England have kept their Six Nations chances alive by defeating Wales 33-30 at Twickenham Stadium this afternoon, much to the brilliance of Owen Farrell and his boot, despite Manu Tuilagi being sent off near the end of the game.
Eddie Jones’ men needed to win to keep the pressure on the French going into the final week of the campaign, and although game postponements could cause issues to the tournament, England will still know they have a chance at winning the title.
It’s been a pretty hectic fortnight for the Six Nations officials and all teams involved with regards to whether or not they postpone games or play them behind closed doors.
Of course, the issue has been the spreading coronavirus, with Italy being seriously impacted over the past two weeks. Their games with Ireland and England have already been postponed, but it left officials needing to make a decision about other games, including this one today at Twickenham.
Away from the ongoing epidemic, however, going into the game this afternoon England sat second in the table on nine points, whilst Wales were fourth, three points behind their rivals. Winning the Six Nations was out of the reach of Wales, but for England, they knew a win would keep their hopes well and truly alive.
And it didn’t take long for Jones’ men to get the scoring rolling, crossing over the try line after just four minutes thanks to Anthony Watson. Owen Farrell was on hand to convert to give the hosts an early 7-0 lead.
That lead was then cut five minutes later via a Welsh penalty from Leigh Halfpenny, but Farrell restored the seven-point with a penalty of his own.
Halfpenny added to his own and Wales’ tally again just after 20 minutes to make it 10-6 to England, and that’s how it stayed up to the half hour mark.
But then Twickenham was rocking once more as Elliot Daly scored the second try of the match after brilliant build-up play from England, and of course, Farrell successfully converted to give the Red Roses a 17-6 lead.
At half-time, England had themselves a solid 20-9 lead, with Farrell and Dan Biggar adding more points thanks to a couple of successful penalties.
Whatever was said in the Wales dressing room at half-time clearly worked as the visitors took just 22 seconds to score their first points of the second half, with Justin Tipuric storming over the line.
From 20-9 at half-time, to 20-16 after just 41 minutes.
England composed themselves soon after, however, and added points of their own thanks to the boot of Farrell once again. A truly remarkable start to the second half at Twickenham.
A dead leg to Farrell took him off kicking duties just shy of the hour mark, but George Ford took over and carried right where the former left off. Kicking another penalty to further England’s lead to 26-16.
A third try followed for the hosts on the hour mark, with Tuilagi strolling over after consistent pressure from Jones’ men.
Farrell returned to kicking duty and sent over his 12th successful kick in a row, giving England a 33-16 lead.
The game ended on a sour note for England’s Tuilagi, as his high tackle on George North earned him an early bath.
Wales did their best to give England a scare following the red, as their second try of the game, which was also converted, gave them a glimmer of hope with the score at 33-23.
Tipuri got his second try of the game to put the score at 33-28, but it was all too late for them to rescue the game.
A converted try saw the game end England 33-30 Wales.