Rugby World Cup 2019: Wales will not panic despite warm-up defeat against England, says George North

George North says there is no panic in the Wales camp following their World Cup warm-up defeat against England.

Wales’ 33-19 reversal at Twickenham meant a first loss for Warren Gatland’s men since February last year, ending a run of 14 wins.

It also dashed their hopes of replacing New Zealand at number one in the World Rugby rankings.

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And there was a major setback for them on Monday, when fly-half Gareth Anscombe, who went off just before half-time, was ruled out of World Cup contention due to a serious knee injury.

Despite the Six Nations champions matching England 3-3 on tries, with wing North among the scorers, George Ford’s goalkicking proved a key difference.


England vs Wales – player ratings





1/30 Elliot Daly – 6

2/30 Joe Cokanasiga – 7

3/30 Jonathan Joseph – 6

4/30 Piers Francis – 7

5/30 Anthony Watson – 6

6/30 George Ford – 7

7/30 Willi Heinz – 7

8/30 Ellis Genge – 7

9/30 Luke Cowan-Dickie – 7

10/30 Dan Cole – 6

11/30 Joe Launchbury – 8

12/30 Charlie Ewels – 7

13/30 Lewis Ludlam – 7

14/30 Tom Curry – 7

15/30 Billy Vunipola – 8

16/30 <b>Wales:</b> Liam Williams – 7

17/30 George North – 7

18/30 Jonathan Davies – 7

19/30 Hadleigh Parkes – 5

20/30 Josh Adams – 5

21/30 Gareth Anscombe – 6

22/30 Gareth Davies – 8

23/30 Nicky Smith – 6

24/30 Ken Owens – 5

25/30 Tomas Francis – 5

26/30 Adam Beard – 6

27/30 Alun Wyn Jones – 6

28/30 Aaron Wainwright – 6

29/30 Justin Tipuric – 6

30/30 Ross Moriarty – 6

1/30 Elliot Daly – 6

2/30 Joe Cokanasiga – 7

3/30 Jonathan Joseph – 6

4/30 Piers Francis – 7

5/30 Anthony Watson – 6

6/30 George Ford – 7

7/30 Willi Heinz – 7

8/30 Ellis Genge – 7

9/30 Luke Cowan-Dickie – 7

10/30 Dan Cole – 6

11/30 Joe Launchbury – 8

12/30 Charlie Ewels – 7

13/30 Lewis Ludlam – 7

14/30 Tom Curry – 7

15/30 Billy Vunipola – 8

16/30 <b>Wales:</b> Liam Williams – 7

17/30 George North – 7

18/30 Jonathan Davies – 7

19/30 Hadleigh Parkes – 5

20/30 Josh Adams – 5

21/30 Gareth Anscombe – 6

22/30 Gareth Davies – 8

23/30 Nicky Smith – 6

24/30 Ken Owens – 5

25/30 Tomas Francis – 5

26/30 Adam Beard – 6

27/30 Alun Wyn Jones – 6

28/30 Aaron Wainwright – 6

29/30 Justin Tipuric – 6

30/30 Ross Moriarty – 6

Wales have an immediate opportunity to avenge that result when they host England on Saturday, and North knows it is all about a bigger picture.

“We were a bit rusty and I reckon we left four tries out there,” North said.

“But we are not panicking. It is what it is. We have to address that and we have a week to get it right for the next Test and we go again.

“You never like losing games, but it has put us in a good place to mentally focus and work out where we need to go.

“This is what these games are for.

“This is what the opportunity is to allow us to play these big games, turn that around and play the weekend after to simulate what is coming up.

“We are still fighting for positions in the squad and every second counts in these weeks and games.

“This is the pointed end of the stick now, when the games come thick and fast.”

North claimed his 37th touchdown in 84 Tests for Wales at Twickenham and he was hungry for work throughout the contest.

“You always want more,” he added.

“In the first half we got caught slowly as a squad. In the second half we defended a lot better and got a bit more shape.

“But that last little pass went astray and we showed our rustiness and left a few tries out there. We needed to close it out.

“But we are not hugely worried about it. It is disappointing, but we have a good foundation for next weekend and the games coming up.”

PA

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