After two rounds of this year’s Six Nations, England and Wales remain the only two unbeaten teams. However, while both are still on course for the Grand Slam, each team will have contrasting emotions.
While England rushed to earn a bonus point before halftime against France at Twickenham, Wales failed to pick up a bonus point in Rome.
Warren Gatland’s much-changed side only managed two tries against what was a very resilient Italy defence, who consistently managed to scramble back throughout the match. A lot of credit must be given to Italy’s effort, but question marks will be asked over Gatland’s selection policy.
This was certainly a concern to many fans online, who showed their disappointment at Wales only coming away with four points from the Stadio Olimpico.
England now sit two points ahead of Wales in the Six Nations table, and are still to play Italy at Twickenham, which should provide four tries on current form.
Eddie Jones’ men travel to Cardiff in the next round in what is surely going to be the defining game of the Six Nations.
If Wales lose, England are in a very good position to win the Grand Slam. Should Wales win, they will still surely need to win every game, as the only realistic way that they’ll win the Championship is to win the Grand Slam.
However, if they lose to either Scotland at Murrayfield or Ireland at the Principality Stadium, it is unlikely that they would have closed the points gap with England in the table.
Of course, in the long run, this squad rotation may pay dividends for Gatland with the World Cup later this year. This gave him the perfect opportunity to try out new players and combinations in what is a huge year for him.
However, in the short-term, this profligacy has disappointed many fans.
This is what the fans had to say:
No bonus point playing Italy could cost Wales big time
— SamPascoe (@Pascoe20) February 9, 2019
Wales made 10 changes against Italy and only just won.
Was it a mistake to make these changes thus losing out on a bonus point and momentum going into the England game? #wru
— Tim Wood Foto 🏴 (@TimWoodFoto) February 10, 2019
Wales were poor, disappointing not to get a bonus point against Italy, but a wins a win. #ITAvWAL
— Huw Morgan (@Huwgo_Boss) February 9, 2019
This result has ruined the Six Nations. England with two bonus point wins and massive points difference boost. Unless Wales get the slam, England should win.
— #KroenkeOut🏴🎗️ (@TSL_Scotland) February 10, 2019
I think Warren Gatland may regret sending the B team to play Italy. Not coming away with a bonus point or significant win could be a factor in who wins the title if Wales beat England but lose to Ireland.
— David Glass #StandUp4Brexit 🏴⚓🍻🍻 (@JacksonTar) February 11, 2019
Poor from Wales that. Needed the bonus point #ITAvWAL
— Tom (@TomHayden24) February 9, 2019
Good enough for the win but way off the bonus point, very disappointed #Wales
— David Evans (@daicaprice) February 9, 2019
Will making so many changes and not collecting a bonus point prove crucial for Wales in this campaign?
— Mark Rowan (@MRowan1084) February 9, 2019