Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Excite but Discipline Is a Big Worry

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

England Excite but Discipline Is a Big Worry

Article excerpt

Byline: Jason Robinson

THE match against Wales on March 12 is set up beautifully because it offers England the chance to erase the memory of that disastrous defeat in the World Cup.

That result destroyed England's Cup chances not the loss to Australia and the players will want to put it right. After three wins in a row, they will be very confident going into the toughest game of the Six Nations.

England are in pole position in the Championship because they are at home to Wales and Warren Gatland's side weren't overly convincing beating France. However, Wales have quality players and George North is back scoring tries while scrum-half Gareth Davies is showing he has tremendous pace and can cut you to shreds.

There are key areas where England must improve, including our defence out wide while the two yellow cards for James Haskell and Danny Care could have been very costly.

You really cannot afford to collect two yellow cards at this level and Ireland scored a try and almost got another straight after those incidents. We need to improve our discipline before taking on the Welsh who will put England under real pressure at the breakdown just like Ireland.

Anthony Watson will be reminded this week of the need to put the ball down as near to the posts as possible and he could have got 15 metres nearer for the conversion of his try on Saturday. On another day, that could have been the difference between winning and losing.

I was pleased with the pace England generated in attack and this higher tempo is vital. The ball carrying of Billy Vunipola is so important because it puts the opposition on the back foot and suddenly the wings, Jack Nowell and Watson, were getting ball in space to attack the opposition and the more touches they can get, the more problems we will cause in attack.

Of course, Wales will target Vunipola and will want to stop him before he gets those big legs pumping. That is why England need other options to give them that go-forward ball and Manu Tuilagi, on form, is a handful and you would want him in the match squad if he is ready to come back into contention. …

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