Robshaw believes victory a 'watershed moment' as captain credits defence and discipline
England captain Chris Robshaw believes his team’s 12-6 Six Nations victory over Ireland on Sunday could be a “watershed moment”. England had not won in Dublin for 10 years before the weekend, the 2003 victory coming in the same year they won their only World Cup before a long title drought that ended at the 2011 Six Nations.
“This was a victory that felt like a watershed moment for this team,” Robshaw wrote in the Daily Telegraph yesterday. “It may not have been a day for attacking rugby but it was all about territory and defence and putting Owen Farrell in the right position to kick goals.”
Another assured performance from outhalf Farrell brought the 21-year-old all 12 points in Dublin.
England forward James Haskell was sin-binned for 10 minutes in the second half and, as Ireland pulled level, the visitors’ defence went into overdrive. “It was about . . . taking the energy out of the Irish attack,” said Robshaw. “Our defence was brilliant. Critically we were able to outscore Ireland during James’s absence.”
Robshaw said England had been warned about sitting back, which they did two years ago in a 24-8 defeat, so they came to Dublin to impose themselves. “Our message to the team before kick-off was: ‘no backward step’.”
England next play France in London on February 23rd, before they host Italy on March 10th and travel to Wales on March 16th.
Meanwhile, former England hooker Lee Mears has been forced to retire with immediate effect due to a heart condition, his club Bath announced yesterday. An abnormality was discovered during a cardiac screening completed by the 33-year-old, who announced his international retirement last year.