Former Ireland international Hannah Tyrrell believes Wales need to make an urgent change at flyhalf after Warren Gatland’s men were unable to hang on for what would’ve been a famous win at Twickenham in the Six Nations.
Wales struck first as referee James Doleman awarded a penalty try in the 17th minute on the back of the forwards’ tidy work at the set-piece. The decision also saw England go down to 13 men as Ethan Roots joined Ollie Cheesum in the sin bin.
But that was it for Wales. England kept their traditional rugby rivals scoreless for the entire second half, and that came back to haunt the Welsh in the end.
Playmaker George Ford kicked a penalty in the 71st minute to give the hosts the lead for the first time in the Test. It proved to be the match-winning score, too, as they won 16-14.
Following Wales’ second loss in as many Six Nations matches in 2024, Irish rugby pundit Hannah Tyrell has called out flyhalf Ioan Lloyd for not being “up to it” at international level.
“At times they gave us glimpses of some really nice, free-flowing rugby,” Tyrrell said on an RTE Rugby panel post-game. “We saw that wonderful try… exploiting that weakness in the English defence.
“Other than that, particularly their attack looked deficit or devoid of any sort of imagination about how they’re going to suffocate that English defence.
“Unfortunately for Lloyd at 10, he just doesn’t seem to be up to it and didn’t really know what to do other than kick it up in the air to their (England’s) strength in Freddie Steward or try those crossfield kicks… they just weren’t working out for him.
“For Wales to do well I think they need someone else to step in there at 10 but I don’t really know who to be honest because (Sam) Costelow’s not up to it either.”
It was a thrilling match in the end with both teams putting themselves in at least a mathematical position to win the clash at the death, But whether it was a good game is still up for debate.
Former Ireland and British & Irish Lions backrower Stephen Ferris unleashed a blunt summary of what he thought of the match post-game.
“We’re talking about Freddie Steward, well we certainly were here in the studio, about getting player of the match just because he was taking high balls all afternoon. Tommy Reffell, as well, brilliant around the breakdown.
“But not that much ball carrying and getting in behind each other’s defences. For me, it was a low-quality game.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Wales, either. Next up for Cymru is a trip to Dublin where they’ll face Six Nations favourites Ireland on February 24.