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Lancaster And Robshaw Heavily Criticised By The English Media

Lancaster And Robshaw Heavily Criticised By The English Media
By Conor Neville
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Typing the word 'Welsh' into Twitter in the seconds following the final whistle and scrolling down the tweets, one would come away with the impression that the English were fairly sore losers. The first six or seven tweets referenced 'Welsh pricks' and 'Welsh c***s' and so forth...

What of the reaction from the more London-centric UK newspapers? Naturally it was a touch more gracious and complimentary of the Welsh. However, the decisions of Lancaster and Robshaw came under scrutiny.

First off, we're a Welshman. In the Sunday Times, Stephen Jones reported that Warren Gatland was booed by the English fans when his face appeared on the big screen. Jones has a message for those who booed, a message which naturally incorporates a dig at Lancaster.

Afterwards, Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, was loudly booed by the crowd when he appeared on the screens in an interview. Everyone who booed should remember that Gatland, had he been snapped up by England when he was available in 2007, would not have left the nation waiting for Grand Slams, and for coherence as a potential winner of the World Cup.

Likewise in the Sunday Times, Stuart Barnes lambasts Robshaw's decision to go for the corner and accuses the England team of naivety.

Without believing in their invincibility at home, England are not contenders. For this is not a great team; occasionally it has been very good, more frequently it has been naive. This was typified when the captain and his leaders elected to go for glory with the kick to the corner rather than a match-levelling penalty from Owen Farrell. A draw would have been less than ideal but far from the catastrophic unravelling that was the last half hour.


In the Daily Telegraph, Fergie ghostwriter Paul Hayward criticised Lancaster's decision to start with Sam Burgess, asserting that Burgess didn't look like he belonged out there - collect ten crisp packets and play at centre for England in a World Cup game. A harsh verdict perhaps, and not one endorsed by other analysts.


There are times when Burgess looks as if he has won a prize to be on the pitch with the England team and is wandering around trying to be helpful.

Barritt, his fellow centre, told him several times where he ought to be on the field.

The Guardian analyst and former Gloucester coach Dean Ryan said England had the beating of Wales out wide but don't pass the ball well enough in the midfield to exploit this.


As a coach I had issues with the midfield selection, believing that George Ford probably paid for the sins of others... England don’t pass the ball well in attack and when the only distributor is also the only kicker among the first or second receivers it creates extra problems in that the opposition flankers and centres know who they are going for.

Chris Robshaw, for his own part, accepted responsibility for the decision to kick for the corner rather than take the points in the final minute. What made his mind up was the combined factor of it being a difficult kick and a belief that England could get the win.

The call came down to myself. I spoke to the kickers and we decided it was a tough kick and that we wanted to go for the win. A couple of lineouts before we had gained ascendancy but unfortunately it did not come off.

In the Guardian, Andy Bull looked ahead to the Australia game, a match, he said, which would be more excruciating than last night's one.

The stakes will be higher still, since it won’t just be the result on the line, but likely a few careers too.

Read more: Could Yesterday Mean The World Rugby Head's Worst Fears Will Come To Pass?


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