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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Alun Wyn Jones retained despite Gatland's threat

Alun Wyn Jones retained despite Gatland's threat

Welsh coach Warren Gatland publicly stated that Alun Wyn Jones punishment for the yellow card he received against England could be a sacking for Waless next match. Hes gone against that now though, picking Jones for the team to play Scotland.

Jones was spotted by referee Alain Roland as he stuck out a leg to trip England hooker Dylan Hartley. Roland immediately issued the sin-binning, and Wales conceded 17 points while Jones was on the sideline.

So often we see teams doing okay with only 14 men, with the average points being scored during that period being seven. But on this occasion England scored two converted tries, and kicked the penalty that was awarded for the trip.

Ultimately, according to coach Gatland, that cost Wales the match. His frankness in the interview after the match was refreshing to see, if not surprising. Normally coaches will stand by their player publicly and give them a telling off in private.

Some will say Gatland should have reacted differently, and others will say that hes quite simply using Jones as a scapegoat for an under par performance. Seventy minutes were played with 15 men, and Wales managed to get within three points at one stage, before throwing a loose pass that was intercepted.

So despite what he said in that interview, Gatland decided to retain the British & Irish Lions lock in the starting lineup for the next match.

Kicking coach Neil Jenkins predicted that Jones wouldnt be dropped.

"I think we've all made mistakes and Alun made one on the weekend and we've had other players in the past that have been sin-binned and we've come through it unscathed.

"On Saturday we didn't, we conceded some points, but it's one of them things. I think we learned from it and we move on. I think sometimes some things are said, aren't they? Alun's a fantastic rugby player.

"He's made a genuine mistake and we've got to accept that, deal with it and move on and hopefully discipline-wise we'll be fine next Saturday," Jenkins said.

This clip shows the incident at hand, as well as the resultant points scored within that ten minute period when Jones was off the field. It also then features the interview with Gatland, and some thoughts from Shane Williams.

What do you think of Gatland's reaction, and the subsequent selection of Jones?

Time: 04:58
Wales team to face Scotland on Saturday:
Lee Byrne, Leigh Halfpenny, James Hook, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper, Paul James, Gareth Williams, Adam Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Alun Wyn Jones, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones.
Replacements: Huw Bennett, Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Richie Rees, Andrew Bishop, Tom Shanklin.

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