Sunday Sep 27, 2015

Wales come from behind to beat hosts England at Twickenham

Wales come from behind to beat hosts England at Twickenham
49
Comments

Wales turned around a 10-point deficit and had to contend with more serious injuries but managed to stay in the contest at Twickenham and come away with a hugely valuable 28-25 victory that shocked England players and fans alike.

Wales showed huge character, but while England had a chance for at least a draw in the final minutes, they weren’t able to take the opportunity and home fans were left shellshocked.

Chris Robshaw’s decision to go for the lineout rather than attempt a kick at goal could come back to haunt them in a Pool that is so closely contested.

Earlier England were ahead and in control with Welsh players dropping like flies, but they too were required to make a few changes after various knocks disrupted their play and gave Wales a sniff at a comeback.

Wales took it well, with Dan Biggar putting in a sensational kicking performance and the backs out wide setting up a very well taken try for scrumhalf Gareth Davies.

Both Owen Farrell and Biggar were outstanding with the boot on the night, with the England number ten kicking 5 penalties, a conversion and a dropgoal, while Biggar kicked 7 penalties and converted the crucial second half try.

England coach Stuart Lancaster said he was ‘gutted’, while Wales coach Warren Gatland, usually quite reserved, could be seen punching the air in celebration at the final whistle.

“I thought England would have gone for goal and got the draw,” Gatland said. “Get it right and you are a hero. Get it wrong and you are zero.”

England skipper Chris Robshaw explained that it was his decision at the end.

“The call came down to myself. I spoke to the kickers and we decided it was a tough kick and that we wanted to go for the win. A couple of lineouts before we had gained ascendancy but unfortunately it did not come off.”

View highlights below and reaction from the coaches, skippers and Dan Biggar on page two

Wales coach Warren Gatland

England Coach Stuart Lancaster

Sam Warburton

Chris Robshaw

Dan Biggar

49 Comments


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  • Oops, posted this in the wrong thread earlier... This YouTube video (England 25 v 28 Wales - Funny Interview) seems to be doing the rounds at the moment. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHOu2JhvM90

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Is there actually a law that stops you from diving shoulder first into someones leg? If yes, dangerous. If no, moot point, move on.

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  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    For all the dreary Stephen Jones columns he has to put up with I actually think Robshaw's a great captain. Full backing of his coach and players and always leading on the stats front. Decision to go for the corner was the right one. Decision to hit the front jumper obviously a wrong one but which as far as I'm aware, would be a call made by Parling?

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    When it's not actually a "kick". Next.

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  •  drg
    drg

    I think it was the Welsh experience that allowed them to grab everything offered, but to me it really seemed like a side too damaged to win the game without sheer idiocy from the opposition. I mean no disrespect and you may disagree with me. It just seemed to me that not long after half time England had 'won the game', then the Welsh pressure force their ill discipline and errors from wish Wales nabbed points.. I know that is in essence what the game is about, it's just hard to explain how I mean what I mean... Perhaps if England had played 'perfecly' in the handling and discipline departments and so had Wales, I don't believe Wales would have won, due to their tattered team... Meaning? Zilch, other than it highlights how clued up on finishing the game the Welsh were, and how appalling England were in finishing the game. Well done you guys!

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I think it was the Welsh experience that allowed them to grab everything offered, but to me it really seemed like a side too damaged to win the game without sheer idiocy from the opposition. I mean no disrespect and you may disagree with me. It just seemed to me that not long after half time England had 'won the game', then the Welsh pressure force their ill discipline and errors from wish Wales nabbed points.. I know that is in essence what the game is about, it's just hard to explain how I mean what I mean... Perhaps if England had played 'perfecly' in the handling and discipline departments and so had Wales, I don't believe Wales would have won, due to their tattered team... Meaning? Zilch, other than it highlights how clued up on finishing the game the Welsh were, and how appalling England were in finishing the game. Well done you guys!

