Wales embarrassed with draw to Fiji

Wales coach Warren Gatland says that they let their fans down and are embarrassed after drawing 16-all with Fiji at the at the Millennium Stadium in front of 52,335 fans.

Fiji led for much of the match as Wales struggled to find their game. Wales needed a penalty try and a penalty by Stephen Jones to overtake the Islanders and looked set win the match with five minutes remaining.

However Wales gave away a penalty in extra time and Fiji fly-half Seremaia Bai kicked the penalty to earn his South Sea Islanders a deserved draw in Cardiff bringing back memories of the 38-34 defeat for Wales by Fiji at the world cup.

“We have let them down,” said the Kiwi. “We feel a bit embarrassed by the performance.”

“It would have been nice to send the kids and families here tonight away with a win and we were not good enough to do it,” he told the Press Association.

Fiji will feel a big boost from the victory as the two sides meet again next year in their final Pool D fixture in the 2011 Rugby world Cup.

Worryingly for Wales they have failed to beat two of their Pool D opponents at next year’s world cup despite leading the Springboks for most of the match last weekend.

Gatland made nine changes to the side that lost to South Africa last weekend but those changes led to arguably Wales’ worst performance yet under Gatland.

“Our inaccuracy, the turnovers and penalties were very disappointing. Our line-out did not function, we probably kicked the ball away at times when we maybe should have kept hold of it.

“It is a game we should have won. We needed to show patience and composure, it’s incredibly disappointing.”

Gatland also acknowledged Wales need to improve on how they handle matches against lower ranked teams when changes are made to the starting XV.

“Canada was like that, Samoa was like that,” he said. “Games where we have made changes, we have struggled and that is something we need to come to terms with. “

“That was the emphasis on this game. The best teams in the world are ruthless and put these teams away, but the amount of mistakes we made proved to be a costly factor.”

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