Arrogance. That has to be what sent England to a humiliating Rugby World Cup loss against a magnificent Welsh side who should have limped off Twickenham in defeat.
England's decision to turn down a late shot at goal for a draw was among the most staggering things I have seen in top sport. It defied belief. Desperate to claim the world crown on home soil, England tossed common sense out the window and gambled their prospects on a captain's whim. A team that is supposedly prepared to within an inch of its life, interactive goalkicking aids and all, had a melt down. They simply couldn't face the prospect of a draw with Wales.
The Pool of Death -- where every point may count -- has come alive, and Australia are the winners on this result. They have a brilliant record against Wales, who are so knocked about by injuries that their odds of winning the World Cup might even go down after this victory. England are behind the eight ball in what many describe as the toughest World Cup pool in history. Fortress Twickenham has had its doors kicked down. England are a laughing stock thanks to captain Chris Robshaw's astounding late call.
What an amazing game at Twickenham, even though it wasn't very good at times. Outstanding goal kickers are wonderful to watch, but only in doses more moderate than this. Yet just as the big Pool A game was heading towards the casualty ward, the Welsh stretcher bearers came on and the game took off.
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There's nothing like a wounded underdog clawing their way back into a contest to get the heart racing, and European crowds know how to create an atmosphere. And Wales really were out for the count, down on the scoreboard and in fit troops.
When it comes to injuries, they are already the world champs. They really do seem jinxed. Their squad went into the game depleted, and got hammered further still. Even their coach Warren Gatland managed to break both ankles, falling from a ladder in New Zealand a couple of years ago.
But they showed the sort of spirit that has always been essential to rugby success. A game of such loose structures has been bashed over the head by the laptop army, but rolling up the sleeves, digging deep as they say, still counts for a lot.
The glory moment was provided by Lloyd Williams, normally a halfback who was forced on to the wing, scampering up the left hand touchline and placing a centreing kick for the winning try. It's not the sort of move that is rigorously planned on a training field. Those impromptu things come from desperation, and the heart.
And what was England's response? They couldn't face drawing with an old enemy who was threatening to rain lightly on their parade. They turned down a simple penalty for the draw even though this was the mandatory thing to do. It was also a mark of disrespect to the Welsh pack, who easily defended Robshaw's meek lineout move. England paid the full price. For arrogance.