Wales v England: Post-Match Reaction

So Wales fought back to win the second fixture 19-9 in Cardiff, but what were your thoughts on the game? What does this mean for Wales preparations for the World Cup? Who do England need to change in terms of personnel? And what about referee Alain Rolland’s performance?

From a Welsh perspective, to win without a whole host of excellent players including Ryan Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones and potentially Matthew Rees, is a huge achievement. Sam Warburton has earned a lot of praise as a leader and flanker and it showed as he managed to boost a demoralised, battered Wales team in the second half. If Warburton provided the words, then Hook brought the actions. There is no doubt that he is a fly-half, and a darn good one at that, and there should be no more need to ask for evidence that 10 is where he needs to operate. Even with a dreadful line out and around 5 or 6 penalties against them in the scrum, Wales still got the victory, thanks to Hook’s boot and swerve. Gatland wanted character, and he saw it in abundance.

England now have a whole host of issues to confront. They have lost two out of their last three matches, both on the trot away from “Fortress Twickenham”, and were unable to break the Welsh game line. The running lines were predictable; smash it up, smash it up, meaning that Wales had to work hard in defence but physically not mentally because they knew exactly what would happen. This was in part due to a lack of quick ball at the breakdown, where they lost the battle due to combination of a lack of commitment and bodies. They underestimated Wales, and failed to adapt to the game.

Let us know your thoughts right here.

Photo: Onside Images / Patrick Khachfe www.onsideimages.com

24 thoughts on “Wales v England: Post-Match Reaction

  1. Completely useless in attack! Did anyone see England break a tackle? Only Armitage did! We are not picking the best English players, period!

  2. How were Wales missing ‘potentially Matthew Rees’, was there a chance he was there in disguise? ;)

    If he was he could have had the decency to throw the lineouts

  3. As an aside Allan Rolliands was awful, genuinely crap. The international game needs to find some better refs – that’s too crap refs in 2 games

  4. It was the last twenty, last week, I thought Wales looked fitter, without Wilkinson England lacked penetration, If Wilko had played or come off the bench, England by ten points, I said, Wales by 12.

  5. I thought we (Wales) were rubbish in the set piece last week but sharper in atttack and fitter and more dynamic in the back row and it’s the same again this week although the scrum was even more under the cosh .I suppose with front row players to come back there is hope there.

    England much better at the basics but absolutely no creativity probably more of a cert for the quarter finals than Wales but I can’t see either team going any further than that.

    ps I think the ref did enough to fuel Gatlands current paranoia towards officials with his yellow card “gesture” towards Banahan for a more obvious offence than Roberts’ yellow card two minutes before then having an apparant change of mind .

  6. England just couldn’t get their backline going and for me, that problems rests with 10 and 12. Flood and Hape were shown up, and some serious questions need to be asked about who should start in those positions.

  7. England do not seem to have a clue about attacking rugby! How do they think receiving slow ball standing in the midfield is ever going to get them anywhere. There was no urgency or real skill at the base of the rucks and the back line and forwards stood like practice ground tackling targets waiting for Wales to hit them. Where was the leadership? Where was the urgency to support players trying to go forward? Apart from Easter the back row did not perform.There are too many players who have done nothing to justify their tickets to new Zealand. Banahan set the standard by giving away the first of his several penalties from the KO and then couldn’t even knock over Shane Williams, half his size, to score what should have been an easy try for a quality winger. Hape continues his run of England appearances without doing anything to justify it and Floods performance only qualifies him as Jonny’s understudy. Its about time Martin Johnson got a bit angry with his players rather than making excuses for Englands shortcomings.

  8. Well it’s not all bad – at least we have confirmed out wc centers – Manu and flutey. Hape and tindall were nothing short of shocking. The forwards were solid and with youngs and jonny at 9 and 10 and replacing the centers and we are talking. Our back 3 are world class. So come on Martin replace the centers and we can all move forward against Ireland.

  9. I think that Wales have a lot to be pleased about and I don’t blame them. When watching Sky’s interview with Johnno, I’ve never seen him like it in previous post-match interviews. He was genuinely stunned at losing. If Ashton had played, this would have been close to his starting 15 however it makes you realise how reliant one can be on a particular player (remember Ashton being out of it on the game against SA?) and how dangerous this can be.

    Biggest losers this week:
    Banahan – he may be big but players realise he cops out so easily. Should have scored a try.
    Cueto – totally ineffective AGAIN!!!!!!! And nearly lost his discipline again.
    Hape – hadn’t got a clue again. Nothing has changed over the last 8 months. He is not a class, international centre and hasn’t been for Bath either.
    Tindall – he is not a leader and shouldn’t be captain. He cannot lead by example (which Moody does do in spades) because he really cannot see the finer intricacies of the game which he should as a centre.

