VIDEO: Eddie relieved with no repeat of 'Psycho' drama in Wales
REACTION: England head coach Eddie Jones was full of praise for his side avoiding more “psycho horror movie drama” in Wales following a 24-13 Nations Cup win over the home side in Llanelli on Saturday.
With Les Bleu handing Italy a 36-5 thrashing on Saturday, England will face France in the final next weekend at Twickenham.
Be that as it may, the Six Nations champions didn’t have it all their own way and were nursing just a slender four-point lead of 11-7 going into half time at Parc Y Scarlets.
However with a try in the first half from Henry Slade and another in the second from Mako Vunipola plus the 14 points kicked by England captain Owen Farrell, saw them through for the win after Wales had opened their efforts with a converted Johnny Williams try.
To their credit they held firm and there was no repeat of last year’s disaster in Cardiff where England led 10-3 at the break only to crumble and allow Wales to score 18 points in the second half to win the match 21-13.
“At half-time it could have been a ‘Psycho’ horror movie,” England coach Jones told reporters as he compared his team’s position to one of most notorious murder scenes in film history.
“The woman goes to the shower and you know what’s coming from behind the shower curtain.
“It was the exact same situation as the game in the Millennium Stadium where we did most of the play in the first, were slightly ahead. Wales did a few things at the end of the first half to put us off our game and then we had a choice at half-time of how would we react?
“Would we allow them to continue to do that or do we stick to our game? The boys showed really good tactical discipline to stick to our game,” the former Australia and Japan coach added.
England built their success on scrum and line-out dominance with Jones accepting that their attack wasn’t up to scratch on the day and could be improved upon.
“We want a bit more fluency with the ball in hand, but we’re not quite there yet,” he said.
With France filling the opposing berth in the final it gives England a chance for retribution after losing to France 17-24 earlier this year in February.
That Paris loss, in what was England’s first game after losing the World Cup final to South Africa in Japan last year, ultimately cost Jones’s men a tilt at what could have been their fourteenth Six Nations Grand Slam
This Saturday’s game will see the fans allowed back into Twickenham for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, there will only be limited numbers allowed and just two thousand tickets have gone on sale for the match with Jones saying: We want to make sure we put on a performance that lights up people’s eyes when they sit there.”
After a seventh defeat from eight games Wales head coach Wayne Pivac was visibly frustrated with French referee Romain Poite with the Kiwi questioning why Slade’s try had been allowed after what he perceived was an illegal challenge on Welsh flyhalf Dan Biggar.
“Dan Biggar was clearly taken in the air,” Pivac insisted.
“The TMO [television match official] comes in and calls that, but he is over-ruled by the man in the middle,” added Pivac, who said he would take up the issue with World Rugby.
Pivac also complained about Poite’s officiating of the scrum, where England won a number of penalties.
“There are a lot of resets and a lot of scrum penalties being awarded, and in some cases, we think, wrongly so,” Pivac said.
Nonetheless this was definitely an improved performance from Wales.
“We asked for a lot of energy, we asked for a bit of passion,” explained Pivac. “We wanted to start well and I think we got the good start after weathering the storm, with the breakout try.”