Dan Biggar has revealed that England’s stirring victory over Argentina helped underpin Wales’ mindset against Rugby World Cup rivals Fiji.
Wales dug deep in adversity, making more than 240 tackles as they held on for a thrilling 32-26 win that strengthened hopes of reaching a fourth successive World Cup quarter-final.
And England’s demolition job on the Pumas 24 hours earlier, which came despite them having flanker Tom Curry sent off during the early minutes, did not go unnoticed in the Wales camp.
“I thought England were absolutely magnificent after going down to 14 men,” Wales fly-half Biggar said.
“We spoke about having a little bit of a similar mindset – whether we lose a player or go down a bit, still working your absolute socks off.
“I think it was quite good for us watching that game, to be honest, as a team.
“It was almost like the red card was better for England than Argentina. I thought it galvanised them and they absolutely worked their socks off.
“They defended in twos and threes extremely well, scrambled well and forced a lot of errors.
“We knew we were going to concede turnovers and have moments when we were up against it.
“We said that we needed to have a similar sort of mindset (to England) to really grind it out and dig in in big moments.
“Results are the only thing that matter in this tournament. We are off to a good start, and if we win next weekend (against Portugal) it will be a really good start and we can build to the final two games then.”
It was an emotional time for Biggar in Bordeaux, with the Fiji game taking place on his late mother Liz’s birthday.
“I think she was looking down on us in the last passage of play with that dropped ball. You don’t see Semi (Radradra) dropping too many of those in open play,” he added.
“Not so much during the match, but I found the game quite difficult because she would have been here making a big weekend of it. It was at the back of my mind.”
Wales’ fourth World Cup win in a row against Fiji sets them up for a major tilt at winning Pool C, with Portugal, Australia and Georgia their remaining opponents.
Biggar, though, knows the importance of Wales not switching off when they arrive on the French Riviera and a week in Nice, where they face Portugal next Saturday.
“I just felt that we were nowhere near perfect, but you saw the character, the desire, the commitment of the group. We just never gave in,” Biggar said.
“We were pretty pleased to see that last ball dropped because we were certainly under the heat and it felt like everything was imploding in that last 12 minutes or so. We did well to get across the line in the end.
“We are going to enjoy it because there has been a lot of pressure on this group, a lot of things written, a lot of people said we weren’t good enough to win.
“I think it is important that this week, especially going to a very nice place in Nice, that it can turn into a bit of a holiday mode and that is the exact opposite of what we need.
“We probably need a fair bit of work on the training pitch this week.”