    It’s really time for England to take risks with their backs and test these younger players and unfortunately they’ve missed an opportunity this week.

    Really pleased for Gats/Edwards/Howley and wish Wales the very best.

  10. It is not surprising that the English players were clueless and lacking in ideas and direction when Martin Johnson appears on the after match television interview clueless as to what went wrong. What nonsense saying “it was a strange game” – what are we supposed to interpret from that and what was he watching? – I was there it was a flaming awful game and he should look to his position and indeed the position of the equally clueless coaches. England have now gone backwards – they are unfit and lacking in ideas.
    Sadly, we know after today’s game – neither of these teams are in any danger of winning a World Cup!

  11. When will Johnson see what every else can?
    If this was near his starting XV his loyalty is totally misplaced.
    Cueto, Tindall, Hape and Banahan should not even be on the plane to NZ. They have no pace or creativity.
    Moody is great leader, not a true 7 and sadly for him, his knee makes him too great a liability – despite his willingness.

    1. I agree. If we (England) are going for the power game at least pick bigger bulldozers. Hape – ha! This is the only way he’ll ever get to wear a black shirt. As for Tindall, great servant to the England team but surely past his best now.

      Do we not have a scrum half somewhere who can pass quickly from a ruck without running sideways for half an hour – or indeed waiting half an hour to pass the ball.

      I’m embarassed that this team represented me on Saturday. Absolutely clueless. Surely the captain should have stepped up early on when the team were missfiring and told Flood to kick points as maybe with a lead at least we may have played with a bit more confidence. Professional players, I don’t think so!

  12. Wales should have won both matches having operated on scraps and still manaiging to outscore England 4 to 2 in the try count both times with an under performing front 5. Tecniically we will only get better plus we have 2 of the most experienced front row forwards still to return and possibly a third.

    The selection has to be brave though which may mean giving people like Priestland the nod ahead of Jones on the bench at 10 if Byrne isn’t fit for the big mature.

    England were pretty poor in many basic areas and looked a liitle cocky and expectant of a win. Ironically, they are likely to benefit more from this defeat than if they had won it as their attitude next time is likely to improve since Johnno is likely to punch the cockyness out of them. He also has to be brave in selection and pick Tuilagi in one of Tue centre births as he’s a match winner.

    Meanwhile, back to Wales. We now need to look after Hook and Warburton, particularly the latter as I don’t think we’ll progress out of the group stages without him in the 3 big matches. We also need the guys coming in next week to put Argentina away comfortably and show that our attack, game management and set piece can match our fitness, our new found physicality, our defence and stronger attitude plus some significant improvement at the breakdown.

    England will now have to wait a fortnight to take on the injured Irish with, I suspect a certain Mr O’Driscoll keen to make a point.

  13. Even though the English looked clueless in attack the welsh defence was like a brick wall. The welsh front 5 has a tough time at the scrums but with the lions front row and Bradley Davies to come back I would be too concerned, although I don’t think Paul James could have done much about the scrum on his own with dan cole boaring in at a angle to target the other side of the front row.
    The welsh backs were great along with the backrow, Warburton is world class.
    England have some tough decisions to make and badly miss wilkinson to organise their backline.

  14. My Wales team for world cup

    L Bryne
    S Williams
    J Davies
    J Roberts
    G North
    J Hook
    M Phillips

    G Jenkins
    H Bennett ( M Rees if fit)
    A Jones
    B Davies
    A Jones
    D Lydiate
    R Jones
    S Warburton

  15. Giving a Welsh perspective on the English backline, on paper yesterday’s English backline should have been their first choice. I think we have seen that what should be the first choice lineup can be found two weeks ago in Twickenham. Much more creative, much greater danger from depth, and many more ideas. England also seemed in need of a captain yesterday, and Tindell did not provide. Ignoring so many shots at goal was either arrogant or stupid, either way, it is not a mentality that will help England proceed far in rwc2011.

    For Wales, brilliant defence, regardless of what came againt them, just brilliant. Apart from that, not much to be said. The scrum was a worry, but with Lions a plenty to come in I think all we have learnt is that our backup front row is exactly that, a back up. More needs to be seen in attack, and hopefully we will see some of the backplay on display in Twickenhma return against Argentina.

  16. It’s no surprise England are going backwards – they are trying to recreate the Leicester team from the early 90’s. Win the set pieces and grind your way to a win
    Sadly this is no longer a winning strategy and never was at World test level. If Martin Johnson can’t put his finger on what happened and what needs to change after the match then he’s in the wrong job
    This was a below par Wales team – albeit a spirited one. England just have no incision and the backs are woeful. Of course Wales hardly missed a tackle – no team would if the opposition runs at them slow and straight
    It was beyond depressing – even Johnny W wouldn’t have changed matters much – he sticks to the script and the script is consistently wrong.
    How many times did Flood try the inside ball – ponderous and predictable
    Last week Care kept on box-kicking from attacking positions very cleverly turning attack into defence – someone must have told him to do that – he can’t be THAT stupid, can he?

  17. Hi,

    All this game does is reemphasis what we were all saying prior to the match – that the likes of Robshaw, Sharples, Tuilagi etc deserved to start and have the chance to impress over 80 mins.

    Execution is the key word for the upcoming week i think. In terms of territory and possession – we were dominant (maybe not the last 15 mins) but the amount of dropped balls was embarrassing.

    We’re also far too passive in the breakdown. Wales were committing 3, 4 players every time and we couldn’t deal with it.

    It was possibly the worst, most embarrassing performance from England wingers i’ve seen. Banahan is so far off being an international class player it’s not even funny. And Cueto is work taking, but pretty woeful too.

    Hape is in there to solidify the midfield defence, i assume, yet last night he missed 3 tackles (and those were just the ones i saw).

    Fourie – how did he go i didn’t really notice him? Saw him win one turnover.

    Easter is still better than Haskell, so it’s good to have sorted that out i guess.

    Next week i’d go with:

    1. Sheridan (if fit)
    2. Hartley
    3. Stevens
    4. Shaw
    5. Lawes
    6. Croft
    7. Fourie
    8. Easter
    9. Care
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Sharples
    12. Tindall
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton
    15. Foden.

  18. Two things leapt up me when i watched this match, apart from the poor performances by some of the backs.

    1) We seemed timid going into the breakdown, Wales were beaten in the set piece, but they really slaughtered us here. England forwards need to be in support of those running the ball.

    2) Poor decision making. England should have been up a further six points at half time. The kicks were easy and Flood was sure to get them, what went wrong? As great a servant he has been to enlish rugby, it has to come down to Tindall. He should have taken the points when he could get them, instead of hoping that something glorious and spectacular would happen.

  19. Firstly I have to say that Wales were outstanding and very patient in their defensive role. But secondly I have to say that their are too many players (in what MJ probably had in mind as his starting line up – minus a few players), who are taking their seat on the plane for granted. Hape and Tindall should not be in the same team. One or the other, or neither preferrably. Fourie (at times I forgot he was playing) was slow and ineffectual. Easter and Thompson need to lay off the pies, as both looked really out of shape for professional rugby players, and although Thompson was great in the scrums and at lineout time, gone are the days of seeing him running at people the way he used to. Cueto and Banahan both useless in this game. At least Banahan went looking for ball, but one on one with the smallest man on the pitch, he really should be scoring a try (Ashton would have). Wigglesworth was hampered by the fact that nobody in the backline could make a decision, and it’s now apparent that Flood really only plays well if Youngs is partnering him. He needs to adapt to different scrum halves providing ball, as we’ve seen Wilkinson do his whole career.
    I think it’s time to play around with a few positions and try some different ideas, because things were clearly not working in midfield and we only have one more game to try some different combinations. To start against Ireland I would try the following line up.
    1. Stevens (Captain)
    2. Mears (hasn’t had enough game time to prove himself)
    3. Cole
    4. Lawes
    5. Palmer
    6. Croft
    7. Haskell (Moody if fit)
    8. Easter (Haskell if Moody fit)
    9. Wigglesworth
    10. Wilkinson
    11. Armitage
    12. Banahan (where he often plays for Bath)
    13. Tuilagi
    14. Ashton (if fit)
    15. Foden
    We need to throw caution to the wind and try a new approach. Tuilagi has something that no coaching has given him, and with Wilko at 10, both him and Banahan could provide a creative midfield. Banahan often plays 12 at Bath with Hape at 13. Hape is not a 12! Flutey is the other option at 12, but I think maybe MJ is now wishing he had included Allen or Barritt in his squad to provide something different. The reason I’d make Stevens captain is because he is just thriving on being back in an England shirt. And the fact that he’s won every game he’s started since coming back from his ban, whether it was for Saracens, the Saxons or thae first game against Wales.

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