Gatland had already seen prop Adam Jones depart with a calf injury, and then eight minutes later Wales captain Sam Warburton was sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland.
Despite being reduced to 14 men for more than an hour, Wales scored the game’s only try through scrum-half Mike Phillips and only lost by a point, 9-8.
Gatland, still disappointed by the referee’s decision, revealed that in the wake of the red card the coaches talked about faking an injury. “I know a lot has been spoken about the red card. I will give you an example with what happened after that,” he said. “We’d already lost Adam Jones, and we discussed in the (coaches) box whether we would fake an injury to one of our props and go to uncontested scrums. But morally, I made the decision it wasn’t the right thing to do. We could easily have done that in the first 25-30 minutes, but in the spirit of the game, in the spirit of a World Cup semi-final, I didn’t think that was the fairest or the right thing.”