Flood embarrassed by lack of cutting edge
August 14, 2011
England fly-half Toby Flood is wrapped up during defeat to Wales © Getty Images
England playmaker Toby Flood has branded their lack of attacking nous in Saturday's 19-9 loss to Wales as "embarrassing" and "shameful".
The Leicester fly-half was unable to spark his backline into life at the Millennium Stadium despite the dominance of England's pack and a mountain of possession and territory.
Wales bagged the only try of the game through fullback James Hook to avenge their Twickenham defeat and Flood admitted that England face a tough couple of weeks prior to the Rugby World Cup.
"I don't want to use the word embarrassing - but it is a little bit embarrassing," he said."It hurts, the fact we couldn't score a try. It is shameful. We can use harsh words because if you want to win a World Cup, tries are massive."
England turned down a number of kickable penalties in the opening period, opting instead to test out some of the moves honed during their seven-week training camp, and they were made to pay by Hook during the latter stages.
Flood dismissed the result as "insignificant" next to their lack of cutting edge, but conceded that England should have been more ruthless, as Jonny Wilkinson was at Twickenham seven days ago.
"We could have gone out there and stretched the lead and kicked goals but we made the decision to go out there and see if things were working," he said. "I am not too fazed about the result. It is insignificant compared to the fact we haven't been able to score a try.
"That is the hardest thing for me. That left us in a position where we think there is a lot of work to do over the next two weeks. We turned the ball over too much in the red zone. We won't get that many opportunities in the World Cup. We have got to be more clinical there. There are a lot of things to work on, a lot of food for thought. We are really disappointed and frustrated."
England now have this week off before Martin Johnson confirms his final 30-man World Cup squad on August 22, five days before their last warm-up international against Ireland in Dublin.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9