Faletau laments Welsh errors as title hopes are blown away
Published 10/03/2014 | 02:30
Wales No 8 Taulupe Faletau has described Leigh Halfpenny's exit from the Six Nations Championship as "a big loss" to the ailing title holders.
Halfpenny kicked all Wales' points in a 29-18 defeat against England at Twickenham before leaving the field after dislocating his right shoulder.
Despite his efforts, the result ended Wales' hopes of winning the tournament three years in succession.
Head coach Warren Gatland fears that full-back Halfpenny, who will move from Cardiff Blues to Toulon this summer, will now miss the rest of this season. His injury appeared to happen after he prevented England centre Luther Burrell from claiming his second try of the match.
Scarlets back Liam Williams is favourite to replace Halfpenny when Wales wind up their Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland next Saturday.
"Leigh has been crucial to Wales' performances over the years, and he is going to be a big loss," Faletau said.
"Leigh kicked well today, and going in at half-time five points down, we would have taken that score after the opening we had."
Wales were rocked by an early Danny Care try, and they never really recovered as England ended a run of three successive defeats against their fiercest rivals.
"It was a disappointing result," Faletau added. "There were too many errors, and England capitalised and scored points.
"It wasn't an ideal start for us, even though there was a lot of time in the game to go, but they came out on top today.
"We were aware of Danny's quick tap-penalties and stuff, but we just didn't react quickly enough. They built momentum up pretty quickly, and we couldn't quite get there."
Despite first-half touchdowns from Care and Burrell, Halfpenny kept Wales in touch during a contest where England dominated territory and possession.
But Faletau and company were found wanting as England avenged last season's record 30-3 loss to Wales in Cardiff.
"We are out of contention for the championship now, but we want to end with a win and on a good note next Saturday.
"There is disappointment. There were just too many errors, and we couldn't execute what we wanted to. Going into the championship we wanted to come away with the title, and we haven't been able to do that. It is disappointing."