Rugby: Late England victories in Six Nations becoming a Daly occurrence

A late try from Elliot Daly gave England a 21-16 victory against Wales in the Six Nations game in Cardiff. Coach Eddie Jones said of the dramatic rescue act: "We don't want all our games to be that tight."
A late try from Elliot Daly gave England a 21-16 victory against Wales in the Six Nations game in Cardiff. Coach Eddie Jones said of the dramatic rescue act: "We don't want all our games to be that tight."PHOTO: REUTERS

CARDIFF • England coach Eddie Jones accepted that his side had used up all their "get-out-of-jail cards" following a gripping 21-16 win away to Wales in the Six Nations.

The Grand Slam champions were behind 14-16 with just four minutes left when wing Elliot Daly, following a poor clearance kick by Wales centre Jonathan Davies, surged past Alex Cuthbert for a superb try in the corner. As had been the case in their tournament-opening win over France the week before, England had come from behind to seal victory with a last-gasp try.

"We have used up all of our get-out-of-jail cards and against Italy (on Feb 26) we don't want to be in that position again," Jones said.

"I thought it was a great game of Test rugby. A lot of credit goes to Wales, who were superb. They hit hard and hit often off the ball, which made it a fantastic Test match."

England have moved to within two wins of New Zealand's all-time record of 18 successive Test victories by a leading rugby nation.

Jones has yet to lose a Test as England boss since his appointment following the team's first-round exit on home soil at the 2015 World Cup.

 

"We are a gritty team with characters in there that don't know how to get beaten, and that was evident here," said the Australian.

"At stages I thought we were going to fade out of the game, but we hung in there making tackles."

Shortly before his blistering score, Daly had raced back to prevent Wales fly-half Dan Biggar scoring a stunning intercept try.

"The boy's got gas and he's got that X-factor about him and that's what we like (in) him," Jones said of the match-winner, who was making his first appearance in Cardiff.

Wales led 13-8 at the break after Liam Williams crossed to cancel out an early try by England scrum-half Ben Youngs. But the lead never got beyond five points and Wales coach Rob Howley was left to rue a lack of composure in the closing stages.

"The intensity and application of our players for 75 minutes was outstanding," he said. "We played with pace and accuracy, as did England.

"England know how to win, and we lost, but it was a fantastic performance. In the final 10 minutes, we had to execute under pressure, and we didn't. But that is Test match football."

Wales suffered a setback when George North was ruled out an hour before kick-off after failing to overcome a leg injury sustained in their preceding 33-7 win away to Italy.

Howley, however, said he expected the powerhouse wing to be fit for Wales' next match, against Scotland on Feb 25.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Late England victories a Daly occurrence'. Print Edition | Subscribe