Lancaster calls for focus

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Stuart Lancaster was delighted with England's performance against Wales Stuart Lancaster was delighted with England's performance against Wales

Stuart Lancaster insists England need to continue to concentrate on their own game rather than worry about other fixtures after their 29-18 win over Wales set up a three-way tussle for the RBS 6 Nations title.

England secured their first Triple Crown in 11 years with a clinical display at Twickenham, with first-half tries from Danny Care and Luther Burrell proving the difference.

Their first win over Wales in four attempts leaves them level on six points with Ireland and France going into the final weekend of fixtures, with England's two rivals for the championship doing battle in Paris after Lancaster's men face Italy in Rome.

Ireland have a healthy points difference lead going into the deciding matches, but Lancaster has urged England not to worry about other factors.

"Ireland are a quality side," said Lancaster. "But France on their day at home, with something to play for - who knows?

"But we can't control that, we're first up. We've got a proud Italian side to play against who gave us a hard time two years ago and gave us a hard time last year at Twickenham.

"So we've got to get our heads right and do what we can do and control the controllables for us."

Lancaster had high praise for his England side, saying the victory was as impressive as their 13-10 defeat of Ireland a fortnight ago, especially coming a year after their 30-3 thumping at the Millennium stadium.

"It's right up there for me. It was a different type of game, the game against Ireland probably had a little bit more flow to it," he said.

"But because of the significance of the game last year and obviously the pressure on the boys to deliver, in light of the World Cup in a year and a half's time and playing at Twickenham, the boys wanted to win this game and I'm delighted for them that they did.

"If Luther had gone in for that try in the corner, I think it would have been reward for our counter-attacking and our intent to play.

"I think Leigh Halfpenny's goalkicking really kept the scoreline close for a long period of time.

"But overall, if you'd have said to me at the start of the day this was going to be the result, I would have taken it - 100 per cent."

Wales' misery was compounded by injuries to Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, with head coach Warren Gatland confirming Halfpenny's shoulder injury has ruled him for the rest of the campaign.

Gatland admitted fatigue may have been a factor in his side's performance, with a number of his Wales players having turned out for the Lions last summer in their tour of Australia.

"It's been tough on these players in retrospect - a Grand Slam, a championship, a Lions tour - it's been a long 18 months for those players," he said.

"But this is professional sport and you've got to get yourselves up and unfortunately we weren't as good as we can be today and that's disappointing.

"I thought we were better in the second half. We spoke about that at half-time - there were a few missed tackles by our tight five.

"Teams are pretty close in this competition. I think the four top teams are all capable of beating each other on their day if they get their performance right and England got their performance right today."

Captain Sam Warburton admitted the hosts deserved their victory, but refused to be drawn on which of England, France or Ireland will take the Six Nations off Wales for the first time since 2011.

"That game, the 30-3 last year, was just one of those games where everything clicks for you. That happens once in a blue moon," he said.

"That happened for us last year, but this year England deserved the win.

"It can go either way. I think that's what the great thing about this year's championship is. We've gone into the fourth game and nobody really knows who's going to win.

"Ireland, statistically, are probably favourites to win it, but I still think it's between three teams that can win it next week, which is great for the championship."

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