Gareth Anscombe caused England problems at Twickenham. Pic: Getty Images.

Gareth Anscombe Says Disputed Try Cost Wales Momentum . . . But Not The Result

Gareth Anscombe believes the denial of his disputed try at Twickenham was not the crucial factor in Wales’ defeat to England.

The Cardiff Blues outside-half is convinced his effort should have stood and that he grounded the ball in the first-half of the Six Nations clash.

But Anscombe also insists the incident was less significant than the fact that Wales did not seize further opportunities before going down 12-6.

“That was disappointing because it potentially would have changed the momentum, but ultimately it was still early on in the game and we had a lot of chances to fix it,” said Anscombe.

Wales coach Warren Gatland described television match official Glenn Newman’s first-half decision as “a terrible mistake” after Anscombe appeared to get his hand on the ball just before England winger Anthony Watson.

“I felt some pressure of the ball on the ground,” added Anscombe, who was a late replacement for Leigh Halfpenny following his withdrawal due to a foot infection.

“I thought that I got it down, but the decision didn’t go our way. The TMOs [television match official] don’t always get it right, which is frustrating, but you can’t do much about that.

“We were confident once we saw the first replay and started jogging back.

“We trust the TMO. You’ve just got to back the individual to use the replays and communicate well with the touch judges and the referee, then hopefully they get the majority of them right.

“We had a rough start and didn’t come out of the blocks well, so going back to the sheds at 12-7, it would have been a different ball game.”

Anscombe was at the heart of Wales’ best moments, particularly when he switched to fly-half for the final 25 minutes and kept his team playing front-foot rugby.

“Going into 10, the game had opened up slightly,” he added. “It was good to get in the front line a bit more, and I was able to make a couple of bursts.

“I thought that I added a little bit there, but I was helped by the game. We managed to move them side to side, their tight forwards were getting tired and I managed to sneak through a couple of holes.”

Gatland still believes Wales should take some encouragement from the closeness of the contest.

Warren Gatland was less than impressed with the call of the TMO. Pic: Getty Images.

The changing room was not down at all,” said the head coach. “We were pleased with how strong we finished the game.

“Considering we still think we are 20 to 25 per cent off being as fit and as sharp as we will be by the time the World Cup comes round, and we spend time together, we are in a pretty good place.

“We are building some depth in the squad. I think we are in a pretty good place.”

“It was a tough Test match against a team that has got such a good record at Twickenham,” he continued.

“We are pretty pleased with where we are at. We will get better as a side, and those players will get better.

“When we’ve got the opportunity to bring some of that experience back into the team it will continue to make us stronger as well.”

Liam Williams, George North and Taulupe Faletau could all be available to start against Ireland in Dublin next week, but Halfpenny remains doubtful.

Wales must now hope they can win in Ireland and that England falter somewhere along the line in their remaining games against Scotland, France and Ireland.

“It could come down to points difference, hopefully someone slips up,” said Gatland.

“England have won their first two games, so they are in a good position to potentially go and win the Grand Slam.

“We are out of that, which is disappointing, so you are relying on someone else to slip up.

“For us, the important thing is making sure we continue to get better as a team, and those players, from the experience of Twickenham, go to Ireland and improve on that performance.”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *