Sunday, March 17, 2013

Out thought, out fought and out played

Well the England grand Slam dream crashed and burned yesterday as Wales totally dominated the match to run away at 30 : 3.
It was a match where the Welsh showed that passion combined with experience is a very potent mix as they completely destroyed the England side in all aspects of the game. They also 'gamed' the referee beautifully over the scrum decisions and left England with an awful lot of questions to answer.
In the end I believe England will learn from this, that they will come back and that this is a lesson they badly needed in what it's like to play in a partisan atmosphere with a team carried on a wave of enthusiasm. They failed to close down the Welsh attack and their own initiatives looked clumsy and predictable. Gone were the last few matches of brilliant, competent defence as the Welsh were able to punch through with ease particularly in the second half.
Was there anything England could have done to turn things around?
Well they could have changed things around in the rucks and mauls when it became obvious that the Welsh had their lack of numbers sussed and were getting their in strength to keep the ball moving forward in a straight line. A little more disciple in the line outs (again we lost far too many)  and a lot more savvy in the scrum. Still that's what coaches are for and experience will bring. So long as the lessons really are learned...

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