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    I'm with Guy on this one. It doesn't matter if Lydiate wasn't trying to make a dangerous tackle - the fact of the matter is that he did. As Guy mentioned, diving shoulder-first into someone's leg has two outcomes - either he goes flying upsidedown like in this case, or the leg breaks. It's absolutely irrelevant that Lydiate wasn't trying to be dangerous, although for the record, he has does that same shoulder charge to the leg on many occasions, so it's unlikely to have been a simple mistake on his part. I would have given a yellow card considering the recklessness and potential for injury to the opposition player. No citing, no red card, but definitely a yellow, and DEFINITELY a penalty.

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  •  colombes
    colombes

    England will question for a long time how they've lost this match vs a welsh team playing on one leg... The match wasn't lost by England on this final decision. Zero to hero, you know the story. I personally felt difficulties coming, maybe not this upset, when Lancaster announced his selection. How can you build 3 years of positive rugby, and then, decide in 3 days to choose the negative strategy? How can you dare to surprise a welsh bulky midfied with Barritt, Burgess, Farrell and Wigglesworth...? Lancaster played the poker game desired by Gatland. Bravo to Wales. Brain and heart victory but some muscles defeated.

    Reply
  •  mikewill7
    mikewill7

    Can you explain how you "Kick" a player in the head, and get a warning from the citing commisioner, and thats it.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    How was Vunipola's body position wrong? He was on his feet, hands on the ball and supporting his own bodyweight. The only time he got into a "wrong" position was after Lydiate cleared him. Textbook stuff from both players.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Yes, he tried to make a fair, low tackle; he ended up making an unfair, low tackle. No intent, but an accidental piece of foul play. Simple penalty would have sufficed. I'm not arguing for Lydiate to be hung drawn and quartered, but I would venture that his tackle was wrong enough to warrant a penalty to England. Sometimes it seems there's no middle ground between yellow card/citing/ban and nothing.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Exactly. He has the ability to break tackles and give soft offloads, but if his teammates don't anticipate it then it's a waste of time. It also makes Burgess look a bit shit (because he ends up sometimes forcing an offload or giving a loose pass when it's not quite on), when really I think the others need to get more alert to the opportunities he can create. Slade and/or Joseph are the individuals who can do that. On Barritt's much-lauded defensive organisation - around 2:20 on this video, it's Barritt that flies out of the defensive line creating a huge gap for Wales to exploit and set up that try. One could argue that's a bit harsh to highlight but when it's the only time they breached our defence I think it's fair criticism.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Yep. But when he does that piss-taking grin, he becomes Stiffler from American Pie.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Yeah, I remember that one! Absolutely hilarious.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    On the decisive penalty, I agree with you. That could have gone a few ways. Maybe because at least two other Welsh lads were fairly contesting, they got the call. The Watson penalty was soft, but refs give those all the time, even if you barely touch the defender. If you go off your feet like he did, they just ping you. Harsh, but nothing out of the ordinary.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    The Wood citing was ridiculous. Clearly accidental, very unfortunate, total waste of time even referring it. The "reckless" standard in tackle situations is that if you lift someone, you have to ensure they return to earth safely. So not applicable here (Lydiate did no lifting), the issue was whether it was a no-arms charge. Marginal, he could have been penalized, but I side with the TMO. He got into a bad position, couldn't get both arms into place to complete the tackle, but it's not a reckless and deliberate charge... at least that's how I saw it, in real time I had little doubt.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    On the diving at knees, I seem to think they made some comments in respect of clearing out rucks (though where they stand on any given issue, at any time, I have no idea) I think Lydiate got leniency because certainly at full speed, he looks like he's trying to make a fair, low tackle. He could very easily have been penalized, even carded, for the lack of arms, but I'm ok with their call here.

    Reply
  •  guy
    guy

    On the Lydiate tackle: it was not the landing that concerned me (just plain momentum), it was the nature of the tackle. Diving at the knee of your opponent is potentially career ending. I thought World Rugby recently took a stance against those kind of tackles but I might be wrong there.

