Six Nations

Wales beat England in thriller

2012-02-25 20:23
Leigh Halfpenny (File)
London - Wales snatched a dramatic 19-12 win over England to win the Triple Crown and keep their hopes of a Six Nations Grand Slam alive at Twickenham here on Saturday.

The match was all square at 12-12 with five minutes left when Wales replacement Scott Williams stole the ball in the tackle from Courtney Lawes from some 50 metres out and hacked downfield before regathering for the only try of the game.

Leigh Halfpenny converted and Wales, who had been down to 14 men after fly-half Rhys Priestland was sin-binned, were seven points clear.

England though hit back with virtually the last move of the match as wing David Strettle went over in the corner. But he was held up in the tackle by Wales centre Jonathan Davies.

Scottish video referee Iain Ramage prolonged the agony of a crowd of more than 81,000 with several minutes study before deciding no try had been scored and Wales had just their second win at Twickenham since 1988.

And it meant England, who like Wales came into this match on the back of two wins, had suffered their first defeat under acting coach Stuart Lancaster.

"It's unbelievable," gasped man of the match and Welsh captain Sam Warburton.

"We knew it would be the toughest game and it was so tough. We are over the moon to get the Triple Crown here.

"I am not going to say what the last team who won here in 2008 went on to do (they won the Grand Slam) but people invloved with that team say we have a really strong squad this time round. However, we will set aside thoughts of that and the Italy game in a fortnight and enjoy this for the moment."

They had been six points in front early in the second half on the back of four penalties from Owen Farrell but Wales kept pace with four of their own from full-back Halfpenny.

Lancaster made the bold decision to start 20-year-old Farrell, playing only his third Test, at No 10 in an international for the first time after Charlie Hodgson was ruled out with a finger injury.

Wales nearly had a try as early as the second minute when, after winning clean line-out ball, scrum-half Mike Phillips's inside pass sent George North clear.

But the teenage flyer's surge to the line was halted by a last-ditch tap-tackle from Strettle.

Farrell gave England the lead with a 23rd minute penalty.

But from the ensuing kick-off, England infringed and Halfpenny, having missed first time, was on target to make it 3-3.

Fit-again Manu Tuilagi, filling the hole left by Farrell's move from centre to fly-half, gave England a physical presence in midfield they'd so far lacked this tournament.

It needed a brilliant tackle from Warburton to deny the Samoa-born powerhouse a try but Wales were offside and Farrell knocked over a simple penalty to make it 6-3 before Halfpenny levelled the game at 6-6.

Farrell then made light of a tricky penalty from wide on the left to give England a 9-6 half-time lead.

England's two previous tries this tournament, one each in wins over Scotland and Italy, had been scored by Hodgson charging-down.

And they nearly had a third when his Mouritz Botha blocked Rhys Priestland's kick early in the second half.

No try resulted this time but Priestland then went offside and was yellow-carded by referee Steve Walsh.

Farrell made it four penalties out of four and England were six points up at 12-6 with Wales a man down.

But a huge hit by Wales centre Jonathan Davies on Farrell turned an England attack into defence and Halfpenny's third penalty cut the lead to 12-9.

Farrell then missed his first penalty from five attempts and, with 17 minutes left, England were still just three points in front.

Lancaster took off Farrell with 14 minutes and brought on the experienced Toby Flood as England looked to close out the match.

Wales then missed a great try-scoring chance when Scott Williams didn't pass with two men outside him.

But Halfpenny tied the match with 10 minutes left and Williams then atoned in dramatic fashion.

Read more on:    six nations  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
06 February 2015
Wales v England, Cardiff 22:05
07 February 2015
Italy v Ireland, Rome 16:30
France v Scotland, Paris 19:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will win the 2014 Six Nations title?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.