Summary: England captain Owen Farrell responds to criticism and asserts that England is not just a mere participant in the Rugby World Cup semifinals. The team’s strong performance against Fiji secured their spot in the next round.
England’s captain Owen Farrell faced booing from England supporters as the team was announced for their Rugby World Cup quarterfinal. Farrell has been a controversial figure due to debate surrounding his tackling technique, captaincy, and optimal position. Additionally, he was suspended for the first two World Cup matches, allowing George Ford to shine in wins against Argentina and Japan. However, Farrell and the team delivered their best performance in two years, defeating Fiji 30-24 and advancing to the semifinals.
Farrell’s crucial drop goal in the 72nd minute broke the 24-24 tie, while his penalty in the 78th minute dashed Fiji’s hopes. In total, Farrell contributed 20 points to the victory. England’s attack coach, Richard Wigglesworth, defended Farrell, stating that he doesn’t need to prove anything. He praised Farrell’s dedication, patriotism, and the outstanding performance he delivered for the team.
Wigglesworth also commended the combination of inside backs consisting of Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, and Joe Marchant, who scored England’s only tries in the first 23 minutes of the match. However, Wigglesworth acknowledged that there is room for improvement and emphasized the need for a balanced approach in the upcoming semifinal against South Africa.
Despite England being considered heavy underdogs against South Africa, Wigglesworth expressed confidence in the team’s ability to compete. He highlighted England’s experience in close matches and their track record of winning World Cup knockout matches. Moreover, he reminded everyone that the uncertain outcome of sports is what makes it exciting, stating that England is not in the competition for a vacation but to compete with determination and purpose.
Tags: England, Owen Farrell, Rugby World Cup, semifinals, criticism, performance, underdog, South Africa