With a constant barrage of negative headlines and a forthcoming RFU investigation into their off-field antics, England would have more likely expected Gatland to stick the boot in.
However, Gatland has defended England for going out and having a drink, insisting that his own players haven't been living "like monks".
And Gatland, who is preparing for Saturday's RWC semi-final against France at Eden Park, admits he has some sympathy with England.
"There's been a lot that's made out that we're like monks and there's been an alcohol ban, that's completely untrue," said Gatland.
"There's been no alcohol ban in this squad. Some of the stuff has been self-imposed by the players and there have been nights where we've gone back to the hotel and had a few drinks there.
"Sometimes we've had a word with (captain) Sam (Warburton) and a few of the senior players about a curfew after they've been out.
"You can't put a lid on everything, after a night game there's lots of adrenalin and you say to the players 'just go out and be back by 1.30 in the morning'. They might have gone to casino, some of them might have a beer.
"A lot's been made that we're whiter than white, we definitely are not.
"As a coach, I take no pleasure in the criticism that's been heaped on England.
"I know what it's like to be on the wrong side of the media in the past."
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