Aaron Wainwright

Aaron Wainwright (C). Pic: Getty Images

Aaron Wainwright Vows Wales Will Keep Comeback Momentum Rolling At Twickenham

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By Paul Jones

Aaron Wainwright wants to ensure Warren Gatland doesn’t suffer another first-half nightmare at Twickenham this weekend.

Wales head coach Gatland described the first 40 minutes of Wales’ 27-26 defeat to Scotland in the opening round of the Six Nations as the worst of his 30-year coaching career. Then things only got worse.

A fourth Scottish try at the start of the second half made it 27-0 and Wales and Wainwright were heading for a massacre.

Then came one of the greatest fightbacks in Six Nations history that left Gatland and his young side with something to cling to ahead of their shoot-out with England.

“A game of two halves sums it up perfectly and with another five minutes we probably would have got the win,” said tryscorer and man of the match Wainwright.

“It wasn’t the start we wanted but we showed what we can do when we start putting some stuff together.

“If we can replicate that second half performance and play like that for the full 80 it will be exciting. We have to make sure it doesn’t take a first half like that to get into it.

“It was encouraging how we kept fighting and put ourselves in with a chance to win. That’s going to give us momentum for next week.”

Finn Russell controlled the first half action superbly for the Scots to lay the groundwork for their first win in Cardiff in 22 years.

Wing Duhan van der Merwe powered over for two tries and when they led 27-0 with 43 minutes on the clock everyone was reaching for the record books to check up on Wales’ worst defeats.

Then George Turner and Sione Tuipulotu picked up yellow cards and tries from Jim Botham, Rio Dyer, Wainwright and finally debutant Alex Mann brought Wales thundering back into a game they had no right to be in.

“Warren spoke at half-time about less unforced errors which were giving Scotland ins, and about being more direct with the ball. He told us to back ourselves,” added Wainwright.

“We knew we had to keep digging in after they scored early because there was still a long way to go. I know we lost but those are the sort of games you want to be involved in.

“You get the scoreboard ticking, the belief builds and the crowd are roaring. It was amazing, but probably five minutes too short.

“They had the yellow cards and we were trying to pile on the pressure. We kept on top of them, suffocating them and kept the scoreboard ticking.

“We need to take the energy of the second half and build that within ourselves and make sure we’re ready from the first whistle and make sure it doesn’t take a first half like that to get going. It will give us confidence.

“We need to be more accurate. Going for the corner, with a tap play move we weren’t accurate enough, we didn’t keep the ball.

“Whether it’s execution or role knowledge, we need to fix that and doing it from the first whistle will be key. We can’t start like that next week.

“The boys coming off the bench made a huge impact and changed momentum. Maybe first game nerves played a part but we can’t afford those inaccuracies.”

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