Wales, in new coach Wayne Pivac’s first Six Nations campaign, have been underwhelming and were comfortably beaten by Ireland in Dublin and France in Cardiff. Discard their opening round shut-out of Italy at home because every team in the competition hammers Italy. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP Photo
Wales, in new coach Wayne Pivac’s first Six Nations campaign, have been underwhelming and were comfortably beaten by Ireland in Dublin and France in Cardiff. Discard their opening round shut-out of Italy at home because every team in the competition hammers Italy. Photo: Rui Vieira/AP Photo

OPINION: Wales face Twickers torture

By Mark Keohane Time of article published Mar 7, 2020

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Eddie Jones’s England are overwhelming favourites to beat Wales at Twickenham today and keep alive their Six Nations challenge. Jones, typically, hasn’t been shy to bait the Welsh and I can get his bullishness. He knows his team won’t lose.

Wales, in new coach Wayne Pivac’s first Six Nations campaign, have been underwhelming and were comfortably beaten by Ireland in Dublin and France in Cardiff. Discard their opening round shut-out of Italy at home because every team in the competition hammers Italy.

England have recovered from the first-up loss to France in Paris and after scrapping their way to victory against Scotland in horrendous playing conditions at Murrayfield, they were powerful in dismantling Ireland at Twickenham.

If this match was being played in Cardiff, I wouldn’t be as dismissive of the Welsh challenge. Their players most definitely grow an extra arm and leg when urged on by home crowd support. Twickenham will be torture for Wales.

Pivac has opted for mobility instead of mongrel and physicality. I expect his team to take a beating.

England are a fabulous side when their pack dominates. We saw that in the World Cup semi-final drubbing of the All Blacks. They demolished the New Zealanders and not even the men in black’s backs could operate when back pedalling.

To beat England, the opposition has to front physically and win the set piece battle and the collisions. The World Cup-winning Boks produced the perfect performance in this regard in the 32-12 humiliation of England in last year’s Tokyo final.

Of more interest than the result will be Ross Moriarty and Nick Tompkins playing in a Welsh senior jersey against some former England Under-20 World Championship-winning teammates.

Moriarty and Tompkins played for England in the 2014 Under-20 World Championship final win against South Africa in New Zealand. Among their teammates was England lock Maro Itoje.

Moriarty said in the week he was not ashamed of his past life as an England under-20 and said he was more Welsh than he was ever English, with his father (Paul) and uncle (Richard) having played for Wales.

He would have annoyed the English by saying he considered himself Welsh and that all the England U20 jersey meant was a rugby career playing opportunity.

@Mark_Keohane


The Star

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