Gatland calls for reinforcements
Sun, 17 Nov 2013 08:58
Pumas need morale boosting win
Wales coach Warren Gatland may have to go outside his current squad and look at the Welsh regions to help solve a mounting midfield crisis ahead of the final two games of their November series against Tonga and Australia.
The back-to-back Six Nations champions came into their four-match sequence this month without two British and Irish Lions, wing Alex Cuthbert and centre Jamie Roberts, and they lost two more in the 24-15 opening defeat against South Africa.
Tighthead prop Adam Jones was ruled out of the rest of the matches with a calf strain, while a third Lions threequarter, Jonathan Davies, picked up a pectoral injury that will require an operation that will keep him out of action for five months.
Saturday's record 40-6 win over Argentina at the Millennium Stadium saw Wales pick up two more midfield problems as new cap Cory Allen dislocated the same shoulder on which he had an operation earlier this year and his centre partner, Scott Williams, left the stadium with his right foot in a surgical boot.
Williams damaged a ligament in his big toe and if he is ruled out of the remainder of the series along with Allen it will leave Wales with a huge hole to fill in their back line.
"The injuries were the last thing we needed and leave us pretty thin. We will wait for a prognosis on Scott but we have options at centre," said Gatland.
"Ashley Beck did well off the bench and we will have Owen Williams back in full training next week. James Hook is also an option, and possibly George North, but we may have to look around the regions and see what is available."
The win by Wales brought to an end an 11-match run without a victory in November Tests and allowed them to celebrate prop Gethin Jenkins? 100th cap for his country in some style.
For the Pumas, however, it was an eighth straight defeat and leaves them needing a win to boost morale against Italy next weekend.
"Wales played an awesome match, they played very well. They found our weaknesses and they exploited them," admitted Argentine skipper Juan-Martin Leguizamon.
"At the beginning of the match we were strong in defence, we put pressure on Wales and made good moves but we couldn't complete them. When you do that, you will pay an expensive price.
"It's very frustrating losing by 40 points - it's very hard for us to take. We had a great week of training in Wales, we'd tried to play, we produced some good rugby, but it wasn't enough.
"Wales are a team playing with a lot of confidence and they are definitely playing better than last November. They played very physical rugby, but I don't think they were that much stronger than us.
"When they got points on the board, that makes things a lot harder in your head and they got a lot of confidence from that and we lost confidence.
"They have a great back row. The three of them that played today played very well together. They played with two sevens but they can do that well and we saw that today."
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