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  •  45678
    45678

    this is where recent decisions make it so difficult to know what is a good call, what is safe etc. if you take the line that lydiate was being reckless (no arm used) then he has a responsibility to ensure the tackled player lands safely. this would make it a red card. players are getting pinged for shoulder charging rucks, so this should be no exception. I agree slow-motion makes it worse, but even in real time his arm was nowhere near the collision area there was video circulating of a Japanese player recently sent off for a similar below-the-knee chop tackle without arms. RD? for all the talk of tom wood nearly being cited for an accidental shin to head collision, we need a serious re-evaluation of what constitutes foul play, where the line of good intent crosses into dangerous play as at the moment it is all over the place

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    I think the biggest question going up against Australia is how England cope at the breakdown, against Pocock and Hooper especially. England had problems against Wales at the breakdown - often self-inflicted, but still problems - and they can't have them again. Certainly not against a side which should have a stronger tight-five. In the centres, it sounds like a fit Jon Joseph will be recalled, and it wouldn't surprise me if he plays alongside Barritt. In part because Barritt knows how to play the breakdown way better than Burgess. You just cannot underestimate what a menace Australia are in this facet. But Lancaster may feel he has to gamble, and play Burgess and Slade (outside Farrell, I assume)... huge calls to be made.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    His predecessor at the Stormers, Andries Bekker, also had a way of dealing with the little ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rhSiLSNq8U

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    First up - let me say the breakdown is a nightmare to officiate. As a ref, you pretty much have to pick your poison (i.e. what you will tolerate, what you won't) and stick with it. Otherwise every ruck gets pinged. And that's where I think Garces was good. Not rolling away, not supporting your bodyweight, tackler not releasing, he basically pinged those all day (as he did in the SA-Japan game). And Wales, like Japan a week ago, played smarter given how Garces was officiating. On the Lydiate tackle - that was a TMO call, not Garces - I actually think he got that right. Slowed down, it looked bad; Wood goes through the horizontal and there's been no latitude for that recently. But at full pace, Lydiate is making a genuine effort to execute a low tackle. He gets into an awkward position and there's not much arm in the tackle, but there's definitely no attempt to lift or dump Wood. Brad Davies plays a saving role in making sure Wood doesn't flip right over, perhaps that made a difference, but it would have been very harsh to punish the tackler when there was no malicious intent. Every match there's a few marginal decisions which go against you, but as a neutral, I thought Garces did fine. Each of his penalties, I thought it was fairly clear why he made his call.

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    you would think with the way he managed the lineout (if not straight, doesn't matter if no contest) that the same would apply to rucks. the vunipola penalty was pedantic to say the least. yes his body position was wrong, but he didn't impact the ruck at all the other decision that I think was really wrong was lydiate's tackle on wood. in the current climate you cant let a shoulder charge and someone landing in such an awkward way pass. it could have have been a red card, probably a yellow, but was surprised it wasn't even a penalty. it was careless and dangerous

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Your boys were huge, and never seen Gatland so emotional... Biggar is getting most of the headlines, but Faletau deserves the freedom of Cardiff with all the work he got through. Not sure Mike Brown knows any other way to play, but after Ben Youngs, he's England's most creative player. Still thought England would grind ahead in the 2nd half and maintain their lead, but your boys made sure they didn't.

    Reply
  •  s_conner
    s_conner

    Yes I'm English, but those two penalties look really soft to me. The first one was a fair contest but then Brown is cleared away and the ball is ready for the Welsh scrummie to play. The delay on the ball coming back is fractional. Garces didn't allow for any breakdown contest all night, but even this example seems pretty hasty of him to blow up. I guess it was due to the field position, because there's no way this would have been called a pen if the tackle was made on the original gain line (about 30 metres back).

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    *Sorry, didn't mean to give the impression that I thought you were disagreeing with me. @Rugbydump, I think it might be a good idea to include an 'Edit' feature on the comments for nitwits like me who don't proof read things before posting.

