This was a very tough Test match and a lot of the Wales players were tired in the changing room after, but not too exhausted to join in with the Shaun Edwards singalong. He belts out "Saturday Night at the Movies" after every game and on this Saturday night, with him being a proud Englishman, you could tell he was singing that bit extra from the heart. He'd reminded us in a short talk beforehand that we could make it three Six Nations wins in a row over the English, and that hit home to the boys.
I would have liked to have done more but I don't think teams are kicking as much to me now, and I spent most of my time doing a lot of running off the ball, making space and filling it. So it was nice to have a run towards the end and put Leigh Halfpenny over.
Leigh seems to have it all. At 19, bloody hell, he's an outstanding talent. To have him put over a big kick like the one he did to put us 9-0 up was reassuring. England came back from that pretty quickly when Paul Sackey scored their first try but I wouldn't say we had any doubts. We knew all along that we could trust our defence and we kept it tight for enough of the match to make sure we'd win.
The figure for the ball-in-play time was high at about 42 minutes, which is just what Wales like. Someone who's got more statistics to hand could correct me, but we don't often lose when it's that high. I don't know, at this rate one day there could be a game with no line-outs at all.
In all fairness England came here as underdogs and proved they were a dangerous side. Especially in the forwards it was tight, but England chucked it around a fair bit and there were a lot of big hits. I looked for Delon Armitage after the game and told him he'd done really well under the high ball, and he scored a good try. There was a missed inside tackle, and I'd been covering the last man, so Delon just ran away from me at that point. One or two people have picked up on my unusual pre-matchpreparation, and that's down to Shaun too. I already knew of his liking for carrying a book around, even reading through a few pages during big matches at Twickenham or wherever. Bizarre, you might say, but it helped calm him down, he said, and kept his focus sharp. So when he saw me getting excited before games – "over-aroused", he calls it – he got me at it.
Last night, right up to when we had to get into a huddle and the captain said his bit, I had a book with me for a quiet read. This one was 'Millionaire Junkie' and it's by an American football player, Jason Peter, who injured his neck and couldn't play any more. It's a fascinating story. He gets dragged into drugs but eventually he gets his life back together again. I do it all the time now. A quiet read and I'm ready to go.
So all in all it was a funny game, really. We played our patterns and it worked out all right. We were up for a few quiet beers last night at the hotel, whereas after we won last week in Scotland the instructions on the schedule sheet were 'no alcohol after the match'. We're back in on Wednesday and no doubt it'll be hard work with the conditioning and emptying the tank again on the training field, getting ready for Friday week in France.Reuse content