Wales and England were both victorious last weekend, meaning that both teams go into their round-four clash unbeaten, with England currently top on three wins from three. As if this fixture wasn’t already exciting enough, it looks set to be the pivotal game of the tournament.
England seem to have taken a few steps in the right direction throughout February. It’s still early days for Eddie Jones and his team, but there are signs that the England squad are rejuvenated and are beginning to string together some improved performances. Chris Robshaw appears to have benefitted from relinquishing the captaincy – something I sometimes feel Warburton would benefit from. I remember his performance was outstanding in the 2013 meeting with England, in which the pressure of captaincy had been removed and handed to the granite-like Gethin Jenkins.
Speaking of Warburton, I felt he had a superb game against France last Friday. He would have been my choice for man-of-the-match. He was close to has rampaging best; solid in defence, like a bulldozer in attack, and responsible for at least one key turnover in the Wales half. We will need him to replicate this kind of form at Twickenham next Saturday.
Having watched the French game in an extremely noisy pub, one thing I hadn’t realized was the negative reaction of the pundits to the Cardiff showdown. Personally, I really enjoyed the game – it was at times ferocious, a chess game, an arm wrestle. I saw a number of articles describe the game as a pale imitation of the high-scoring, high-tempo Super Rugby matches from that day (which was the opening day of that competition). Perhaps I’m a purist, but I felt it was a tight, tense, enjoyable game.
A win next Saturday will undoubtedly put Wales in the driving seat in the bid to become Six Nations Champions. The question on everyone’s lips is, can Wales reproduce their World Cup antics at the home of English rugby?
Let’s be honest, it’s always a cracking game! Come on Wales!!