Alun Wyn Jones revealed frustrations with Wales’ first-half sloppiness after they succumbed to England on Saturday, suffering a third straight Six Nations defeat.
Grand Slam champions in 2019, Wales have endured a disappointing campaign this year despite crushing strugglers Italy in their opening match.
Defeats to Ireland, France and now England put paid to any hopes of defending their title, and captain Jones was particularly exasperated by his side’s latest reverse.
Wales went down 33-30 at Twickenham, but only late tries against 13 men narrowed England’s lead after Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly and Manu Tuilagi – later dismissed – crossed for the hosts.
Jones suggested Wales were always struggling to recover from an opening period in which Watson scored inside four minutes and Daly added to the home advantage.
He also highlighted the repeated penalties that allowed Owen Farrell and George Ford to keep the scoreboard ticking over for England.
“I was lamenting a couple of territory giveaways in the first half,” the Wales captain told ITV Sport. “We gave them two possessions in the 22, went to two lineouts, and it was two tries.
FULL TIME: ENG 33-30 WAL⠀
A riveting contest at Twickenham, but ultimately disappointment for Wales. Congratulations to @EnglandRugby on the Triple Crown. ⠀
Lle anodd iawn i ddod ac ennill, ond roddodd y tîm popeth yn yr ymdrech. ⠀
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) March 7, 2020
“You’re chasing the game a little bit. Then we got the three to stay on the scoreboard at the end of the half and then a great riposte at the start of the second half.
“Unfortunately, they obviously capitalised on a couple of our indisciplines in our 22 and kept the scoreboard at bay.
“It shows what we can do with those last two tries. If we keep the ball, we can score. It’s just too little, too late, in the end.”
However, England star Ben Youngs paid tribute to Wales as they refused to give up on a seemingly lost cause.
“Whenever we started to feel like we got ascendancy or control, Wales are so good at just staying in the fight, and they stayed in and battled hard,” Youngs said.
“Our discipline probably just gave them easy leg-ups. They’re clinical enough to punish you and it showed in the last 20 minutes, where we were basically camped in our own 22 and couldn’t get out. It was tight in the end.”
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