Rugby

Warren Gatland Questions England's Big Game Mentality After Cardiff Defeat

Warren Gatland Questions England's Big Game Mentality After Cardiff Defeat

Wales are the favourites for the 2019 Guinness Six Nations, with their win over England putting them in pole position for the remainder of the championship. In a rocking Principality Stadium in Cardiff, the visitors attempted to overpower their opponents, just as they did against Ireland three weeks ago.

Wales were prepared for a physical game, and matched their opponents in that regard. They also outplayed England, especially in the final quarter.

While many had expected England to go on and claim the Grand Slam after their opening victory in Dublin, those hopes have now shattered. Wales coach Warren Gatland was not surprised by his side's win, saying that he felt Eddie Jones' team often struggled on the biggest stage:

England were outstanding in the first two games.

I look back on England in the last few years. When it's really mattered, I've questioned whether they can win these big games.

We've had a record of being pretty good in them. We're in a good position because you guys (media) were all talking England up, saying there was going to be 15 points in it. We knew exactly where we were, and I said to the players they (England) had no idea what animal was turning up this week, but we did.

It was probably one of the best weeks that I've had with the team. I've been involved with a lot of teams, and yesterday's captain's run was as good as I've ever seen.

Advertisement

The merit of this statement can be debated. England won a Grand Slam in 2016, but failed to repeat that feat the following year when they fell to a final day defeat in Dublin. While it predates Jones' time in charge, Gatland will of course also look back fondly on his side's win over the same opposition in the 2015 World Cup pool stage, a defeat which saw England fail to progress from the pool despite being on home soil.

Gatland is never short on confidence, but he will not be counting his chickens yet. Wales still face a tricky visit to Scotland, before Ireland head to Cardiff. We are already looking forward to a massive few weeks ahead.

SEE ALSO: Here Are The Six Nations Permutations For Ireland After Wales Topple England

Gary Connaughton

You may also like