Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 August 2015

Haskell heaps praise on Easter

Published 07/02/2010

James Haskell (left)
James Haskell (left)

James Haskell deflected the glory after scoring the first two tries of his England career and landing the man-of-the-match award for an all-action performance against Wales at Twickenham.

Instead, the England flanker insisted all the accolades should go to back-row partners Nick Easter and Lewis Moody. England have struggled to produce a reliable back-row trio but Haskell is convinced the current threesome have the physical attributes to give Martin Johnson's side the momentum they need.

Haskell said: "I was very pleased I got man of the match but I personally thought Nick Easter - or 'The Dominator' as he likes to be known - deserved it."

He added: "And Moody again showed his quality. You know from those two guys that you are going to get a very physical, determined edge and I just slot in behind them.

"I was lucky to be on the end of a couple of tries but Nick was outstanding and Lewis was too. I'd hate to play against Lewis because he is just so physical, so destructive and puts his body on the line like no other player I know."

All three helped England get the better of the Wales pack, although the 30-17 RBS 6 Nations victory included a Welsh fightback and an England second-half slump which also demonstrated the flaws in Johnson's side.

The sin-binning of Alun Wyn Jones for a deliberate trip was the key moment, considering England scored 17 points when Wales were down to 14 men.

But while England had full-back Delon Armitage to thank for the interception which led to Haskell's second try, which alleviated an anxious situation with their lead pegged back to three points, the way Johnson's side refused to fold was encouraging.

Haskell said: "There's always a sense of desperation when you are back under the posts with a three-point gap. But it's the team that keeps the cool head and controls the ball that is going to win.

"If we hadn't gone for that interception where would we have been? It's having the confidence as a team to try those things and it came off. In games in the past we might have lost it but the team is so determined to put things right. We were never going to lose that match because we kept coming and coming."

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