At first, Gatland named the same starting XV as he had a week previously, with only North’s replacement of Owen Watkin on the bench different.
Danny Care will play for the 78th time, making him the most capped number nine in English history, moving past Matt Dawson. He gains his starting spot following Ben Youngs’ campaign-ending injury.
England coach Eddie Jones said on Thursday that his near namesake had been “right out of order”, adding he had raised the issue with World Rugby. “He’s got to find guys around him to help him because he’s going to be under some heat”.
Anscombe received an 8 rating while New Zealand-born Wales second five-eighths Hadleigh Parkes was awarded a six with the website noting he “tried hard to provide midfield inspiration but it didn’t really happen for him during first 40, when he was forced across field at times”.
The Australian’s claim that Scarlets No 10 Patchell will face a considerably more challenging afternoon’s work at Twickenham than he did against an underwhelming Scotland outfit was more a case of stating the obvious than any cynical attempt to undermine a young player’s confidence.
The former Brive, Castres and Montpellier fly-half is faced, however, with a near blank playbook ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations clash with France in Edinburgh on Sunday.
Wales Online rate Anscombe, alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones, as Wales’ man of the match.
England vs Wales matches have forever been preceded by graceless verbal jousting, but it exposed that the hosts are perhaps fearful of the 26-time winners of this competition.
In actual fact, there is tons of pressure on both sides.
We’re very grateful that he [Eddie] flagged that up the fact that you be over-zealous and sometimes appear to go outside the spirit of the game.
There were no glaring missed tackles – but that was partly because Patchell was often hidden at full-back when England had the ball.
With such a fast and furious backline it can’t be expected that Wales will do anything different than the Scottish game.
Scotland, like England, like to attack from lineouts, but Wales disrupted their possession to reduce them to one move of note, which Scott Williams snuffed out.
But Gatland disagreed, saying: “It looked like a try to me”.
There were signs of weakness in midfield, especially with Te’o early on.
22 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 9 caps).
But while I’ve backed England to do the Grand Slam this year, I’ve got to admit I’d be nervous about supporting them at those short odds this weekend. Wales will be looking to keep ball in hand when possible to avoid giving Mike Brown enough ball to create chances from.
“In all seriousness I am very grateful he flagged it up”.
Gatland’s hope that Wales would possess the superior fitness in the latter stages failed to materialise as England’s finishers produced the kind of game management needed to win test matches. I am used to doing it in regional rugby and have done it with Wales on numerous occasions now so I am pretty comfortable.