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Gatland: We must go to next level

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Shane Williams - Wales

Image credit: PA Photos

ByAFP
22/11/2009 at 08:51

Not even a record win over the Pumas was enough to stop Wales coach Warren Gatland admitting his team "needs to go up another level" against Australia next weekend.

Two tries from Shane Williams (pictured) - which moved him to equal third alongside Rory Underwood on the all-time try scores' list - allowed Wales to make it two wins from three in their Autumn Series as they leap-frogged Argentina in the world rankings with a 33-16 win.

"We still feel there is another level in us and another level we will have to go to if we are to beat Australia," said Gatland.

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"We had a deserved victory last year over them and they will be smarting over that.

"What's been important in this autumn is that we have improved game-to-game and week-to-week. Overall it was a very pleasing win over the Pumas.

"Our line-out was excellent, the defence was good and we tried to play some rugby. This is only our third game together for seven months and we feel we are making some progress. It's nice to have the Australia game as our last game."

Gatland was also delighted to see his record breaking wing Williams, voted the IRB Player of the Year in 2008, dance his way to two more tries for Wales to take his Test tally to 50.

"It's been difficult for him with that world player of the year tag hanging round his neck for the past twelve months. He knows he hasn't played as well as he did last year, so this will be great for his confidence.

"He is such a talented rugby player and it's great for a team to go out there with someone who can create something out of nothing.

"He made hard work out of his first try but then you saw what he can do in broken play with his second."

Argentina skipper Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe pointed to defensive lapses as the cause of their defeat, and he was disappointed with a second successive defeat in Britain that cost them seventh place in the IRB rankings.

"We made three mistakes which give them three soft tries," said Lobbe. "You simply can't do that at this level, against a team with the calibre of players like Wales."

He added: "We're very disappointed with the margin of defeat. We leaked those three tries, which really hit us hard, but I thought we defended well otherwise.

"Wales had spoken about wanting to attack us, but I thought we handled them well. We felt comfortable in our defence but then made those crucial mistakes."

While Wales prepare to round off their four match autumn series against the Wallabies, Argentina head north to play Scotland.

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