Saturday, July 20, 2024
HomesportFarrell admits England had to scrap their way to bronze medal

Farrell admits England had to scrap their way to bronze medal

PARIS : England achieved their ambition of finishing the Rugby World Cup with a victory, and a medal, but captain Owen Farrell acknowledged they had to scrap their way to success in Friday’s third place playoff against Argentina.

England beat the Pumas 26-23 at the Stade de France but let slip a comfortable early lead before holding on to win the bronze final.

“It was tough, very tough. I thought we started the game very well, got onto the front foot and we were really physical and made some inroads but it didn’t end up being like that.

“Argentina were always going to have a say in that and it was very scrappy thereafter and we did what we needed to do to grind out the result,” Farrell said.

“We wanted to show that this team fights for every minute of the game. Obviously last week it didn’t quite end as we hoped so we wanted to finish off right, we wanted to make sure of that,” he added.

England had to pick themselves up after the disappointment of losing to South Africa in last weekend’s semi-final, where they let slip a nine-point lead and lost to a late penalty.

“We are still heartbroken from last weekend,” said hooker Theo Dan, whose charge down of a Santiago Carreras kick saw him score a try that was arguably the pivotal moment of the game, putting England back in front after Argentina had edged 17-16 ahead soon after the break.

Dan had missed a tackle to allow Carreras to score for Argentina but then made immediate amends.

“A bit of a rollercoaster that! I missed the tackle and then went straight to scoring a try, going under the sticks. The performance was something we were proud of and we want to build momentum and grind out a result, today we achieved that.”

Coach Steve Borthwick looked pleased even if England made it hard for themselves at the end after being 13-0 up in as many minutes and 16-10 ahead at halftime.

“It was a tight game. It wasn’t a game of incredible high quality but a game of high tension and game of very fine margins,” said the England coach.

“There were two teams that really wanted to find a way to get a win; two teams who have progressed and built through the tournament and while tonight wasn’t a classic of free flowing rugby, it was a tight affair.”

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