    Reply
  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    Sorry, didn't mean to give the impression that I thought you were. Perhaps I am being a tad harsh on Burgess. He was caught out a couple of times but he was doing well to stop Wales in the midfield. When he came off for Ford our tactics didn't change they started making inroads. I just don't know how he would fare without Farrell or Barritt there in terms of defensive organisation. I think a large problem with his inclusion is that they don't know how to use him. He's been regarded as our SBW and you can see that as he's always on the look out for the offload, but no one seems to read that, or they're being told not to. That's why I feel Slade or Joseph needs to be outside him because they should have the vision to run off his shoulder or do something with the space he creates. And in defence, they have the pace to react whenever teams go wide.

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  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    As a neutral, I thoroughly enjoyed this game. How Wales eked out a win, I'm still not quite sure; how the England tight-five feel, I think I know well. You very rarely see a tight five so dominant come out on the losing side. But for the life of me, I will not understand the two decisions Robshaw took at the end. Farrell had been kicking really well; despite the angle, that's a kick he makes more often than not. And even if he misses, England are probably regaining possession after restart. But then, to call for a throw to the front of the line-out when the opposition is concentrating only on stopping the maul is unfathomably dumb. I watched my boys make some crazy decisions against Japan, but this was right up there. He has to be throwing to the middle of the line-out, throw to the front and you have no way of preventing a counter-maul drive you into touch. I can only ascribe the decisions to a bit of panic. England knew they'd blown a 10 pt lead, and their decision to go for the win might have been borne from that frustration. But those were big mistakes, and Lancaster hasn't offered his captain any cover. Anyway, last thought I thought is that Garces did well too - the breakdown is a complete nightmare to ref, but I'll give him high marks for consistency. I thought the deciding penalty was the only slightly iffy one - it looked a clear ruck, and lot of refs would have called "no-hands" before Brown got pinged for holding on. But Wales had men on their feet contesting, so you could see also how he could have arrived at his decision. But a great game overall, my American buddies enjoyed it hugely.

    Reply
  •  katman
    katman

    Is there no round-up of the South Africa / Samoa game on RD, or are the editors still busy crafting this one?

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    He is one of those people you just don't test. With an angry person, you know what you are dealing with... someone who enjoys it to the point of laughter could probably do with a strait jacket. Like Ice Hockey, it disrupts momentum and can swing a game to your favour. He is almost to the point of a pantomime villain... but you sure as hell want him on your team.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    I can tell you what I *think* they're for. I believe both decisions are incorrect, but like you I'd rather not whinge about them. 1:53 - I think he pinged Mike Brown for not entering the ruck from the back. I believe this is incorrect as Brown was the tackler so can contest for the ball from any position/direction, as long as he releases the tackled player first, which he did quite clearly, in my view. Burgess is the only other player involved and he was clearly on his feet, supporting his own weight and entering the ruck from the correct angle. 2:13 - Billy Vunipola off his feet and potentially killing the ball lying on the wrong side of the ruck. OK, I am going to whinge about this one - Wales actually did this type of ball-killing many times during the game without sanction... Anyway, I believe this is also an incorrect decision. Lydiate clears Vunipola out with a nice "saddle-roll", which is how Vunipola ended up on the ground, no problem there, no infringement. BUT,while this was happening, Garces was not watching; he was looking at Dan Cole and another England player to check they're onside. When he looked back at the breakdown he saw Vunipola lying on the ground on the Wales side and assumed that he'd put himself there to slow the ball down. Incorrect, but you can see how it would have looked from Garces's point of view. So that one I would say was unfortunate and not a case of England indiscipline. It's a refereeing error in my view, but an understandable one.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Youngs was injured - swollen ankle. Real shame, he was England's top tackler at that point and best attacking threat. Not a midfield selection that was ever likely to draw the best out of Watson, who was sadly quite anonymous - got his hands on the ball so little that one of the few times he did get it, in the build-up to May's try, he was so cold that he nearly butchered the whole move. I don't think it's a Watson problem though, he's a classy player - having said that, if he plays in a team with these tactics he'll have to go looking for work more, because it's not going to come TO him...

