The Triple Crown, but even more, the Grand Slam always possible. For Wales, the reception of England was of crucial importance. After two forceps victories, the XV du Poireau had the cards in hand to continue on its glorious path. But between two teams that have won four of the last five tournaments, the clash was uncertain. Even if the English title holder has not done much to impress his rivals since the start of the competition.
Indiscipline digs the English grave
Black point of this England: the faults. The most penalized team in the Tournament (13 penalties per match), it was again at fault in this sector, with three penalties conceded in the first six minutes of the match (and three points conceded). Despite everything, the Rose found color with the first penalty obtained, passed by Owen Farrell (12th, 3-3). But the fifth penalty suffered by England in this match was played by the Welsh in the 22 meters, taking the defense by surprise, for a pass from Dan Biggar on the wing of Josh Adams, author of the first try of the meeting (16th, 10-3).
Despite a desire to play (without great genius), England came up against its indiscipline and the Welsh wall which, like a tumble, sent its offensive ambitions back to its teeth. And so, more inspired (and with success), the Welsh attack registered a second try, after a long and delicate video examination, by Liam Williams (31st, 17-6).
A penaltouche, a maul, percussions in the axis: England finally returned to its fundamentals. In the end, Anthony Watson scored his 12th try in 22 matches in the Tournament. What to give back to his team (36th, 17-11). This end of the first period was to the advantage of Eddie Jones’ men, with finally spaces found in the local defense. Farrell brought his own just before the break (40th + 4, 17-14). Nothing was done, everything was still possible in this shock.
Second trickster attempt for the Welsh
Despite her status as vice-world champion, title holder in the Tournament and winner of the Autumn Nations Cup, England is no longer so irresistible. Witness to this more fragile state: Owen Farrell, author of a second misfiring in this match when he became the 3rd highest scorer in the history of the Tournament (behind Wilkinson and O’Gara). And behind, on a new penalty played quickly in 22 meters, the scrum half Kieran Hardy slipped into the promised land (47th, 24-14). However, it is not in the ancestral habits of this Perfide Albion to accept tests for lack of attention … it is also the sign of this collective fragility.
But the individualities remain the joker N.1 of this formation, in particular in the line of three-quarters, as shown by this test of Ben Youngs, himself also a specialist in pilfered tests, with this departure to flatten and totally revive the his (62nd, 24-24).
England was very happy to see Watson save the homeland in front of his line (64th). A short respite since the 11th penalty she conceded (the 5th by the only Itoje) gave back control to the Welsh thanks to the foot of Callum Sheedy, entered after the break in place of Biggar, injured (66th, 27-24 ). He doubled his personal counter four minutes later (70th, 30-24) to restore a small mattress. And even thicken it even further on yet another fault of English indiscipline (74th, 33-24).
In the 78th minute, after an uncertain dribbling, Louis Rees-Zammit missed another Welsh try. It was only a postponement, with a final test in strength under the poles of Cory Hill (79th, 40-24). England suffered a second defeat before returning to France at Twickenham, and Wales won the Triple Crown, still with a Grand Slam in their sights.