‘You’re an international player, you have to stop that try’
Pundits in Ireland have pulled no punches in analysing England’s loss to Scotland this week in the Guinness Six Nations, and also throw in a jab at Wales for good measure.
Former Ireland fullback Rob Kearney and former Scotland coach Matt Williams tore England’s performance to shreds after round one of this year’s Championship.
Williams slammed England’s defence, particularly with both of Duhan van der Merwe’s tries. The first was one of Twickenham’s all-time great solo tries, but it was aided by some shambolic tackling. It was also the case for van der Merwe’s match winner, with Williams singling out Marcus Smith.
“You saw [Duhan] van der Merwe,” he said. “Now he’s a beast of a man, but he went through about six tackles. Smith had him in that last try, he’s coming across the field, you’re an international player, you have to stop that try. I thought their defence was really poor, they’re in a bad place. Owen Farrell’s got to talk it up, that’s his job, but they were very, very poor.”
To make matters worse for England, Kearney said that while England’s defence could be fixed quickly, their attack was his biggest concern, stressing that neither England nor Wales showed any signs of improvement since the autumn, where they sacked Eddie Jones and Wayne Pivac, respectively, soon after.
He said: “If we look at Wales’ and England’s performances, for me they were no different to how both teams played in November, and through the course of the Six Nations. They have a new coach, and to be fair they’ve only had two weeks with them, but there wasn’t too many differences in how both teams played where I could say ‘there’s something a new coach is bringing to the team.'”
Take a look at their criticism of England: