'gutted' after seventh straight defeat

Last Updated: 02/12/12 7:06am

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Coach Warren Gatland admits the Wales team was "gutted" to lose 14-12 to Australia.

Kurtley Beale's last-minute try meant Wales lost to the Wallabies for the sixth consecutive match.

Gatland's men also lost to Argentina, Samoa and New Zealand in the autumn internationals, and after three defeats in Australia in the summer, the Grand Slam champions have now lost their last seven matches.

"We've shown we're a good side. We just need to be a little bit smarter at the death, and that's a few times against Australia that we haven't been able to finish it off and be a bit more clinical."
Warren Gatland

"We're pretty gutted," said Gatland. "It was a close, tough, tight Test match, which you expect. We put ourselves in a position where we should have won it."

"We should have been on the frontline and defending better. Even in the last couple of plays there were a couple of players hanging off. We should have had 14 in the frontline because it was obvious they were going to run it.

"We've shown we're a good side. We just need to be a little bit smarter at the death, and that's a few times against Australia that we haven't been able to finish it off and be a bit more clinical."

Wales captain Sam Warburton added: "We kept them out for the whole game and defended reasonably well and it's probably the hardest defeat I've had to take as a player.

"I was absolutely gutted when I looked up and saw the linebreak and saw Kurtley Beale going for the line and you knew that was it because he had the legs to finish it.

"It's demoralising. Today felt like the day we were going to do it," said Warburton, who is yet to be on the winning side against Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

"We've been in this situation too many times before... a lack of composure, I don't know."

A WRU spokesman confirmed that Leigh Halfpenny has been taken to hospital for a scan on the neck injury that he suffered towards the end of the match.

The full-back lay motionless on the ground for several worrying minutes as medical staff treated him and then stretchered him off.

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