- Robshaw delighted with tight win over Ireland
- “Huge” challenge of Wales comes into view
Chris Robshaw admitted his side were utterly drained after a fantastic, tension-filled 13-10 win over Ireland at Twickenham, but has already turned his attention to avenging last season’s defeat to Wales in a fortnight’s time.
England’s openside and skipper was once more a key performer for Stuart Lancaster’s team, making 23 tackles, winnng three turnovers and executing a deft offload in the lead-up to Mike Brown’s game-changing try.
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At the final whistle his delight was obvious and he saluted the hosts’ determination to repel waves of Irish attacks late on – a feat that has kept them in the hunt to clinch the RBS 6 Nations trophy.
“It feels fantastic,” Robshaw said. “All the boys are exhausted but very happy. The ball was in play for a large part of the last four minutes and our defensive ability out there was outstanding.
“We allowed them into the game quite easily with Rob Kearney’s try but it was great to get a win and get ourselves back in contention for this tournament.
“Tough, tight encounters are the ones you remember when your lungs are burning until the end. When it’s nip-and-tuck, it’s just about who can hold their nerve and nail it. A lot of people have been asking whether we can close out games, so come behind and take it felt great.”
Robshaw and Tom Wood were part of compelling back-row tussle with Peter O’Mahony and Chris Henry – two of the competitions most impressive performers thus far.
Lock Joe Launchbury lended his customary industry to that too chipping in with four turnovers and 21 tackles. Looking into the result in finer detail, Robshaw hailed that display as “outstanding”.
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“All over the park there were key match-ups and as a back row we were pretty happy,” he continued. “It was up and down – they had the ascendancy at some points and then it went to us. Momentum is massive in sport and we just managed to hold on at the end.”
On the back of a 27-6 thrashing of France, Wales now head to HQ in high spirits and buoyed by the lingering prospect of an historic third consecutive Six Nations Championship.
However, Robshaw conceded that the record 30-3 defeat in Cardiff when the two side's last met would provide massive motivation for England.
“It’ll be huge,” he finished. “We want to kick on and win something. While we’ve been steadily progressing, we haven’t gone on to get that bit of silverware. That is the challenge for us now.
“Whenever you are handed a record defeat, it’s not nice to have to look at it on your CV. There is a lot of time between now and the game so there is no point in us getting pumped up. We’ll have to stay cool.
“With a weekend off, the knocks and niggles can calm down and we can look after ourselves and stay fresh. There are two massive games to come.”