Pivac: We played a bit too much rugby

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Wayne Pivac believes Wales must learn to get the balance of their attacking play right after conceding their game management was not good enough in their defeat to England.

Wayne Pivac believes Wales must learn to get the balance of their attacking play right after conceding their game management was not good enough in their defeat to England.

The defending Guinness Six Nations champions slipped to their third defeat on the spin despite producing a rousing late comeback with two tries in the final two minutes of a 33-30 loss.

Tries from Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly saw England storm into a 20-9 lead at the break before Justin Tipuric races over within 30 seconds of the restart to close the gap to four.

Manu Tuilagi crossed to put England in control again but after the centre was sent off, and with Ellis Genge also sin-binned, Dan Biggar and Tipuric scored to grab a losing bonus point.

And while Pivac took encouragement from the way his side responded to adversity, he rued Wales playing too much rugby against an England team that came out of the blocks firing.

“I thought they started well with their defence and we probably didn’t help ourselves at times with some of our carries but that was a very physical game,” he said.

“We grew into the game but it’s just a shame that we conceded those 20 points from our point of view, we talked about it at half-time and we played a bit too much rugby.

“It’s about getting the balance right on where we play and when we play with the ball and I think our game management wasn’t at it’s best in the first half.

“We will review that game like we do any game. We’ll be tough on ourselves, we’re looking to improve obviously and we are here to win Test matches.

“We haven’t done that in recent weeks and we need to make sure that we have a very good look at the game, make sure that we take the learnings from it.

“We have a game in seven days’ time against Scotland and that’s an important game for us to continue to build the way we want to play the game.”

Wales will now return to Principality Stadium for the final game of their 2020 Guinness Six Nations, welcoming Scotland to Cardiff as they look to finish the campaign on a high.

It is the first time Wales have lost three straight Championship games since 2007 but despite the result at England HQ, Pivac said there were positives to take into the game with Scotland.

“Every game is a game that we obviously want to win and for us it’s a no-brainer, we will go back to work, we will review this game and we will look to improve our performance,” he said.

“Obviously playing at home we would like to finish the campaign on a good note with a positive performance. We were frustrated with conceding those points in the first half.

“We were chasing the game but we came out and scored that try right after half-time. I think then we needed to manage the game a little better for those 5-10 minutes after.

“The positive was that we kept going, we kept building pressure at the right end of the field and the last quarter of the game, that pressure was turned into penalties.”

Alun Wyn Jones was also frustrated by Wales’ slow start, especially the way they conceded England’s two first-half tries, but he was happy with their second-half fightback.

“We felt there were two penalties that led to set-pieces that led to tries [in the first half], but we started as you’d want to if you were chasing the game in the second half,” he said.

“That was no consolation the way we finished, irrelevant how many men down they were. Those first two opportunities that they took off the back of soft territory giveaways is disappointing.”