Wales back-rower Sioned Harries believes her country’s Women’s Six Nations fixtures against Scotland and Ireland are now ‘must-win’ as they look to finish the Championship strongly.
Rowland Phillips’s side are currently fifth in the table on two points but have been progressing throughout the Championship, following up a bracing first-round loss in France with a gritty draw in Italy and last weekend’s battling 51-12 defeat to Grand-Slam chasing England.
The Red Roses surged into a lead at Cardiff Arms Park but Wales fought back with their first two tries of the Championship, and will look for more when they take on Scotland in Round Four.
“A great team knows how to close out a game and that’s what England did so all credit to them – it was a great game,” commented Harries, currently out injured but working as a Guinness pitch side pundit in Cardiff.
“The atmosphere was electric and as a Welsh player that’s what you live for – to play games against England.
“I think it was a really good game and we’ve got a break before we head to Scotland – Scotland and Ireland are now must-win games for Wales.”
Phillips’ team face Scotland at Scotstoun on Friday 8 March before hosting Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 17 March.
They will look to build on the positives from the England game, with Jess Kavanagh’s try towards the end of the first half dazzling the crowds – the wing producing an outrageous step off her left foot to bamboozle three defenders and open a pathway to the line.
Wale’s second came three minutes from time as replacement Cerys Hale put the finishing touch on a concerted spell of home pressure to barge over from short distance.
Harries added: “It’s not the result we wanted but I think it was a game of two halves. The try by Jess Kavanagh at the end of the first half – I thought it was an amazing piece of skill, coming back in and handing off the last defender to go in over the line.
“I believe that gave us true momentum going into the second half. We started off firing but again, similar to the first half, it was just our little mistakes and errors that England capitalised on and you could see they’re a team that are going to take full advantage of any mistakes.
“They wanted to play open, flowing rugby. They were playing edge-to-edge, capitalising on mistakes and they were very good reactively, but again second half we came out and met them, we counteracted them but I think they then stepped up a mark.”