Tag: Wales v England

Six Nations: Wales 16-21 England

England clinched a memorable, come-from-behind victory over Wales in Cardiff as the Six Nations Championship began in spectacular fashion.

Wales leapt out to a 10-0 lead as Rhys Webb’s try added to an early Leigh Halfpenny penalty, conceded by England within a minute of kick-off.

However, England progressively found their footing in the game and Anthony Watson scored his first Test try by latching on to Mike Brown’s grubber kick.

Dan Biggar’s superb drop goal on the stroke of half-time gave Wales a 16-8 lead, but 10 unanswered points – a Jonathan Joseph try and a conversion and penalty from George Ford – put England ahead against 14-man Wales, who had Alex Cuthbert sin-binned.

An obstruction saw a Dave Attwood try disallowed after review by the TMO, but a penalty with two minutes remaining allowed Ford to seal an incredible England victory.

The roof was open as both sides had to agree to close it and England had declined to do so, and Wales immediately looked as if they had been angered by the decision.

Wales won their own kick-off and when the ball was switched back to the right they won a penalty which the ever-reliable Leigh Halfpenny landed from 40 metres.

There was even better to come for Wales after eight minutes when Dan Biggar’s cross-field kick found Halfpenny on the touch-line and the full-back chipped on to cause panic on the England line after Anthony Watson had gathered.

Wales were given the scrum and, even though it was going backwards, Toby Faletau picked up and shrugged off the tackle of James Haskell to slip in Rhys Webb at the corner.

Halfpenny converted for a 10-0 lead but England hit back after 15 minutes when pressure at the scrum set up territory and Mike Brown chipped through for the alert Watson to collect his first Test try, George Ford striking the upright with his conversion attempt.

Wales were keen to test Ford’s defensive abilities at every opportunity and send powerhouses Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert down his channel but England were not giving an inch despite having come into the game as underdogs.

But Halfpenny landed another 40-metre penalty after England prop Dan Cole was penalised for going off his feet at a ruck.

Ford replied with a penalty of his own after Roberts was penalised for an early tackle on Jonny May and Wales lost George North in the same passage of play as the winger was caught by the flying boot of Dave Attwood.

North was back on the field just before the break and Biggar’s 35-metre drop goal extended Wales’ lead with the final kick of the first half.

England started the second half on the front foot and they were rewarded for their patience inside four minutes as they went through 20 phases before Joseph slipped Biggar and North to burst over, Ford’s conversion making it a one-point game at 16-15.

Wales were struggling to combat England’s positive approach but Ford spurned the opportunity to give the visitors the lead when his penalty attempt missed the target from 45 metres.

Roberts on the crash ball tried to give Wales some momentum and lift a home crowd who had been expecting an easier evening against injury-ravaged opponents.

But England managed to turn the ball over in their own ’22 and lift the pressure as the tempo paused for breath as Halfpenny required treatment following a bang on the head.

England were making the most of their advantage in the scrum to enjoy good territory and Ford’s penalty put the visitors ahead at 18-16 with Cuthbert yellow carded to reduce Wales to 14 men on the hour mark.

Wales did not concede when Cuthbert was off the field but England might have put the game to bed when centre Luther Burrell broke clear in open play.

Brown had clear grass to run into but Burrell’s pass was slightly high and behind him and the full-back was unable to hold on.

England were denied a third try when Attwood’s effort was disallowed for replacement Nick Easter blocking Biggar but Ford’s 45-metre penalty two minutes from time settled matters.

Read more at ESPN

Six Nations: Wales v England

Wales winger George North returns to the starting XV for the Six Nations opener against England.

Richard Hibbard is back at hooker in the only other change to the side that beat South Africa in November.

England coach Stuart Lancaster, who has battled a lengthy injury list in his squad, has selected Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph to play as centres.

Prop Dan Cole returns after nearly a year out, while Danny Cipriani and Nick Easter are recalled to the bench.

Wales:

15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Rhys Webb; 1-Gethin Jenkins, 2-Richard Hibbard, 3-Sampson Lee, 4-Jake Ball, 5-Alun-Wyn Jones, 6-Dan Lydiate, 7-Sam Warburton, 8-Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16-Scott Baldwin, 17-Paul James, 18-Aaron Jarvis, 19-Luke Charteris, 20-Justin Tipuric, 21-Mike Phillips, 22-Rhys Priestland, 23-Liam Williams.

England :

15-Mike Brown, 14-Anthony Watson, 13-Jonathan Joseph, 12-Luther Burrell, 11-Jonny May, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs-; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Dylan Hartley, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Dave Attwood, 5-George Kruis, 6-James Haskell, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 8-Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16-Tom Youngs, 17-Mako Vunipola, 18-Kieran Brookes, 19-Tom Croft, 20-Nick Easter, 21-Richard Wigglesworth, 22-Danny Cipriani, 23-Billy Twelvetrees

Match Preview

Hostile, intimidating, unforgiving – there are few more daunting sporting citadels than the one England will walk into on Friday night.

No fixture fires up the inner Welsh dragon more than the arrival of the Red Rose across the Severn Bridge, and Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium will be rocking. It’s a baptism of fire for a youthful and injury-hit England team.

Five of the back division have 11 caps or fewer and the popular opinion is that another new centre partnership of Jonathan Joseph and Luther Burrell, plus fly-half George Ford, will be targeted by the Welsh in a return to their ruthlessly effective ‘Warrenball’ style of play.

Read more at BBC Sport

Six Nations: Danny Cipriani & Nick Easter in England squad v Wales

Sale Sharks fly-half Danny Cipriani has been named in the England squad for the Six Nations opener against Wales.

The 27-year-old, who has not featured since last summer’s tour of New Zealand, is set to start on the bench.

Harlequins number eight Nick Easter, 36, returns for the first time since the 2011 World Cup.

Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 
Date: Friday, 6 February 
Kick-off:20:05 GMT

Leicester Tigers trio Dan Cole, Tom Croft and Tom Youngs and Saracens prop Mako Vunipola are also named in Stuart Lancaster’s 25-man party.

Bath centre Jonathan Joseph returns to the squad for the first time since the 2013 tour to Argentina.

The starting XV is due to be confirmed on Wednesday morning and the two players expected to miss out on the matchday squad of 23 are Bath prop Henry Thomas and Exeter’s Jack Nowell.

England have lost six players to injury ahead of Friday’s match. with Owen Farrell, David Wilson, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood and Ben Morgan all unavailable, but head coach Lancaster is happy with the quality of the players he has brought in.

“Everyone named is fit and ready to go and we are looking forward to finalising our preparations over the next few days,” he said.

“While we have certain players unavailable through injury, it’s great to be able to welcome back guys who missed the autumn internationals, such as Dan Cole, Mako Vunipola and Tom Youngs.

“Their experience, alongside that of players like Tom Croft and Nick Easter, will be invaluable against a strong Welsh team.”

England, who beat Wales 29-18 at Twickenham in last year’s Six Nations, finished second in the table behind Ireland on points difference.

England squad to face Wales:

Forwards: Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby) Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Backs: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Read more at BBC Sport