If it isn’t broke you don’t need to fix it,’ insists England’s Sarah Hunter.
England insist they have no plans to change their forward-dominated gameplan after a 41-5 win against Australia set up a Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against Canada.
All seven of England’s tries against the Wallaroos came from their hard-edged pack with the captain, Sarah Hunter, and the head coach, Simon Middleton, adamant their team’s route-one approach offers the best chance of global domination.
Hunter, who is now the most capped player in her country’s rugby history, said: “A lot has been said about the driving maul and how we’re scoring tries. But, ultimately, no one’s going to look back and go, ‘Oh, how did England score?’”
“They look at the result and if it isn’t broke you don’t need to fix it. I don’t think there’s any concerns within ourselves about how we want to play or what we’re doing.”
Middleton, similarly, believes England have nothing to apologise for and have no need to copy New Zealand, whose backs looked sharp in their quarter-final win against Wales.
“It takes all sorts,” said Middleton, whose side have now won 29 Tests on the trot. “Rugby doesn’t have to be play, play, play and shift, shift, shift.
That’s southern hemisphere rugby – fantastic. We’re a northern hemisphere side.
We’re very good at what we do, they’re very good at what they do.
You play to your strengths and I don’t really recognise the criticism.
“Does it frustrate me? Probably a little. It baffles me a little bit. You cut your cloth accordingly.”
Middleton said England had played the ideal game for the wet conditions against Australia.
“The forwards knew what sort of game it was going to be.
They got their heads around it and delivered. I think they got in our 22 for about 30 seconds.”