Jacob Draper Admits Wales Gave Old Enemy England Too Much Respect In World Cup Opener

Wales' Jacob Draper in action against England. Pic: World Sports

Jacob Draper Admits Wales Gave Old Enemy England Too Much Respect In World Cup Opener

By Gareth James

Wales star Jacob Draper admitted the World Cup debutants had given England far too much respect after they lost 5-0 in their opening games of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup.

Great Britain international Draper was part of a Wales side overpowered and outgunned by their nearest rivals in India as the Welsh campaign got off to a miserable start.

Wales got off to a poor opening, conceded inside the first minute, and never really recovered as Liam Ansell scored two penalty corners with further England goals for Nick Park, Phil Roper and Nick Bandurak.

Wales must now try and recover quickly in time for their second match against Spain on Sunday.

“They are a top team, but I felt we gave them too much respect from the get-go,” said Draper.

“We’ll group back together and get behind everyone and make sure come Sunday we’re raring to go.


“Thank you to everyone who has supported us either remotely or in person, it honestly means the world to the whole squad.”

Head coach Danny Newcombe said: “I think what we’re most frustrated with was our performance in the first half.

“It took us too long to get going. England played really well and made our lives really difficult, and we didn’t reset ourselves quick enough.

“We reset at half time and gave an improved performance but at that point the game was gone.

“It was a lesson that at this level we need to perform at our best to give ourselves the opportunity to win one of these games.”

In a match played at Rourkela’s new 20,000-seater stadium, England took the lead early on with a goal by Park, and continued to put pressure on Wales throughout the game.

The men in white effectively secured the win with two goals in the third quarter, one by Ansell and one by Roper.


Wales had their best chances in the final quarter, but were unable to score.

The only blemish on England’s performance was a missed penalty stroke by Zach Wallace, but Bandurak sealed the win with a late fifth goal.

The win was comfortable for England, who will now face the host team India in Pool D on Sunday.

For Wales, who had waited 128 years for this moment and their first World Cup qualification, this was a very disappointing start to their campaign.

After the excitement of their build-up, they fluffed their lines when the curtain rose and must hope they give a far better account of themselves against the Spanish on Sunday.



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