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Best enforcer currently in the game? Eben Etzebeth. I enjoy watching him rile up opposition players as much as a beautiful try, it really is a sight to behold. What sets him apart from guys like O'Connell or Cudmore, for example, is he does everything with an irritating shit-eating grin. It's like he's telling this other guy, yeah I'm pushing you about like a piece of shit but guess what, I haven't even got warmed up yet! That game of slaps with Savea was a classic example and he was at it again the other day against Samoa - Samoan guy, (don't remember who it was now), was going mental and Etzebeth was just laughing in his face, just winding him up even more. Must have been bloody infuriating!

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Absolutely. The key part of my reply to yours was "completely agree with you". I thought it was worth posting about Ben Youngs's injury because many of us, including you and me, were otherwise left scratching our heads about it. And yes, Lancaster's replacements appear to be preordained. I must have missed the rule change that mandated you have to get every single bench player onto the field at some point. Burgess in fact is another case in point. I thought he had a good game and there was no need for him to come off. Looked like he had plenty of fuel in the tank, he's doing a good job - leave him on. Ditto Farrell, albeit only a positional shift- playing well at 10, leave him there.

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  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    I don't think there has been a solid set of enforcers since Danny Grewcock and Steve Borthwick... They weren't particularly subtle, mobile, or all that bright in terms of a rugby brain, but they kept teams in check... Like I said before, I'm not condoning thuggery, but if another team gets rough, England need to stand up to it.

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  •  welshosprey
    welshosprey

    Incredible how we managed to pull that off with so many players injured towards the end. England didn't help themselves with selection or coaching, Burgess and Barritt were picked for defence and they did well at stopping Roberts crashing through, but when it went wide they were clueless and pretty slow to react. I felt bad for Farrell because he seemed to be the only English player who stayed composed and calm. Brown really got too fired up and it affected his game. All in all, guts from both sides but our experience proved the difference I think. England are in serious trouble if they don't step up against Australia.

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  •  jimmynee
    jimmynee

    England were undone by their lack of ambition. They've got one of the most potent back lines of any NH team and went with a game plan that meant that Watson or May we've given little space to attack or got much ball in hand. Jonathan Joseph's absence showed how crucial he is to England Wales were lucky that the scrum count was relatively low, but obviously extremely unlucky with the injury count. Also, I'm getting tired of pundits sayings Faletau had a 'solid' game when he was immense as displayed by gathering the ball in the final seconds in yet another scrum going backwards - you can see why Gatland wants to keep him at the Dragons! The Welsh discipline and composure was excellent in the second half. For me this was best captured in the way Cuthbert - in possibly one of the best things he's done for a while - picked up North's stray pass, managed to stay in field, secure the ball and lay it back, which eventually led to the try. With his poor lack of form and confidence, you would have bet your house on him spilling, knocking on, or straying into touch, but he did everything perfectly, and it was those small differences that changed the outcome. The way the Welsh players worked in pairs at the breakdown and always made every effort to show they were supporting their weight was also critical and gained the winning penalty. Credit must always given to 2 players I've always thought as decent club players and no more (Lloyd Williams and Gareth Davies, who I thought had a so so game) producing a moment of magic a piece - amazing in-field kick on the fly and a great support line, and that pick up was sublime. Just goes to show that although some players may not excel in one particular facet having a broad skill set can be extremely valuable at the right time.

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  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    @Strudos. Okay fair enough, I didn't realise that he was injured. However, it's still something Lancaster is guilty of. A great example being that win over NZ in 2012. Tuilagi had just scored his try after tearing them apart and what does Lancaster do? Sub him. He can be too pragmatic and safe and seems to be afraid to react to what's happening in front of him unless he's forced to. Would we have seen Ford start in the 6 Nations if Farrell hadn't been injured? I don't know. Which is what makes the whole Burgess thing so bizarre to me, as he basically strolled in and got given the honours without having really proven himself as a player yet.

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  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    The problem is all our players with that extra bit of grit aren't exactly the sharpest tools in shed. If Haskell had bit more thinking power behind him I think he'd be a great captain. I'm really trying to think but it feels as though we don't have anyone who has that mix of brains and brawn you've talked about.

