Times declares Telegraph a ‘rag’ over its ‘startling negativity’ about Wales’ Grand Slam hopes
The Telegraph is a “rag” which is unfair in its “startling negativity” about Wales’ Grand Slam hopes, according to the Times newspaper.
On Thursday the Daily Telegraph had said that Wales would be the “worst ever” Grand Slam winners if they beat France in Paris tonight.
The newspaper article by Chief Rugby Union writer Mick Cleary ranked 2003 England as the “best ever” winners, claims that Wales would be at the bottom of the pile.
But the Times newspaper responded today by saying that the Telegraph was unfair and that Wales’ Grand Slam hopes was built on experience.
“There is certainly some startling negativity about Wales right now,” rugby writer Steve James said.
“A rival rag has already declared that should the clean sweep come to pass, it would be the worst grand slam of all those (17 so far) since 1990.”
He goes on to say: “Fortune has clearly played its part in Wales’s run to this point, but so too has experience.
“Red cards and unfathomable officiating will only get you so far. The chances thereafter need to be taken, the key moments seized.”
Steve James goes on to compare the current Grand Slam attempt with that of 2005, when Wales’ title hopes seemed to come out of nowhere.
“There are similarities with the present team and their standing now, not least because that 2005 success was achieved with some thrilling rugby and, while it is probably right to say that Wayne Pivac has not quite reached those levels of frisson with his more ambitious style, the Wales head coach’s side have already equalled the 17 tries scored that season,” he said.
He added that after not being considered contenders for any Lions starting places, “if Wales do win tonight in Paris, it is perfectly reasonable to imagine that 12 or 13 of their starting team will be named in Warren Gatland’s Lions squad. Tomos Williams, the scrum half, could even come off the bench and secure a place.”
“Ken Owens already looks nailed on to start at hooker and it is becoming increasingly difficult to leave Taulupe Faletau out of any side at No 8. As for Alun Wyn Jones, a fourth grand slam for him will surely ensure that he leads Gatland’s side against South Africa.”