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ANDY GOMARSALL: Game against Australia is ‘do or die’

Andy Gomarsall.
Andy Gomarsall.

Over 11 million people were watching in the UK as England pressed the self-destruct button with their discipline, and Wales took the opportunity with both hands to produce a comeback in what was an epic encounter at Twickenham.

The strength of character from the Welsh has to be applauded, and in fact, I did clap them from the commentary box when they walked off the pitch on Saturday night.

It was a privilege to be commentating on it. The atmosphere was out of this world before the game, and after all the hype it really did deliver.

I was lucky to meet Sir Tom Jones before the game, and it was then I thought it could be Wales’ day with someone of his stature being there and watching the game.

The big talking point was of course England’s decision to kick to the corner at the end and go for the win, rather than take the penalty and draw level.

I felt personally that it was the wrong call. Owen Farrell’s kicking had been world class all night and everyone would have backed him to kick between the posts under that pressure.

It was a poor choice as it’s not a knockout competition yet. We’re still in the pool stage of the tournament where the main objective is to get as many points as you can.

If England had taken the penalty and scored, it would have been 28-28, there would still have been 30 or 40 seconds to go, and we’ve seen it happen before that a win would still have been achievable for either side.

It would have been a nightmare in the England dressing room after the game. There would have been a lot of staring into space.

There needs to be a reaction from Stuart Lancaster and his team this weekend, and we’ve seen some incredible performances from England in the past against Australia and New Zealand.

We saw them tear France apart in the Six Nations earlier this year when they scored an enormous amount of tries.

It’s do or die for England now and they just have to go for it against Australia on Saturday and try to score four tries. Ultimately, they have to win the game, but they need to be going for four tries to get the bonus point as well.

England need to get the ball in their hands and go for it. They look better when they do that and attack the game, and the risk is you might lose by a load, but for me they have to attack in this game.

If they can get Jonathan Joseph fit for the weekend, it would be a big boost for England, and once again the crowd will play their part.

The crowds have been fantastic in this tournament so far, especially in the England games, and they need to get behind Stuart and the team again this weekend.

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