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Shaun Edwards Gives Intriguing Reason For Jonathan Davies' Botched Clearance Vs England

Shaun Edwards Gives Intriguing Reason For Jonathan Davies' Botched Clearance Vs England
Gavan Casey
By Gavan Casey
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As a titanic tussle at the Principality Stadium drew to a close, Wales undid 75 minutes of stellar work as Jonathan Davies skewed a clearance kick to English hands.

13 seconds later, a flying Elliott Daly crossed the whitewash beyond the visibly exhausted Alex Cuthbert for the score that simulataneously kept England's Grand Slam hopes alive and broke Welsh hearts.

Notably, dejected Welsh fly-half Dan Biggar looked back towards the spot of Davies' clearance and pointed towards the stand - as in, 'that ball had to go to touch'. He was correct, and it might have had he been the one to have cleared possession.


Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards has since shed light on what went wrong with Wales' exit strategy, and why the ball fell to Davies - and not Biggar - to put boot to ball.

Speaking at Wales' press conference yesterday, Edwards provided a fascinating insight into where it all went wrong for his side in Cardiff:

What happened was that we broke off structure.

From any unstructured turnover, where the backs turn the ball over, we are supposed to go two rucks (in order) to get our backs back up on their feet to fill the pitch.

We didn't do that. We passed it back to the kicker after one ruck, which was a mistake. It should have been two rucks.

I don't think (centre) Jonathan (Davies) expected the ball because he expected a two-ruck exit play. That is probably one of the reasons why his kick wasn't as accurate as normal.

It certainly makes sense, and would mean substitute scrum-half Gareth Davies was at least partially responsible for Jonathan Davies' horrendous clearance. According to that Welsh gameplan, instead of passing it directly back to the centre, the Welsh nine should have handed the ball off to his forwards for one further phase, which might have allowed Biggar to get in position to clear or Davies to have composed himself before leathering it to touch.

None of it matters a jot now, of course, but at least there are answers for Davies' botched kick, and indeed why it was left to him to kick in the first place.

SEE ALSO: Watch: Peter Stringer Had A Monumental Impact On Sale's Victory Over Wasps

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