Wales's 30-3 'destruction' of England will leave deep scars
What the sports writers are saying about England's worst ever defeat by Wales
ENGLAND'S glory days of 2003 seemed a very long time ago when Wales won the Six Nations on Saturday evening with a 30-3 walkover at the Millennium Stadium. It was England's worst-ever defeat by Wales. Sir Clive Woodward, who steered England to victory a decade ago, said the "bubble had burst" for the side, which had previously been unbeaten in the tournament. Here's what the top sports writers are saying:
Paul Hayward in the Daily Telegraph: A "young, modest" England side were broken on the wheel of "Welsh experience, Welsh exuberance". This England squad will face a harder road back to future victories than the 1990 or 2003 crop after a game in which they lost the vast majority of direct physical confrontations, especially in the scrums and tackle areas. How will the more impressionable players promoted rapidly from the development ranks cope with the defeat?
Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail: England were "torn apart" by better players, proving that their earlier victories were "a triumph of graft over craft". England coach Stuart Lancaster spoke of remembering this day in a manner that suggested he hoped to use the hurt to galvanise his players next time, but the challenge is huge."
Tom Fordyce for BBC Sport: Wales's 30-3 destruction of England did not just pillage the Six Nations crown from them. It "chased the men in white back across the Severn with Grand Slam hopes up in smoke and tails burning between their legs." But England's young team will improve after the scars heal – and perhaps Saturday's "inability to produce under intense pressure" was a youthful aberration, not a deep-rooted characteristic.
Shaun Edwards in The Guardian: "It was a great performance, not just because of the scoreline but because it came from a team that had come through tough times together... Simply, there was too much power for England. And when that was applied by guys who have been in tight corners before ... it was too much for a young team." [Edwards is Wales's defence coach.]
Simon Barnes in The Times: "So horrible you have to look away... and yet your mind keeps returning to the subject as your tongue seeks a chipped tooth." If the England team were a pumped-up soufflé before Saturday’s match, they were "a plate of scrambled eggs" by the end of it. So universal was their collapse that it is impossible to blame any of the individuals who, as a team, faced opposition excellence. ·