Wales coach Warren Gatland was pleased to see his side move up into second place in the NatWest 6 Nations table with a 38-14 win over Italy
This is what he had to say in the post-match press conference. Next week his side will meet France at the Principality Stadium looking for the win that will guarantee them the runners-up spot behind Ireland
ON THE PERFORMANCE
“It was mixed – job done, which we wanted with a six day turnaround. To make that many changes and score the points we did was the pleasing aspect.
“There were elements of the game we need to learn work from and work on, but we achieved what we wanted to do by getting a bonus point at home. We have our destiny in our own hands now in trying to finish second.
“It is always tough when we make a number of changes and getting that cohesion takes a bit of time. That was pretty reflective in the way we played, although sometimes we looked outstanding.
ON LIAM WILLIAMS YELLOW CARD
“I thought the yellow card was fair and we had no complaints. Whether he gets cited as a result of that, we don’t know yet. I was disappointed because if he was going to make the tackle I didn’t think he had to go that high.
“He is such an emotional player and that’s what brings the best out of him. We couldn’t afford anything else to happen with him getting another yellow card and another red card.
ON SELECTION FOR FRANCE
“When we sit down as a group of coaches to select the side it will be nice to have some dilemmas in a number of positions. I was pleased with the back-row trio.
“It was the first time they had played together and they did a pretty good job. I thought Justin Tipuric was outstanding with his line speed and defence. It was the best I have seen him play, and compete on the ball, for a long time.
“James Davies had a couple of nice touches and he worked his butt off to get on the ball. He listened pretty well with the referee, although he gave away a pretty stupid penalty in the first-half, but he knew that.”
ON GEORGE NORTH
“I thought he was great. The pleasing thing was he scored two tries and every time he carried the ball he caused Italy problems with his footwork.
“With young men, sometimes when they take a bit of criticism you start to worry a bit. What’s going to happen? Are Northampton going to terminate my contract, am I going to have a job next week?
“My role is to support the players as much as I can and send him a message we are here to support you. That’s the message to George.
“I know he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Northampton and he has always been positive about the fans and the club. I just thought it was part of my job to put the player at ease and, if anything did spiral out of control, we are here to support him.”
“I thought they tried to play some rugby. I thought they were positive in the way they tried to move the ball and got the ball out wide and stretched us on occasion.
“As a group they will get better playing at this level. We always question the Italian’s fitness and having the chance to play at this level on a number of occasions will help.
“They look better than I have seen them in the past but not perhaps to the level Conor wants them to be at in the next 12 months
ON HADLEIGH PARKES
“Basically he doesn’t make any mistakes. That’s the difference between top quality players who can go through games where, for whatever reason, if things don’t go for them they don’t make any mistakes.
“It his second man-of-the-match performance for us and he has been accurate in the other games he has played. When it is on, he executes a pass, carries well, gets over the gain line, makes his tackles, defends well and he’s got a boot on him as well.
“He has the all-round game and is a bit of glue there for us. We know we have some outstanding players who can be brilliant at times, but they need a clear head around them at times to cool them down and make sure they make the right decisions.”