- Parling says England will have to move on from loss
- Performances throughout tournament give reason to be positive, explains lock
Photo: Getty Images
Lock Geoff Parling insists that England will take positives from this year’s RBS 6 Nations but knows the team’s loss to Wales will take some time to get over.
Stuart Lancaster’s side were put to the sword 30-3 by a fired up Welsh side at the Millennium Stadium, ending England’s hopes of a first Grand Slam in a decade.
A solitary penalty from fly half Owen Farrell was all England could muster, as Wales ended the side’s five-match winning streak through two second-half Alex Cuthbert tries. The defeat was even more poignant as it was the first time that England had finished a series or tournament with a loss since Lancaster took the helm.
In last year’s RBS 6 Nations, England beat Ireland in the last match to finish second overall, and then in the South Africa summer Tests the team pulled off a draw in the final game. Finally, in last year’s autumn Tests England beat world champions New Zealand in the last fixture, following two losses to the Springboks and Australia.
“The major frustration is that it’s a massive opportunity lost,” said Parling. “How many people get to win the Grand Slam? We have not just lost out we have lost the Six Nations, but it’s the first time this group of players has finished on a low. We came together last year and hammered Ireland in the Six Nations, even in South Africa on tour we drew the last game and then beat New Zealand in the autumn. This is the first time we have got to deal with finishing on a low note – we have got to bottle that up and move on.”
Wales achieved 63 per cent possession, 65 per cent territory and missed only nine tackles in the match, all of which compounded put England on the back foot. While the performance was dominant, reflected by the score line, Parling says that England can still take “massive positives” from this year’s tournament.
Photo: Getty Images
“A massive positive is the fact we got ourselves in this position to start with. The character we showed over in Dublin when we were down to 14 men to grind that one out and the character we showed against France are both really encouraging for us but the big game, the one that really mattered, we have let ourselves down on.
“I just think it’s the fact that they played really well and we played poorly. Usually if one thing is going badly you can rely on something else in the game to get you back on the front foot but it wasn’t like that today. Other parts of the game fell apart as well and we made it tough for ourselves.”