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‘England panicked under pressure’

Posted by Warren Fyfe on September 27, 2015 in Warren Fyfe Site

England panicked under pressure in their

28-25 World Cup loss to Wales,

according to legend Sir Gareth Edwards.

Stuart Lancaster’s side had led 19-9 and 22-12 in the second half against a side plagued by injuries.

But the concession of a series of penalties, many at the breakdown, kept Wales in the game and they fought back.

“England looked so comfortable at one stage, but they seemed to panic when they were near the finish line,” said Edwards, 68, who has 53 Wales caps.

“It was probably tension – this is a huge event,” he told

BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme.

With three minutes left in the Pool A clash, England

chose not to go for a penalty kick

that could have drawn the match, with captain Chris Robshaw opting instead for a five-metre line-out which was repelled.

However Edwards defended that decision. “Robshaw had to go with a gut feeling,” he said.

Instead, the former Cardiff and Barbarians scrum-half laid the blame for the defeat on England’s high penalty count.

“All of a sudden England started to break up and make mistakes,” he said. “For me they were transgressing because of pressure and panic.”

Edwards also praised Wales for their comeback, describing their victory as “one of their best, maybe greatest ever wins”.

Former England defence coach Mike Ford, now in charge at Bath, said England should consider changes to their team for their must-win match against Australia on Saturday.

“The selection this weekend was a team not to lose – I think it’s a negative approach,” he said.

“Stuart Lancaster has got to pick a team to win against Australia.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/34373183

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