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  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    jimmy23: "Also, stop making premeditated changes!! This isn't school boy rugby where everyone needs to have a go, if they're playing a blinder (Ben Youngs) then leave them on the pitch!!" Completely agree with you. However, Ben Youngs was injured:"I got caught in the first 20 minutes and then at half-time it just seized up," he said. "I gave it a go and wanted to last as long as I could because I felt we were in control of the game and I was creating stuff. Unfortunately, it just wouldn't hold up. "It was my right ankle which stiffened right up at half-time. Structurally, it was fine, it's just swelling. "The physio had a look at it after the game. I will be fine."He makes some good comments here - http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Rugby-World-Cup-Ben-Youngs-slams-England-s-lack/story-27877602-detail/story.html, including this gem:"There are only so many times you can tell people to leave the ball alone before you physically assault them on the pitch".Must be immensely frustrating for the bloke, on both counts - having to go off injured when he was playing so well and working hard only to see teammates giving away silly penalties. Wigglesworth was disappointing. Not sure what was up with him, but he looked slow and cumbersome - not ideal for a scrumhalf, left me imagining Care or Simpson coming on at the point and how much zip they'd have brought to the game, (or at least maintained the pace/momentum that Youngs was creating).

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'm definitely with you on the above... perhaps like Stroudos, not sure Haskell is the man for the enforcer role, but everything else is pretty sound! Regarding captains, again look back to the 2003 team, Martin Johnson. I always used to like the bloke, but as I see more and more of him, I'm not sure if he is actually that much of a likeable character - that uneasy quietness surrounding him where you're left thinking, "is he quiet, or does he just not like me?" But you know full well if you're on his team and something kicks off, chances are he'll be right there to rescue you. Like you said, it's not all about violence, but there is something aggressive about a lot of Captains, the ones you've pointed out, plus: George Gregan - feisty 9 POC - Had a few cards BOD - Would get involved McCaw - No backwards step The list goes on. All players who would not necessarily start something, but they'd be in there to try and either rescue their man in a "get off him" sort of way, or they'd be there with that "if you want to fight someone then fight me" type of stance - Which is why I feel that Jonny Wilkinson, never shone well for the Captaincy role. He was more than capable of doing it, an inspiration, a hugely talented and focussed individual, but to me, he looked all about his game and remaining focussed on everything he can do.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    "We always back ourselves at home". - Chris Robshaw on that Beats by Dre advert. Well, I still maintain that, home or away, you take the points every time, rather than backing yourselves to conjure a try from a play that hasn't worked for you all game. I'm perturbed by Robshaw's comments as quoted in RD's summary above. It may be difficult to insist that someone does something they're not keen to do, but I think he should have *told* Farrell to kick that, not asked if he fancied it. You're the captain, you make the decisions. (Up to a point, but it's not like he's asking him to kick from inside his own half). If the kicker doesn't feel confident that's where the leader needs to encourage and motivate. "Owen, you're going to kick this mate. Smash it right between the uprights, like you've been doing all game. You've been nailing them from all over the park tonight mate, you can bang this one over too. Now come on, get on with it you slag". Or words to that effect.

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    All those people that said Barritt was too slow to defend at 13 have egg of their faces now! Pause around 2:25 - he flies up out if the defensive line and creates a huge dogleg faster than you can say "for the love of God why isn't Slade playing at 13!"

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    I love the last line of your comment, actually made me laugh out loud. Not sure on Haskell as an "enforcer" as such, but as a wind-up merchant he's surely one of the best in the business. That look on Brown's face, I didn't think it was fear as such, more like "bloody hell there's 5 of them" or "where the **** are my teammates?"

