Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Wales chief Rob Howley impressed by England's belief and winning habit

Wales boss Rob Howley hailed England's "knack of getting over the line" after his team suffered a cruel RBS 6 Nations defeat in Cardiff.

Wasps wing Elliot Daly's try five minutes from time, which came when England capitalised brilliantly on poor defensive clearance work by Wales, saw the visitors home 21-16.

It was the reigning Six Nations champions' 16th successive win - they remain unbeaten since the 2015 World Cup - and puts them in pole position for a successful title defence, plus possible back-to-back Grand Slams.

With Italy and Scotland next on their Six Nations agenda - both games are at Twickenham - England look likely to take some stopping.

"They are a very good rugby team," Wales interim head coach Howley said.

"Unbeaten in 16 games now, they have got a knack of getting over the line. It gives them a lot of self-belief and confidence.

"In the last 10 minutes, they probably believed they were going to win, and that feeling is pretty precious. And it comes from the last 12 months.

"I think they have got world-class players. We defended very well on occasions, but we just allowed them that opportunity to get out of pressure situations."

England have now beaten Wales on four successive occasions in the Six Nations, and three more victories during this season's tournament would see them break New Zealand's world record of 18 Test wins in a row.

It has represented a remarkable effort under England's Australian head coach Eddie Jones, with Wales their latest victims after what was a compelling and brutally intense encounter.

Asked about English Grand Slam chances and a possible world record, Howley added: "It's not for me to answer that. Eddie knows his players far better than me.

"I know they are a very good side to play against, they have got world-class players and they've got a habit of winning.

"They are a tough side to beat, home or away.

"When you go unbeaten, as a player you feel as though you can run through brick walls. It's a mentality.

"They've got a great team spirit because, when they come under pressure, that is one of the core ingredients of a winning team.

"They did come under (pressure) at times (against Wales), but we just didn't dominate them in the minutes that mattered most, and that was the last 10 minutes.

"There was certainly a change of momentum. You could feel it. It was very difficult to stop their speed of ball."


From Belfast Telegraph