October 16, 2019, 0:28

Rugby World Cup wrap: Wales find their attack and England display frustrates Eddie Jones

Rugby World Cup wrap: Wales find their attack and England display frustrates Eddie Jones

We take a look at some of the key talking points and quotes from the last two days of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Wales’ attack firing early on

Wales won the Six Nations Grand Slam this year, in a 14-match winning run, but their defence was pivotal to their success.

Their attack could hardly be described as free-flowing during this run but there was plenty of encouragement from the way in which Warren Gatland’s team exploded into life during the first half of their opening World Cup win against Georgia on Monday.

Jonathan Davies got Wales off to a fast start in Toyota with a third-minute try and three more scores in the first half gave them a commanding lead.

Admittedly Wales failed to reproduce the fireworks in the second half but there were enough positive signs from their early attacks.

Rob Howley was sent home last week, due to allegations of betting offences, but there was no sign during the opening stages against Georgia Wales’ attack was hindered by his absence.

Stephen Jones has arrived to replace him as backs coach and the likes of Gareth Davies and Liam Williams looked sharp ahead of a potential pool decider with Australia next Sunday.

0:31 England boss Eddie Jones reflects on his side’s tough 35-3 win over Tonga in their opening World Cup game in Japan

More to come from England

Eddie Jones cut a frustrated figure at times during England’s patchy win against Tonga on Sunday. Perhaps not surprising considering England conceded ten penalties and the Australian dished out punishment on a table in the stand.

The England head coach joked: “There were lots of mosquitoes up there mate. Look, I’m a character, I get emotional and excited, that’s the way I am.”

It was hardly vintage England despite two tries from Manu Tuilagi and there were far too many misplaced passes and handling errors.

Nevertheless, England are up and running with a bonus point victory and there is no need for the team to peak too early during this marathon tournament with USA next up on Thursday.

Ireland make impressive statement

Ireland are the world’s top-ranked side although you would be hard-pressed to find too many people picking them out as the team to beat in Japan.

That said, Joe Schmidt’s side made an impressive start to the tournament after outplaying Scotland in their 27-3 win on Sunday.

It was the calibre of performance Ireland were producing in their pomp last year during their Six Nations Grand Slam triumph and certainly put down a marker, after a series of forgettable performances during 2019.

Ireland have never got beyond the quarter-final stage of the World Cup but their powerful opening performance suggested they can give South Africa a serious challenge, assuming they face each other in the last-eight.

Sorry Scotland fail to turn up

Scotland have made a habit of being poor travellers and there was another forgettable performance on Sunday in their defeat to Ireland.

Gregor Townsend’s side lacked intensity and aggression, failing to build any momentum, in Yokohama as they subsided limply.

Scotland were punished for a display riddled with mistakes leaving them under pressure in their remaining must-win games against Samoa and hosts Japan.

Head coach Townsend said: “They just converted mistakes into territory, and mistakes into points. They have a template we all know about and if you give them chances in your third of the field, you can’t afford to do that.”

The knee injury to Hamish Watson which has ruled the flanker out of the rest of the tournament was another significant blow in a miserable start for Scotland.

Georgia need fresh competition

Georgia were blown away in the first half by Wales as they trailed 29-0 at half-time. The tier two side rallied in the second half, scoring twice, but head coach Milton Haig insists his team need to face stronger competition on a more regular basis.

Haig said: “Regardless of the result, if Georgia wants to progress in the quality of how it plays its rugby, a competition like the Six Nations is absolutely vital.

“You can’t play a team like Wales in the World Cup and expect us to produce miracles if we are not used to playing at this speed.

“Twenty nine points (conceded) in the first half show us that if we make a mistake, good teams like this will kill you.

Sourse: skysports.com

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