Gatland riled by Scotland's plan to go kicking in the rain

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The Independent Online

Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, has accused Andy Robinson, his Scotland counterpart, of lacking ambition and pleaded with him to "have some sanity".

The Kiwi is angry that Robinson has asked for the Millennium Stadium roof to be open on Staurday as his side tries to capitalise on the forecasted wet conditions. "We all have a responsibility to the game, to the media, to the public and sponsors," said Gatland. "So if you have a roof, let's close it, have some sanity and see some positive rugby. Why play in the rain and bad weather if you don't have to?"

It is Scotland's prerogative to demand the roof be open. Tournament rules dictate that both sides must agree for it to be shut. Gatland was anticipating the visitors' choice, but was stunned by how early the call came.

"Scotland asked for the roof to be kept open on Tuesday – it's disappointing," he said. "Usually teams would ask on a Thursday or Friday and it's the earliest I have ever known. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know what we're expecting from Scotland – a lot of kicking. England did the same last weekend. Scotland will hope it's a day in Cardiff which is pissing down."

When told of Gatland's comments, Robinson denied the "negative" charge. "It's an advantage to Wales playing with the roof closed because they're used to doing it in front of their home support," said the former England coach. "We're not used to playing under those conditions. We are abiding by the rules, we've made the request, let's deal with it."

Scotland's task was not made any easier yesterday with the withdrawal of Nathan Hines with an ankle injury. Jim Hamilton replaces the lock.