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Even after Sam Warburton's explanation fans are still complaining about this tactic from Wales versus England

By Online Editors

Trending on RugbyPass

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During last week’s round of Autumn Nations Cup fixtures former Welsh captain Sam Warburton explained to fans why teams kick so much whilst doing punditry during Wales versus Georgia.


“People say to me regularly, why do we kick the ball all the time? Why are we kicking the ball?” said Warburton.

“Straight away I think ‘You haven’t played international rugby then’ because you can not run yourself out of trouble for 80 minutes.”

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Eddie Jones press conference after Wales-England.

The former British & Irish Lion explained that it is a much more efficient way to make territory as opposed to carrying your way out. If you have a good kick chase, you will make far more metres.

This week’s Wales versus England clash delivered more territorial kicking than most fans could stomach, with many venting online that they are fed up with the kicking despite Warburton’s explanations last week. Fans called on the teams to ‘stop kicking it away’ and asked ‘will it ever end?’ after what seemed like ‘endless kicking’, particularly by England.

They labelled the tactic by Eddie Jones’ side ‘boring’ with one fan hoping that this doesn’t become the norm. He wrote ‘got to hope that this endless kicking isn’t the way international rugby is going’ after watching a ‘tedius’ match.



England’s halves pair of Ben Youngs and George Ford came under the most fire from fans for there out-of-hand kicking during the match. Youngs kicked 14 times while Ford had 13.

Whilst their attacking kick percentage was low at just seven percent, England did use a high amount of contestable kicks (52 percent) versus kicking purely for territory (41%). That contrasted with Wales who kicked for territory 56 percent of the time, contesting a kick just 31 percent of the time and using attacking kicks only 13 percent.

England kicked 37 times to Wales’ 25 for a total of 62 in the match, which was higher than the 47 total kicks in the All Blacks win over Argentina but lower than the 75 kicks between the two sides earlier this year in the Six Nations when England won 33-30.

Not all watchers of the game were displeased, with others trying to explain the strategy behind the kicking which is often done in the hoping of creating broken play opportunities. Just because it didn’t open up the game doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth trying.

After the game, England coach Eddie Jones compared the match to a ‘horror movie’ where the ending is one you know. Jones had fears the match would be a replica of England’s loss to Wales in the 2019 Six Nations.

“At half-time, it could have been like a Psycho horror movie, where the woman goes for a shower and you know what’s coming behind the shower curtain,” he said.

“It was like watching that.

“So it was the exact same situation as the game in the Principality Stadium (last year) where we did most of the play in the first half, were slightly ahead and then Wales did a few things at the end of the half to put us off our game.

“We then had a choice at half-time how we would react.

“Would we allow them to continue to do that or do we continue to stick to our game? The boys showed really good tactical discipline to just stick to our game.

“We had one little wonky period for about ten minutes in the second half, but generally speaking we had game control after the break.

The win clinched an Autumn Nations Cup final berth for England where they will come up against France after they dispatched Italy. The two sides finished first and second in this year’s Six Nations and were only separated on points difference.

France were the only side to beat England during this year’s tournament, setting up what will be the biggest test for Eddie Jones’ side in 2020.


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Even after Sam Warburton's explanation fans are still complaining about this tactic from Wales versus England