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  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    Panic Selection. OMG, WHALEZ HAZ GOT HEVVY CENTURZ!!!!!!!! Slade has proven on several occasions that he can take a kicking from the biggest and best, and still have the last laugh. Farrell is one dimensional with ball in hand, Barritt and Burgess are about as exciting as the days of Tindall and Noon. Every game is a must-win game, even more so against Wales, the decision to sub Youngs is still beyond me too. Courtney Lawes was a walking penalty all afternoon. I think Robshaw is too nice to be captain. Scraping the barrel and rattling off pseudo-motivational platitudes in the post match interview is the sign of a fragile leader. He has the work rate and ability to lead physically, but you need to have an extra edge. Look at Parisse, Dusautoir, Warburton etc., they all have that extra level of grit and focussed anger to drag the other 22 through the 80. I'm not one for petty violence on the field, but why was Mike Brown squaring up to Warburton, with Robshaw nowhere to be seen? Warbs didn't take a backwards step, as noted in the commentary several times, you could see the fear on Brown's face when everyone started closing in. It is those sort of mind games that England need to win, unlike most other nations they don't have an out and out enforcer in the squad. While I don't agree with the ugly brand of rugby that this can sometimes bring, you cannot deny the value of someone man-shaming the opposition when the going gets rough. I suppose this is where Haskell would be a very good choice. If his own team and fans find him irritating, imagine how the oppo feel? Speaking as a former instigator, it's a crap and painful job, but someone has to do it.

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  •  jimmy23
    jimmy23

    What to say about that then... Congratulations Wales, that was one hell of a gutsy performance. We were on top for most of the match but somehow you kept in touch then when you had your backs to the wall, you rallied and we cracked under the pressure. Fully deserved. How many times are we going to have to watch a dejected Robshaw in a post match interview and hear him say "our discipline needs to improve" until, y'know, they actually improve their discipline? You can forgive the odd game here and there where it might dip but this has been happening for too long now. Also, as much as I like what Lancaster and co. have done, I'm seriously questioning their selection and substitution decisions and their inability to learn about their mistakes (I normally hate acting the armchair coach but I feel this is a safe place to vent :P). For the love of god, do not pick Barritt and Burgess at the centre again. We need someone with flair there and if Joseph isn't fit I really don't see why Slade shouldn't be given a shot. He's got pace, vision, is a second kicking option AND he can distribute! We've got one of the most potent back 3 in the world and they're barely used cause the midfield can't get them into the game. Plus, if you can hold your own against Tuilagi and Rene Ranger, you're no liability in defence in my eyes. So the question is, do you have Barritt there for his defensive qualities (because as has been evident, he's anonymous in attack) or do you have Burgess and his threat at the risk of being exposed in defence? Also, stop making premeditated changes!! This isn't school boy rugby where everyone needs to have a go, if they're playing a blinder (Ben Youngs) then leave them on the pitch!! Okay, rant over. I seriously hope they turn up for Aus. If this loss on top of the thought of being the first host nation to not progress to the quarters isn't enough to give them the kick up the arse they clearly need, then I don't know what is.

    Reply
  •  facepalm
    facepalm

    When and how did Wood leapfrog The Hask in the England pecking order?! Why is Wigglesworth ahead of Care? For the past 4 years I've done nothing but moan about England selection and now I'm even starting to get bored of myself.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Positively selfish of Wales, I think they ruined the NH best shot at the RWC... :p I am amazed at how poor England have been so far this tournament. I don't believe that Wales could have won the game from the outright on their own with their levels of injuries. I think had it been their first string side the contest would be on... I'm sorry if that sounds harsh to the Welsh fans, I think your team is just definitely struggling with the injuries. But the English... I mean yes they were the 'better team' in terms that they had the ability to win the game, but they're clearly not disciplined enough. They allowed Wales to capitalise on their indiscipline and that in the end is how the Welsh worked well and won!

    Reply
  •  welshblue
    welshblue

    Gutsy win from Wales but even from a Welsh point of view the better team lost. Unbelievable performances from Biggar and Faletau but we need to sort our scrum out with the well-performing Fiji scrum to contest next week. Despite the loss I think Lancaster is vindicated for his Farrell decision but I'm not sure Burgess did enough, England need some creativity in the midfield so I'd back Slade's inclusion next weekend. England looked completely different after Ben Youngs went off too (anyone know what that decision was about?) and it was a shame to not see Watson in full swing- he was virtually silent all game..

    Reply

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Wales come from behind to beat hosts England at Twickenham | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos