Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones lamented his side’s ill-discipline in their Round 4 battle against England, conceding the defending Grand Slam champions left themselves with too much to do in their 33-30 defeat at Twickenham.
Having trailed 33-16 with less than five minutes remaining, Wales gave the hosts a scare with two late tries, but ultimately their late fightback was worth just a solitary bonus point as Wayne Pivac’s men fell to their third defeat of the 2020 Championship.
Cleverly worked first-half scores from Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly put England in command early on, but after having had the final say in the first half through Dan Biggar’s boot, Wales came out firing in the second half.
Justin Tipuric’s stylish score restored the visitors’ hopes of victory, but Manu Tuilagi put the home side back in control before the Leicester Tigers centre was then sent off for a challenge on George North.
That sparked a Welsh frenzy with late tries from Biggar and Tipuric, but at full-time Jones cut a frustrated figure, believing his team only had themselves to blame for defeat.
“There were a couple of territory giveaways in the first half that proved to be very significant,” he said. “We gave away possession twice in our 22, they both went to lineouts and they subsequently scored from both.
“Immediately you’re chasing the game then which puts you in a very difficult position.
“We got three points at the end of the first half to stay on the scoreboard going into the second period, but unfortunately they capitalised on a bit of ill-discipline again to keep the score at bay.”
Jones said there were positives to take from the Wales performance in the English capital but found it hard to stray away from the fact that ultimately, they fell on the wrong side of what finished as a close encounter.
The reigning champions have so far struggled to find their best form under new boss Wayne Pivac, and the Ospreys stalwart acknowledged his team have plenty to work on ahead of their Guinness Six Nations finale at home to Scotland.
He said: “The last two tries showed what we can do. When we keep the ball we score, it was just too little too late in the end.
“No matter how you want to play, whatever style you’re trying to implement, ultimately if you don’t win it doesn’t matter and that’s where we’ve found ourselves again.
“We showed plenty of pride, passion and character again, which is pleasing but overall it’s not much of a consolation.”