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Ed Gray


Warren Gatland Wales’s head coach considered shamefully cheating in a last ditch effort to make the Rugby World Cup Final. This shocking admission came after Wales narrowly missed out to France in an 8-9 defeat. After captain Sam Warburton was sent off for a dangerous tackle after only 19 minutes the Wales coach was forced to think on his feet. With the Wales scrum coming under increasing pressure from the French pack and with another injury to a prop meaning uncontested scrums, Gatlands honour and winning mentality were called into question. Gatland abstained from the decision to blatantly cheat and the New Zealander said: “We discussed it, but morally I decided it was not right.” He added: “In the spirit of a World Cup semi-finals I didn’t think it was the fairest or right thing to do.” Gatland’s admission will revive memories of the controversial ‘Bloodgate’ scandal of two years ago. Harlequins’ winger Tom Williams famously bit into a fake blood capsule to get kicker Nick Evans back into the game. The Wales head coach went on to criticise Irish referee Alain Rolland about the decision to dismiss Warburton. He said: “I honestly believe Alain Rolland made the wrong decision. I think the right decision was a yellow card.” He furthered his attack: “I just thought on that occasion, the significance of a World Cup semi-final to give a yellow card would have been appropriate because that is why these guys are appointed as the top referees in the world because they make the right decision.” Yet Gatland did back track slightly with his assessments confirming his understanding about how the verdict was reached: “In terms of the rules and the regulations he is perfectly entitled to give a red card but every game is different.”

Wales semi final