Six Nations 2019: 'It's nice when predictions come true' - Gatland

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Sport Wales at Principality Stadium

Wales coach Warren Gatland says he is glad his side were able to back up his pre-tournament prediction by winning the Grand Slam.

Gatland said if Wales won the opening match in France they would go on to to win the Six Nations.

"It's nice when predictions come true, isn't it?" said Gatland.

"I've got to have that belief and self confidence and if I can portray that onto the players in some small way then hopefully they can believe it as well."

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said that attitude rubbed off on the players.

"When you have someone who is so confident at the top of the tree, that filters down and it's hard to ignore," said Jones.

"He's got a bit left on his contract so he can't take his foot off the gas yet. But his record speaks for itself."

That record is three Grand Slams - he becomes the first coach to achieve that feat - since Gatland took charge in 2008.

It was a 14th successive win for Wales who will now be ranked second in the world behind New Zealand.

"There was no doubt I was reasonably emotional afterwards," said Gatland.

"It's great. I get such a buzz watching those guys lifting the trophy and celebrating.

"That's what it's all about - creating history and winning Grand Slams, things nobody can ever take away from you."

Gatland reflected on his own personal achievement, which he acknowledged was not possible without his squad.

"I am pretty proud of what I have achieved," said Gatland.

"I am pretty proud of what this coaching and management team have achieved. It's pretty special.

"I think I will enjoy that afterwards, but the game is always about the players and we stress that.

"It was a great performance and the boys thoroughly deserved it. This group of players will run through a brick wall for you.

"The younger players have come through with no fear and shown real character.

"They've worked their butts off in this campaign and we've pushed them hard."

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Gatland said Ireland coach Joe Schmidt had made a mistake by opting to have the Principality Stadium roof kept open despite the rain in Cardiff.

"We probably got a couple of decisions that went our way and I thought the referee had an outstanding game," said Gatland.

"I don't think he was too happy about the roof being open and getting wet, so that probably helped us a little bit too!

"The conditions suited us in the way we planned and prepared. We expected the roof to be open from the start of the week and looking at the long weather forecast we thought it was going to rain.

"Our game-plan dictated what we were going to do and the guys were excellent."

Gatland also took a swipe at England coach Eddie Jones who had suggested in the build-up Wales were "tiring".

"It was a fantastic performance and we didn't look too tired did we?!" said Gatland,

This was Gatland's final act as Wales coach in the Six Nations as he steps down after the World Cup in Japan later this year.

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"I'll miss the atmosphere of a full house, coming in on the bus, the fans and the celebrations afterwards," said Gatland.

"Sitting somewhere next year watching the Six Nations, it'll be something I miss.

"Having been involved here so long, I just hope they can continue what we've done in the last 10 or 12 years in terms of putting some respectability back in that jersey, being successful and being a team that is hard to beat.

"I know that when the players put that red jersey on, it's not always about winning, but the Welsh public want to see this group try hard.

"And if they do that, it's all you can ask for. Those are the sort of things that I'm going to miss with this group."

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