Luke Charteris: Wales threw it around too much

Wales beat the South Sea islanders 17-13 in Cardiff, but it continued a trend of unconvincing autumn victories

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The Independent Online

Luke Charteris admits Wales might have “got carried away” against Fiji after labouring to a win that bodes ill for Saturday’s visit of New Zealand to the Millennium Stadium.

Wales beat the South Sea islanders 17-13 in Cardiff, but it continued a trend of unconvincing autumn victories over so-called lesser nations since head coach Warren Gatland took charge seven years ago.

“We are disappointed with the performance,” Wales lock Charteris said. “We got the win, which in the past we maybe have been guilty of not doing, so that is the first thing you will take.

“It is frustrating because we had a good week in training, and maybe we got carried away with who we were playing, trying too many off-loads and throwing the ball around. Credit to them, they were good in the contact, but that is a negative to us because we needed to retain possession. When we did, we put them under pressure all the time.”

Richard Hibbard is set to rejoin the Wales squad today after a substitute’s appearance for Gloucester that has left Gatland seeking “clarity” about his injury position. Wales ruled hooker Hibbard out of contention for the Fiji test due to an ankle problem.

Under International Rugby Board rules, he was released back to his club at Gloucester’s request – and then played eight minutes of their Aviva Premiership defeat against Harlequins on Friday.

“He presented himself to us early in the week with an injury, we put him in a [surgical] boot and he wasn’t available,” Gatland said. “Then he was to go back to Gloucester, and it was a surprise to us that on the Wednesday he presents himself to Gloucester being able to go on the bench.

“Either you are fit or you are not. If he was fit for Wales, he would have been involved.”

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