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Warren Gatland has echoed a message from his captain Alun Wyn Jones that Wales have 240 minutes of rugby to write themselves into folklore.
Gatland watched his team secure their World Cup quarter-final spot against France by eventually overcoming Uruguay 35-13 in a laboured victory in their final pool match in Kumamoto.
It leaves Wales with seven days to try and patch up recovering injury worries Jonathan Davies, Dan Biggar and George North before they face the French in Oita.
“We have all 31 players available for the first time since we got here, which is a great position for us to be in going into the knockout stages,” said Gatland.
“We’re in a good place, it’s about creating momentum and making the most of your opportunities.
“Alun Wyn Jones probably said it best, there are 240 minutes left to do something special. For us, that’s something to really focus on.
“We are pleased with what we have achieved in the last couple of years, especially in games that matter, so we have a lot of belief within the team and we know we are in good shape physically, we know the work we’ve put in.
“There is a massive motivation to win the quarter-final because you win that and you know you’re here until the end of the tournament and the boys don’t want to go home next week.
“We cannot take for granted our recent good record against France, we have to focus on Sunday. They will be a little fresher than us, but we feel battle-hardened.
“They are undefeated like us so it should be a great match.”
A much-changed Welsh side struggled to find their fluidity and lacked discipline against Uruguay and held just a 7-6 lead after 40 minutes.
Nicky Smith’s converted try provided their points, however, the boot of Felipe Berchesi kept Uruguay firmly in touch with two successful penalties.
Josh Adams crossed out wide after 49 minutes but handling errors continued to plague them.
They took advantage of a late sin-bin to Santiago Civetta, though, adding a penalty try and two further tries from replacements Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies to put some gloss on the scoreline.
“When you look back at previous tournaments we have done well in, there has been a performance that wasn’t the prettiest and that wasn’t the prettiest tonight, but we dug in and I thought the bench was good,” Gatland said.
“The scoreline probably reflected the difference between the teams. But I have to take my hat off to Uruguay – I thought they were tenacious. They never gave up and kept on making tackles.” a great match.”
Uruguay’s coach Esteban Meneses said: “Our aim is to show our evolution through our play and performance and I think we have achieved that.
“We were able to play on a par with Wales and hang on to half-time. Although the score widened in the second-half we were able to shock Wales at times. The aim now is to take our game to the next level.”
The post Alun Wyn Jones Tells Wales To Make History In 240 More Minutes Of Rugby appeared first on Dai Sport.
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