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Gatland says 'it's where we are' as Wales hit new low

Head coach Warren Gatland says it is "just where we are at the moment" after Wales slumped to statistically their worst position in World Rugby's rankings.

Wales' new low spot of 11th means they have slipped outside the top 10 for the first time since the rankings were introduced in 2003.

The 25-16 defeat by Australia in Sydney was an eighth successive loss for Wales.

It also represented a 14th defeat in 20 games during Gatland's second stint as head coach.

"We know where we are at the moment - we're developing this team," said Gatland.

"We said all along and have been up front in what we're trying to do.

"I hope people can see some development in terms of the players and experience with what we're trying to do towards the next World Cup.

"I understand you are going to get pressure from people talking about a losing run at the moment.

"But in that run we've been in games, been in front and easily could have won a few, and tonight's the same.

"I thought there were some positives in terms of what we're trying to do. A bit more accuracy, you get decisions which go your way and you win.

"Those are big moments we need to learn from to make sure in those tight matches, you end on the winning side."

Refereeing concerns

Wales players celebrate a try for James Botham but the score was disallowed
Wales players celebrate a try for James Botham but the score was disallowed [Huw Evans Picture Agency]

Gatland questioned some of the refereeing decisions, including a James Botham second-half score that was ruled out for obstruction.

"I need to get some clarity on the disallowed try from the maul, we would have had a conversion to go in front," said Gatland.

"It's where we are at the moment - we're not getting any 50/50 calls and we just have to work through that."

Australia head coach Joe Schmidt is adamant the right decision was made by French referee Pierre Brousset and his officials.

“It is really clear," said Schmidt.

"The law says whoever rips the ball has to be connected to the jumper and there is clear air there.

"There are four match officials who made that decision, not me, so I will just leave it with them.

"It looked pretty unequivocal in their mind. Those are the decisions we do not have any control over.

"Sometimes things happen and you just have to get on and play the game.

"I had some experiences last year where you felt you didn't get the rub of the green and you just have to wear that and get on with the game."

Levelling up

Wales have concerns over injured full-back Liam Williams, prop Gareth Thomas and number eight Aaron Wainwright before the second Test in Melbourne next Saturday.

Gatland says he does not think he will have to lift the sprits of the squad as they aim to level the series.

"I don't think we have to raise them," said Gatland.

"The way the boys have trained this week and the buzz around them, they've been outstanding.

"We know we're going through a process playing at the highest level, which is about learning to handle some pressure.

"I have been through that with other teams in the past.

"When you win once, you build confidence and learn how to close out games.

"There's a lot of inexperienced players going through that process.

"It's about taking the lessons from tonight and applying them and be better next week."