Kyle Sinckler defended by Will Carling over criticism after England defeat by Wales
Last Updated: 24/02/19 1:31pm
Will Carling has defended Kyle Sinckler after the forward’s ill-discipline was blamed as a contributing factor to England’s Six Nations defeat against Wales.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland described Sinckler as a "time-bomb" ahead of Saturday's showdown at the Principality Stadium, with the Harlequins prop's temperament coming under question.
Sinckler was guilty of conceding successive penalties at a pivotal period of the match, as Wales cut away at England's 10-3 half-time lead - a late shoulder charge on Gareth Anscombe and a choke-hold on Alun Wyn Jones resulting in referee Jaco Peyper's intervention.
He was replaced by England head coach Eddie Jones on the 58-minute mark and met by a chorus of boos from the Welsh faithful, but Carling was keen to praise Sinckler's positive impact, despite the 21-13 defeat.
"Kyle Sinckler a cheap target by some pundits. Man was amazing in defence 1st half," wrote Carling, England's leadership mentor, on Twitter.
"He was a huge target for the Welsh, no issue with that, but he is fast maturing and learning to keep his edge (which I love) and maintaining control.
"The man is going to be awesome."
Kyle Sinckler a cheap target by some pundits. Man was amazing in defence 1st half. He was a huge target for the Welsh, no issue with that, but he is fast maturing and learning to keep his edge (which I love) and maintaining control. The man is going to be awesome 👊🏽— Will Carling (@willcarling) February 24, 2019
The fiercely-contested Test remained in the balance, despite Wales' ability to seize the momentum following the interval, until Cory Hill completed a fine team try - that featured 35 phases - in the corner in the 68th minute.
Jones has called for greater perspective on the 25-year-old Sinckler, saying, "he's a young player on the way up. Look after him a bit, hey".
England flanker Marc Wilson admitted the visitors were tactically outsmarted by Wales, who sealed a record 12th successive victory.
"It was a proper arm-wrestle and was enjoyable to play in. You can't fault the effort of the boys and we put a shift in over the 80 minutes, but we weren't as good as them," Wilson said.
"We have to take our hat off to Wales, tactically they got it spot on in the second half. We can't fault our hard work or physicality, but we weren't as good as them tactically.
"Their aerial game was really strong. There was some indiscipline from us and they capitalised on that.
"Cardiff is an emotional place to play and the crowd gets them fired up. Throughout the game the players enjoyed it. There were still smiling faces with 65 minutes gone when it was going tough.
"We're fully focused on the title and we'll do everything in our powers to win the tournament. It's a massive three weeks ahead."
Despite the defeat, England, who have Italy and Scotland still to come at Twickenham, remain firmly in contention to regain the Six Nations crown from Ireland.
"It's not over yet. There are two home games to come and it's vital that we make amends," Ben Youngs said.