Here’s how the national media reacted to Wales’ engrossing 90 – defeat to England at Twickenham in the Six Nations on Saturday.
Clive Woodward, Daily Mail
England World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward had no qualms about the red card shown to Manu Tuilagi late in the game.
He also pointed out that it was fortunate the abrasive center only caught the Welshman with a glancing blow rather than a full on contact.
“I felt a little for Tuilagi because I didn’t see any intent there but it was unquestionably a red as he acknowledged with an apology to George North and a quick shake of t he hands, “ Woodward wrote for the Daily Mail.
“He launched himself recklessly at North and although the Wales wing was dipping very low that is irrelevant because Manu didn’t attempt to use his arms, it was an illegal challenge.
“It only caught North a glancing blow and thank goodness … it could have really caused some damage.”
Woodward also commented that Wales are a ‘superb’ side to watch when in full flow as they were for Justin Tipuric’s first try.
On the incident that saw Joe Marler grab Alun Wyn Jones’ genitals, Woodward added: “What did Marler think he was doing? Millions were watching on the TV including kids and that has no part of our game.
“And say Jones has chosen to kick off and retaliated with a flurry of punches , that would have been been totally by Marler’s stupidity. “
Dan Biggar and Alun Wyn Jones have been highlighted as the two ‘points of resistance’ by respected rugby writer Mick Cleary.
Wayne Pivac’s men showed typical spirit to ensure they weren’t totally blown away when England dominated large parts of the game.
Leading that fight were two talismen.
“Rugby matches can be influenced by heart and soul as much as by muscle and bone. And so it proved, ” Cleary wrote in the Telegraph.
“The points of resistance were summed up in the ever-willing duo of fly-half Dan Biggar and captain Alun Wyn Jones.
“Not even a chee ky testicle grab from England prop Joe Marler could put Jones off his game. We all know that game – flinty, grafting, cloying, streetwise.
“There may be more poetic fly-halves, but there are none more feisty and competitive.
“His varied kicking skills, dinking it flat right and left, kept England’s defense on their toes right to the final whistle as he skidded over for one of the late tries.
“Biggar finished with points, but it was his cussedness that defined him and his team-mates. ”
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Stephen Jones, The Sunday Times
From the start of the week, Wales were widely regarded as the underdogs as they headed up to Twickenham on Saturday.
It was thought that England would have too much power and muscle their visitors out of the contest. To a large degree, that is exactly what transpired.
Admirably, Wales stayed in the fight until the end, when others would have fallen away meekly.
“If ever a script was adhered to, it was the script for this match,” wrote Jones in the Sunday Times.
“England seem to have by far the more powerful and athletic pack, by far the better prospects in the collisions and at the breakdown, and if you add the home advantage then it was a winning package to savor.
“And that is exactly how it turned out, although the sheer predictability should not diminish the merit of England’s victory or the interest in what was never a world-class game but usually engaging – and it should not alleviate in any way the sound of the warning fog-horn in the Welsh camp.
“It taught Wales that they need to have more authority, become more attuned to how the giants of world rugby are playing, if they areto win this type of game. “
Under new boss Pivac, it’s evident that Wales are making efforts to evolve they way they play the game, particularly with ball in hand.
They look more content throwing risky offloads and shifting it to the wide channels.
It may be more fun to watch but, unfortunately, it isn’t winning them matches.
“They are easier to like these days: brave against all odds and more interested in attack than the defense that has defined them for so long, but the trouble is, being easy to like is usually an alternative to winning, “ writes Aylwin in The Guardian.
“Wales were comprehensively bullied out of proceedings, doors slammed on them at every turn, a big ugly hand in their face throughout, at a longer arm’s length than their own. “
Mike Brown, Dail y Mail
Former England full-back Mike Brown says Eddie Jones’ side should have dispatched Wales by more after a dominant display.
“England should have won by more than three points and they will know it,” wrote Brown.
“They were so dominant and brutal Wales should have been put away by a bigger margin. “
He also added that Jones’ comments about referee Ben O’Keeffe were classic deflection tactics to divert attention away from the fact his side only won by three points.
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