Paul Grayson column: England must stay focused amid chaos to turn heat on France

Chaos swirls all around us but for England the picture could not be more clear. Beat Wales at home to keep the Six Nations title race alive. End of.

Fans with Twickenham tickets have been told to only attend if they have not contracted or been exposed to coronavirus.

There is uncertainty over when England’s postponed game in Italy will be played and whether the championship will ever be finished. Enough doubt to scramble your brains if you let it.

England must not. For slip up against Wales this evening and it is all over for them anyway.

Clinch the Triple Crown, on the other hand, claim maximum points and leapfrog leaders France in the table and everything is suddenly possible.

Don’t think for one moment the French would sleep easily tonight. They are a side doing everything right. They’ve got themselves organised, found a unity of purpose and spirit and have bloody good coaches and a generation of up-and-coming young players who will be around for a while.

But this is a nation without a championship in 10 years, a team that, for all the strides it has made in recent weeks, is unproven under real pressure.

England have to play that card hard. Go all in. Push all their chips to the middle, hold nothing back.

We have a pretty good idea, from the Ireland game a fortnight ago and World Cup wins over Australia and New Zealand, that anywhere near England’s best is going to be enough to beat Wales at home.

Against the Irish they were tactically sharp, physically dominant both in attack and defence. It was the England we love. Relentless, disciplined, focused, physical and creative.

They are a take-your-breath-away team when they get it right, when they’re in that sort of mood. Good enough to beat anyone.

But a trait of this side is that they do go up and down in their levels of performance.

They cannot afford to be complacent against an opponent with a history of scaling the heights in this fixture. Who can forget the 2015 World Cup?

The last time the championship was delayed, by the 2001 Foot and Mouth crisis, England coughed up a Grand Slam by assuming they would be as good in the autumn as they were in the spring.

Different players and a different time but this group must note that, not expect a repeat of their Irish performance but make it happen.

Source: Read Full Article