England scrap shows Borthwick has a way to go to in ambitious rebuild | Andy Bull
2024/02/11

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The weather forecast had predicted rain during the game on Saturday, and both coaches had been monitoring the weather apps all week. Warren Gatland even had to cancel Wales' outdoor training due to miserable conditions leading up to the match. The crowd of 80,000 had come prepared with boots, coats, and umbrellas, expecting a wet and challenging game. However, they were surprised when they experienced the first fine afternoon of February. The match turned out to be a helter-skelter set-to, starting under a beautiful sunset that lit up the west stand. Even though England managed to scrape by with a victory, it was their shakiest game since losing to Fiji in August. Since then, they have had a run of seven wins in eight away games. However, head coach Steve Borthwick is now looking to build a more ambitious playing style. The journey towards perfection seems to be a backward step, as England's new blitz defence created more opportunities for the Welsh to showcase their skills. England's defence coach, Felix Jones, explained that the focus should be on putting opposition skill sets under pressure, but it seemed like the Welsh were taking advantage of the gaps left by the English tacklers. So far in the championship, England has conceded more tries compared to the pool stages of the World Cup. Despite their resilience, their performance lacked wit. However, their effort was enough to secure a two-point victory with a try from Fraser Dingwall. The margin of victory made the game entertaining, and the atmosphere in the stadium was better than it had been in a while. Nonetheless, England needs to improve quickly if they want to defeat the three teams ahead of them in the championship.

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