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England paid for panicking, claims Sir Gareth Edwards

Published 27/09/2015

Wales came from 10 points behind in the second half to defeat England.
Wales came from 10 points behind in the second half to defeat England.

Former Wales scrum-half Sir Gareth Edwards feels what might be the team's greatest ever victory over England on Saturday was aided by the hosts panicking under pressure.

The Welsh came from 22-12 down in the second half to secure a dramatic 28-25 World Cup victory at Twickenham against the tournament hosts.

And Edwards told BBC 5 Live's Sportsweek programme on Sunday morning: "I couldn't quite believe the turnaround - England looked so comfortable at one stage.

"We always knew it was going to be pretty close, but I think it came down to character because England seemed to panic.

"They were so near the winning line and they reminded me of an athlete coming around the final bend, thinking 'I have to go for it'.

"They went for it, but couldn't quite and were caught from behind, and Wales delivered the knockout blow.

"All of a sudden, it was as if England realised that with a game so close, things can always go wrong.

"They started mishitting their kicks, giving away opportunities to come back at them, and I could see an impetus in the red shirts - there seemed to be a little more dynamism in Wales play and England were beginning to break up and make more mistakes.

"It was there for England, but it was so near yet so far away.

"The English looked comfortable when they were ahead, the crowd was singing Sweet Chariot and everything was rosy in the garden.

"Then all of a sudden, peculiar things happen when tension comes in. For me it was because of pressure and panic."

Asked if it was Wales' greatest ever win over England, the 68-year-old former Cardiff favourite said: "Take nothing away from the Welsh, especially given the injuries they suffered - it has to be one of the best, maybe the greatest ever."

That has been echoed by Gareth Davies, the head of the Welsh Rugby Union.

Davies said: "It has to be up there as one of the best.

"Winning at Twickenham, at a World Cup in England, and with all the build-up, you have to give the players and coaching team fantastic credit. It certainly ranks up there as one of the best."

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