Cory Hill and Josh Adams scored second-half tries as record-breaking Wales took a big stride towards claiming the Six Nations title with a 21-13 victory over England at the Principality Stadium.
England – also aiming to make it three wins out of three – led 10-3 at the end of a ferocious first half in Cardiff on Saturday, after the magnificent Tom Curry scored his first Test try.
Eddie Jones’ side never really got going in the second half, though, and Hill crossed 12 minutes from time, adding to three Gareth Anscombe penalties as Wales came storming back.
England were unable to respond, failing to provide a genuine attacking threat after the break, and Adams added a second try for Warren Gatland’s side in an almighty battle as Wales stretched their winning run to a record 12 in a row.
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) February 23, 2019
They are now two wins away from a Grand Slam in Gatland’s final year in charge.
Liam Williams was outstanding at full-back and Dan Biggar made a big impact from the bench as Wales claimed a first win over England since 2015 to replace them at the top of the table.
England lost Jonny May and Courtney Lawes to injury during the second half, in which they could only muster a penalty from Owen Farrell as their own Grand Slam hopes were dashed.
There was barely a stoppage in play in a frantic start before Farrell opened the scoring from the tee 18 minutes in, as England stuck with their tactic of kicking at every opportunity.
Anscombe levelled following a no-arms tackle from Kyle Sinckler as the two sides continued to batter into each other in a brutal encounter, but England were in front with a try that came out of the blue after 27 minutes.
Ken Owens spilled a ball at the back of a scrum and when Wales went to sleep at a ruck, the alert Curry nipped in to scoop up the loose ball and charge over, with Farrell adding the extras.
England had much more ball in hand in a strong start to the second half, but Anscombe reduced the deficit to four points after May was punished for failing to release the ball.
Sinckler was replaced following a warning about his discipline, after giving away a penalty that Anscombe knocked over as England lost their way.
There were huge roars when Biggar replaced Anscombe with 20 minutes to go, but Curry won a penalty in front of the posts, allowing Farrell to extend England’s lead.
Wales sensed their opportunity to take the upper hand, though, and they were in front for the first time when Hill steamed over.
Adams then added insult to injury after a groggy May and hobbling Lawes had departed, producing a juggling act before taking a brilliant kick from Biggar to seal an historic victory.
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) February 23, 2019
BIGGAR PROVES A POINT
Anscombe was urged to show why Gatland installed him as first-choice fly-half, but Biggar produced a brilliant cameo off the bench. While Anscombe was not allowed to dictate the game, his replacement made things happen in his short time on the field and conjured up a moment of class to set up Adams’ try and ease the nerves.
RED HOT CURRY REVELS IN SPICY BATTLE
Curry was relentless in the back-row, making tackle after tackle in an outstanding performance. The flanker was never far from the thick of the action, popping up to catch Wales out when they turned off for an opening score, and can count himself hugely unfortunate to be on the losing side.
Wales make the trip to Murrayfield to face a Scotland side smarting from back-to-back defeats on Saturday 9, with England taking on Italy at Twickenham on the same day.
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