With just sixty-six seconds on the clock, Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell scored England’s opening try at Twickenham against Scotland. After sixty-six minutes, England’s 31-0 lead had been surrendered at 31-31. Nowell spoke to RugbyPass after the match.
Nowell commented, “[I’m] very disappointed. First half was awesome to be involved in. But us as a team we’ve got to realise that when you are that far ahead, teams are going to start chucking everything at you and try different things. For us, it’s about soaking that bit up and getting ourselves back on the front foot and keep going forward.
“The second half of this game and the second half of the Wales game are still big ones for us to focus on. Going forward it’s very exciting, our attack was good today, just a shame we let it down in that last little bit.”
Scotland scored a record six tries at Twickenham, the first time any opponent has achieved that at test level at the home of English rugby.
Nowell said, “Second half, Scotland loosened up a bit and tried chucking the ball around, trying to get a try, to get themselves back on the front foot and I think we kinda got sucked into that as well. Us as a team, we probably need to do the opposite, we need to tighten up, we need to keep the ball – soak up what they’re bringing. But going forward as a team, it’s good to have some work-ons. As a team, I’ve felt it’s the most togetherness we’ve had, we’ve really enjoyed ourselves off the field as well as on. These two-second halves, we really need to fix up now.”
Having been selected in place of Joe Cokanasiga, who excelled ball-in-hand against Italy a week prior to the Calcutta Cup match, Nowell was under pressure to perform well, which he achieved.
He said, “I’m always really happy to get my hands on the ball but at the same time there are a couple of mistakes that I made out there, I could have stopped a couple of tries. For me, I need to work on them and I know what I need to do as a player. I’m really looking forward to trying to get myself nailed down in the squad.
“With the competition we have, we are always pushing each other, trying to get the best out of each other and that’s definitely why we’ve performed so well this year – we do have quality players in every position. To be able to train with these boys as well, week in, week out has definitely made me a better person and player.”
England now have just four warm-up games before the Rugby World Cup in September against Ireland, Italy and Wales (twice).
Nowell commented, “Looking at it another way, we do have a lot of time to work on it. In terms of our attack, I think as a back line and our forwards, we’ve been very exciting this year. Like I said, we’ve got a lot to work on when we’re ahead – could be right, could be wide. We just need to work on those crucial areas to keep ourselves there. There’s a lot of exciting things to come.”
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