All Blacks say England were right to play for victory

All Black hooker Keven Mealamu says Chris Robshaw was right

All Black hooker Keven Mealamu says that England captain Chris Robshaw was right to kick for the corner and go for the try instead of taking a chance with a penalty for a draw.

England were beaten 28-25 by Wales at Twickenham but had a penalty near the touchline with a minute remaining. England captain Chris Robshaw chose not to go for the draw and played for the win by taking a line out option.

England then won the line out but their maul was driven back into touch and Wales escaped with the upset victory. Robshaw has since come in for heavy criticism for his decision.

Rugby World cup champion hooker Mealamu says that Robshaw took the right decision by turning down the chance of snatching a draw.

“I back what they did,” said Mealamu after seeing the match.

“You play to win the game, you don’t play to draw,” the hooker added.

Mealamu’s team-mates said that they had been inspired for Wales’ attitude in the match. All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett said he wanted the side to show the same determination in a crunch match at the tournament.

Despite twice being behind by 10 points, injury-hit Wales came from behind to beat their arch rivals 28-15 to throw Pool A wide open.

“It was a a great game,” said Crockett said.

“I love watching a team when they’re under that sort of pressure and dealing with all those injuries to watch them fight it out and scrap that game out was inspiring. ”

“Hopefully we can have that sort of resolve if something like that happens to us. Watching that was inspiring and I’m sure the Welsh boys will be looking back on that tape with a lot of pride and they’ll be a tough team to beat.”

All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock said was impressed with the way Wales fought to the end against the odds.

“It shows that if it’s tight you’ve got to play well for 80-plus minutes and you’ve got to make sure you prepare for that you have systems in place whether you’re up or down,” he said.

The outcome of Australia’s games against England next Saturday and Wales a week later will dictate which two teams from Pool A go through to the play-offs.

Wales also have to contend with Fiji on Thursday, and although the Pacific islanders have lost their first two games to England and Australia, they have proved a formidable opposition.

Whitelock said one thing in Wales’ favour was the motivating passion of their fans which was evident on the streets of Cardiff on Saturday when the All Blacks arrived ahead of their game against Georgia next Friday.

“You could really hear the supporters out there enjoying the night, it was awesome … and the boys enjoyed seeing how supportive Wales are of their home team,” he said.

Hooker Keven Mealamu said he found it difficult to get to sleep in his cental Cardiff hotel once the street parties started up after the final whistle.

“I kept hearing ‘Wales! Wales!’ people were screaming ‘Wales’ outside my bedroom. It was a good game to watch I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“It was one of the best spectacles you like to see when games come right down to the end there.”

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