Catt bites back in 'whingeing' row
March 20, 2013
England skills coach Mike Catt has defended the actions of assitant coach Graham Rowntree © PA Photos
England skills coach Mike Catt insists has shrugged off accusations that his side were guilty of "whingeing" in the wake of their Six Nations defeat against Wales last weekend.
Wales ended England's hopes of a first Grand Slam in a decade with a stunning 30-3 triumph in their title showdown in Cardiff last weekend. England assistant coach Graham Rowntree was not happy with referee Steve Walsh's handling of the scrum and the breakdown and publically vented his concerns earlier this week.
Rowntree's outburst attracted widespread criticism with ESPNscrum columnist and former Wales international John Taylor commenting: "Of course England are whingeing but the reality is that they were stuffed up front and at the breakdown." His former Wales team-mate JPR Williams and international-turned-BBC pundit Jonathan Davies have also both accused England of "sour grapes".
Catt accepts England were well beaten on a memorable night at the Millennium Stadium but has defended Rowntree's decision to air his grievances. "We were beaten by a better side, the way I see it. All their big game players turned up, all 600 caps of them and they did exceptionally well," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"Graham Rowntree obviously just wants - and I don't think it is a whinge or anything - clarification on certain things. I think any coach in world rugby that goes through that or has an opinion about something would do it too. A few of the Premiership sides have done it as well, everybody has those opinions. But bigger picture, we were beaten by a better side and move on."
Davies told the newspaper that he believes England made a mistake by going public. "It saddens me and it smacks of sour grapes," he said. "By all means go to the IRB and express your reservations but don't make it public knowledge. I was always told that if you win, you should say nothing, and if you lose, say less.
"If it had been New Zealand or South Africa dishing out the beating, we'd just have been praising them for their dominance. The scrum might well be a problem in the game but on this occasion the simple fact of the matter is that Wales had the more powerful scrum on the day."
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