Warren Gatland's 10 greatest games in charge of Wales

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February is the month of milestones for Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

It was 10 years ago when he first took charge of Wales, making him Wales’ longest-serving head coach, and Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Ireland will be his 100th Wales Test.

In his first six years at the helm, his side won two Grand Slams, a Six Nations championship and reached the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup.

The 54-year-old is also unbeaten in two British and Irish Lions Test series.

Here we take a look at the New Zealander’s 10 greatest games with Wales.

They do not include matches where Rob Howley took charge in Gatland’s absence, so Wales’ 30-3 record win over Grand Slam-chasing England in the 2013 Six Nations does not make the list.

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Six Nations 2008

England 19-26 Wales

Gatland’s opening game in charge of Wales saw his side claim their first win at Twickenham for 20 years, thanks to a superb second-half comeback.

England had dominated the first half through Jonny Wilkinson’s boot, and a Toby Flood try saw the hosts take a 16-6 lead.

Gatland’s half-time team talk proved to be the turning point as Wales looked a different side after the break, scoring tries through Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips.

James Hook’s dancing feet and kicking prowess ensured Gatland’s reign got off to a winning start.

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Six Nations 2008

Ireland 12-16 Wales

Wales sealed the triple crown and kept their Grand Slam dreams alive with this hard-fought win over Ireland in Dublin.

Despite having two players sin-binned, Wales dominated the second half with Shane Williams scoring a record-equalling 40th Test try to put his side ahead.

Ireland came back to within a point, but hopes of victory were dashed when Ireland substitute and current Dragons coach Bernard Jackman clattered Wales captain Ryan Jones in the back right under the nose of the referee Wayne Barnes.

James Hook held his nerve to slot over the resulting penalty.

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Six Nations 2008

Wales 29-12 France

Wales secured their second Grand Slam in four years with a victory over France at the Millennium Stadium.

The game will not be remembered as a classic showdown, but was proof Gatland had succeeded in transforming a team which had lost four out of five games in the previous Six Nations, and which looked beyond repair after the 2007 World Cup.

It also saw Shane Williams overtake Gareth Thomas to become Wales’ record try scorer.

France had travelled to Cardiff needing a 20-point win to clinch the Six Nations title, but second-half tries from Shane Williams and Martyn Williams ensured a victory that was celebrated long into the night.

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Autumn Tests 2008

Wales 21-18 Australia

Wales celebrated their first scalp over a Tri Nations side in 11 games by beating Australia in a thriller.

World player of the year Shane Williams finished a free-flowing Wales move early on, before Mark Chisholm crossed to put Australia ahead.

But a Lee Byrne try and Stephen Jones’ boot saw Wales take a 21-13 lead.

Digby Ioane scored, but Wales survived a brutal Australian fightback in the final minutes to claim only their third success over one of the southern hemisphere’s “big three” since rugby turned professional in 1995.

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Six Nations 2010

Wales 31-24 Scotland

This game will be remembered as one of sport’s great comebacks.

Wales were 10 points adrift of Scotland in the 76th minute, and some fans had already left the Millennium Stadium unknowing they were to miss arguably the most entertaining six minutes rugby has even seen.

Scotland had deservedly gone 24-14 ahead in a game orchestrated by man-of-the-match Dan Parks.

A Leigh Halfpenny try converted by Stephen Jones, and a Jones penalty saw the game restart at 24-24 with 80 minutes up on the clock and Scotland down to 13 men with two players in the sin-bin.

Wales hammered the Scottish line before Shane Williams famously charged under the posts for the winning try.

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Rugby World Cup 2011

Wales 22-10 Ireland

Wales reached the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1987 with an impressive display against Ireland in Wellington.

Shane Williams squeezed over for Wales’ early opener, with Keith Earls responding in kind after the break.

But scrum-half Mike Phillips’ dive over the line and centre Jonathan Davies’ burst past Cian Healey settled the contest in Wales’ favour.

Sam Warburton and Luke Charteris epitomised the Welsh effort.

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Six Nations 2012

Ireland 21-23 Wales

Wales staged a thrilling late comeback to launch their Six Nations campaign with a narrow win over Ireland in Dublin.

Leigh Halfpenny’s last gasp penalty sealed victory in a see-saw encounter in which the lead changed hands several times.

The visitors led 5-3 through Jonathan Davies’ try, but Rory Best’s score gave the Irish a 10-5 interval lead.

Davies’ second try put Wales back in front before Tommy Bowe appeared to have given Ireland victory, only for a George North try and Halfpenny conversion to set-up a nail-biting finish.

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Six Nations 2012

England 12-19 Wales

Wales won their 20th Triple Crown at Twickenham after a controversial ending to a gripping contest.

Scott Williams’ brilliant steal, kick-ahead and try with five minutes remaining put Wales ahead for the first time after four penalties apiece from Owen Farrell and Leigh Halfpenny had the teams locked together at 12-12.

With time up, Mike Brown put David Strettle over to save the game but after several tense minutes of deliberation, the television match official ruled the winger had failed to ground the ball.

The result was England coach Stuart Lancaster’s first defeat in charge.

Sam Warburton lifts the Six Nations trophy after securing the Grand Slam with a victory against France at the Millennium Stadium on 17 March 2012<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Six Nations 2012

Wales 16-9 France

Wales survived France’s best display of the 2012 tournament to secure a third Grand Slam in eight years.

In what was a pulsating Millennium Stadium encounter, France lived up to their pre-match hype to take the game to the Welsh, but Gatland’s side were equal to the challenge.

Alex Cuthbert crossed for a converted try to put Wales in front and two penalties from Leigh Halfpenny to one from Lionel Beauxis made it 13-6 to the hosts after an hour.

Dimitri Yachvili cut the gap to four points but Halfpenny’s third penalty in the closing minutes saw Wales win in what was arguably their best season since the game went professional in 1995.

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Rugby World Cup 2015

England 25-28 Wales

Wales overcame a 10-point deficit and injuries to Scott Williams, Liam Williams and Hallam Amos to pull off a sensational win against tournament hosts England.

Gareth Davies’ late try from substitute Lloyd Williams’ brilliant cross-field kick and 23 points from Dan Biggar’s boot sealed victory.

England could have snatched a draw at the death, but captain Chris Robshaw opted to kick to the corner rather than go for posts – a decision that resulted in lengthy debates.

England went on to lose against Australia and became the first host nation to go out at the group stage of the tournament.

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Gatland is due to bow out when his contract expires after the 2019 World Cup in Japan, and could look to continue his coaching career in his homeland.

Despite presiding over Wales’ so-called golden era, some have criticised him for being slow in changing the style of play and for leaving Wales to coach two Lions tours in Australia and New Zealand.

But his own players believe he does not get the credit he deserves.

“He’s always had to – not explain himself – but prove himself, despite helping transform Wales,” said Ken Owens.

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