Wales Women: We can learn from this defeat and kick on
WALES Women head coach and captain Siwan Lillicrap are confident their side can take big lessons from their 58-5 defeat to England with two matches left in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
England made it 21 victories in a row with the Wales win coming on the back of victories over Scotland (57-5) and Italy (74-0).
Ioan Cunningham said, “I was really proud of the girls, they have put a lot of hard work in and come a long way. We showed a lot of heart and commitment to come in 19-0 at half-time and they fought to the final whistle to get back in the game.
“We were pleased with how we started the game on Saturday and we will learn from how we reacted to the break in play. Our discipline is still something to work on and we have to critically look at ourselves now to make further progress.
“England are the best team in the world so it’s a real benchmark for us. We want to close the gap and we need to look at how we do that but Saturday was one game and we need to keep that in perspective. The crowd has been excellent at all of our matches so far and it will be great to build on that for our remaining home matches against France and Italy.
“France will be another huge challenge a week on Friday. They are a physical team and have some fantastic individual performers too. We have a big three weeks ahead.”
Wales skipper Lillicrap said, “This result does not define us, it is what helps us move forward. The girls are upset because it means so much, but my message is to hold our heads high,” said Lillicrap.
“We have come far and maybe the score didn’t reflect that. There were glimpses of some good stuff and I felt like we did rattle England from time to time.
“We know how good England are and we have just got to work hard and stay united because the feeling in camp and the connection that we have created is brilliant. We cannot lose that now.”
Wales now move on to play France at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday, April 22, (kick-off 8.00pm) and complete their campaign at the same venue against Italy on April 30, (kick-off 12 noon).
Lillicrap took to social media after the game to thank the Welsh fans for their unwavering support. There was a crowd of 14,689 at Kingsholm to watch the game and many of them and travelled from Wales to cheer on their team.
“Defeat hurts, the scoreline is tough to take, but I am completely overwhelmed with the support, backing and positivity from most people,” wrote Lillicrap.
“Twelve months ago the response would have been different but now people feel and see how much it means to us, how hard we work and what we give. You are all part of our journey and the belief in us feels special.
“I feel a true change in the perception of women’s sport and Welsh women’s rugby. What I can assure you is we will review, reflect and be honest with ourselves. Then we’ll work hard again to be better than before.
“I am incredibly proud of the whole squad, at the determination and hard work we continuously put in. We will take a huge amount from today and learn so much.
“I felt the need to thank everyone who has supported us with their positivity. In a world where you can be anything, be kind as it truly does make a difference.”
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