Sunday February 7, 2010
Issued by Simon Mills
Post-match quotes from England v Wales. Reaction from Johnson, Borthwick, Haskell, Care, Tait, Flood, Shaw, Wilkinson and Hartley
England team manager MARTIN JOHNSON:
"It was a real battle out there and I think we showed a great deal of patience to score at the end of the first half, after enjoying a long spell of possession and territorial advantage. The next score just after half time was key in terms of giving us a healthy lead.
"It has to be an all-round team performance and there's no doubt the boys worked very, very hard. We won some good turn-overs and picked our opportunities - our kicking game and our chase was pretty good as well, which certainly put Wales under pressure.
"Everyone's hyped this game up for weeks as the biggest thing - and now the next game against Italy becomes the biggest thing. I've said all along that this is a group that's coming together - they're becoming increasingly confident in themselves, but need to keep demonstrating that by getting wins."
England captain STEVE BORTHWICK (Saracens):
"It's obviously very pleasing to win - but it was very hard-fought. Credit to Wales for the way they played and for the effort they put into the game - they're a quality side. The victory's a great reward, though, for all the England players and the management staff.
"There's still plenty of room for improvement - we made errors, particularly midway through the second half. There are several areas we can look at on the video, in order to improve for next week's trip to Italy.
"I think Nike and the RFU have done a fantastic job with the [retro-style] shirts - I hope the fans liked it. It was a good day with plenty going on to celebrate Twickenham's centenary, but we managed to focus on the task in hand for the full eighty minutes."
JAMES HASKELL (Man of the Match, Stade Francais):
"I'm pleased from the team's perspective more than anything else - I was simply on the end of two great team moves to score my tries. I'm obviously delighted though, as these are my first international tries in 22 matches - hence I thought it rude not to celebrate with a jig!
"As a squad we really work for each other - our ethos is that no player is alone. We're building something here - we've stuck together even when people have looked at us sceptically. I feel we're starting to show what we really can do.
"In the past at 20-17, we may have lost games like that. But our reaction showed our determination and our desire to get back onto the front foot immediately. Our mentality's really improved and the management have created a positive, winning atmosphere."
MATHEW TAIT (Sale Sharks) was 24 on Saturday:
"It was the perfect birthday present for me to get the win - but we have to keep our feet on the ground. As a squad we're still demanding more of ourselves, I'm sure the best is still yet to come. We're very tight as a group and that's testament to Steve [Borthwick] and the rest of the senior guys.
"The crowd gave us great support today - they were really passionate and vocal. I'm also pleased with how Toby Flood and I linked up at centre. My one concern is how to keep James [Haskell] quiet for the next few days, now that he's scored two tries."
SIMON SHAW (London Wasps):
"We dropped off for a period in the game and Wales came right back into it. But we're delighted with how we picked ourselves up and reasserted ourselves. Keeping hold of the ball and regaining our tempo was vital - something that's often easier to say rather than do, though.
"I guess you can sum up the mood in the camp as 'quiet satisfaction' - it's nice to put one over the Welsh after three straight defeats. We're happy with the win, but we know there's still a long way to go - starting with Italy next week. We need to keep showing the same strong mentality."
DANNY CARE (Harlequins):
"It was so nice to cross the try line - especially in the centenary game at Twickenham in front of more than 80,000. There were a few nerves in the squad following the Autumn, but a win like this will really help us start to perform to our full potential. Let's hope we can continue to build from here.
"It really helped my game that the back row were fantastic today - they gave me some great ball. We need to stick to our game plan in the future, like we did for large parts of today. Of course we're well aware, though, that there are still four big games to come."
JONNY WILKINSON (Toulon):
"Wales fought back well, but the biggest chance we've made is to be able to deal with that shift in momentum. They're a quality side, but we remained steadfast. That's what we need to build on - we've had some good games in the past, but failed to capitalise. Even though today was far from perfect, there's much to be happy about.
"We defended hard and well on several occasions. Wales will make life tough for everyone else in the RBS Six Nations, so we're pleased to have them out of the way. There's still tons we can improve on as a team though - from my point of view that includes decision-making and game management."
TOBY FLOOD (Leicester Tigers):
"It's always tough when you prepare all week to play at fly-half and then need to move to No.12. You don't get the same feel of the ball as when you're at first receiver. So given that, I'm pleased with how things went out there today.
"Teaming up with Mathew [Tait] was fine - we've known each other for a long time now and played together for club and country. I thought he played really well on his birthday and his part in our break [for the third try] was one of the stand-out moments in the match. We have plenty of momentum now to take to Italy next week."
DYLAN HARTLEY (Northampton Saints):
"The win was a big relief today - it's a confident dressing room but we're not getting ahead of ourselves. We're well aware that we face another huge test in Rome next week. I still feel there's more to come from us, though.
"The set piece went well - attacking their ball at the line out is something we worked hard on in training. Disrupting their set piece helped break up their momentum - it's nice when something you practise all week comes off successfully come match day."
England Teams Media Manager
Rugby Football Union
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