Six Nations

'I just pinned my ears back' says England hero Daly

2017-02-12 08:49
Elliot Daly (Getty Images)

Cardiff - England match-winner Elliot Daly said "I just pinned my ears back" after he marked his first appearance in Cardiff with a dramatic late try that saw England recover to beat Wales 21-16 on Saturday.

The Six Nations champions were 16-11 behind with just nine minutes left at the Principality Stadium and hopes of back-to-back Grand Slams fading fast.

An Owen Farrell penalty saw England narrow the gap before, with four minutes left, Daly struck when, after returning Wales centre Jonathan Davies's poor clearance kick, he went in at the corner after beating opposing wing Alex Cuthbert.

Farrell converted to nudge England five points in front as they made it 16 wins in a row -- just two shy of world champions New Zealand's record for a tier one nation of 18 successive Test victories.

"I just pinned my ears back," Daly told the BBC. "I had no other thought but to run as fast as possible to that corner.

"It was a massive moment, we really needed that try."

Daly, whose try was his second in 10 Tests, added: "This was my first time playing here in Cardiff, the atmosphere was one I will never forget."

England coach Eddie Jones praised the 24-year-old Daly's decisive score by saying: "He's got gas the boy. He's got a bit of 'X-factor' about him and that's why we like him.

"I don't necessarily think wing is his best position but it suits us at the moment," the Australian added of the versatile Wasps back.

For the second straight week, after a 19-16 win over France in their Six Nations opener at Twickenham, England snatched victory in the closing minutes.

England next play Italy -- thrashed 63-10 at home to Ireland earlier on Saturday -- at Twickenham on February 26 and Jones said: "We have used up all of our get out of jail cards and against Italy we don't want to be in that position again."

Jones, who has now won all 15 of his matches as England coach following his appointment after the hosts' first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, said this latest victory demonstrated his side's growing resolve.

"We are a gritty team with characters in there that don't know how to get beaten and that was evident today."

Meanwhile Jones, who had upset Wales by insisting the stadium's retractable roof remain open, said he had relished his first Anglo-Welsh clash.

"It was a proper Test match with fans giving you stick throughout the game, great atmosphere and it reminds me of Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, with fans close to the pitch and a fantastic atmosphere.

"Maybe we will close the roof next time," he joked. "They can close the roof now."

On a more serious note, Jones, sacked as Australia coach after a 2005 defeat by Wales in Cardiff, added: "I can not believe all the things that went on this week about the roof.

"The roof should be open unless the conditions are going to be absolutely terrible, that's how rugby should be played because it's a winter sport."

For Wales boss Rob Howley, whose side lost George North an hour before kick-off when the powerhouse wing failed a fitness test on a leg injury, thoughts of what might have been were scant consolation.

"It was an outstanding Test match," said Howley, whose side were 13-8 up at the break thanks to a try by left wing Liam Williams.

"But you have to execute under pressure and England did that better, which is why they deserved to win."

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  rugby
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