Owen Farrell insists England will stick with kicking plan after Six Nations win over Wales
Owen Farrell insisted England will keep trying to inflict high-ball havoc on their opponents.
England went to the air repeatedly in the second-half of their 20-10 Six Nations win over Wales in Cardiff. Steve Borthwick’s men exploited some defensive shortcomings in the struggling Welsh to prevail, however prosaic the ruse.
And now captain Farrell has vowed England will stick to their tactical kicking guns as new boss Borthwick’s blueprint continues to be laid out.
“Kicking’s important in rugby, a lot of tries are scored off kicking,” said Farrell.
“We’ll kick to find space, normally, and to play on connections between the wingers. You kick to cause chaos.
“We were kicking to try to keep ourselves on the front foot in their half. A lot of the kicking today was done off good decisions I thought, when momentum was taken away at times, then we went to it.
“I thought when we were on the front foot, getting speed of ball, moved the ball to the edge pretty well. But there were mistakes with that, we want to be better with that and take more opportunities.
“We’re trying to play the way Steve wants us to play, and that’s different and we’re learning quickly.
“We’re trying to get those ideas on the pitch as quickly as we can, understand inside out the way we want to play.
“So yeah, it’s different, start with the fundamentals and build on that. We feel so far we’ve made a good start on that.”
Anthony Watson, Kyle Sinckler and Ollie Lawrence claimed the tries as England handed Borthwick his second win at the Red Rose helm.
Louis Rees-Zammit grabbed an intercept score for Wales, but the poor-quality hosts were left horribly exposed after a week of rancour, recrimination and strike threat.
Farrell endured a rare wretched day with the boot off the tee, missing two conversions and two penalties, leaving the England talisman frustrated – but determined to solve those shortcomings.
“I didn’t kick well, it wasn’t coming off the way I’d like it to be,” said Farrell. “But I’ve been here before, I’ll get hard at work again.
“The team probably deserved to be further ahead, the team worked hard to be further ahead.
“And the fight they showed to stick in it, especially away from home, and in that last 20 minutes to take control of the game like we did, I thought it was fantastic. So we’ll get back to work.”
England boss Borthwick defended his side’s tactical kicking ploys, especially given the idea bore clear fruit.
“Kicking’s a big part of the contest, even in Super Rugby as well,” said Borthwick.
“The two teams that kick more metres than anybody else were France and Ireland going into round three.
“They kick more metres than anyone else and they are two of the top teams in the world.
“It’s a part of the game, the way when you play against a team with great line speed with Wales, then being able to check that line speed in a different weapon, it’s only sensible.”