Rugby Wayne Pivac’s side fall to a narrow defeat at Twickenham . Some drama at the end and a better second half can’t mask that this was a poor match between two teams who are a long way off the quality that Ireland and France are currently serving up.
Both teams should be worried about their next fixture.
A late Kieran Hardy attempt from a fast tap punishment prompted a strained completion to Wales’ Six Nations match at Twickenham yet they at last lost 23-19 to England.
Ribs followed 17-0 right off the bat in the final part following four Marcus Smith punishments and an Alex Dombrandt attempt, yet Josh Adams and Nick Tompkins scored one after another to make it 17-12.
Smith opened a couple more punishments before Hardy shot over in the last moment and Dan Biggar’s speedy change implied there was the ideal opportunity for a restart. Ridges held belonging for quite a long time however couldn’t compromise the England line and a Maro Itoje turnover permitted the hosts to kick the ball out to guarantee the success.
Marcus Smith is talking to Martin Bayfield.
“We were a bit shaky towards the end, but we got the job done. The forward pack put us on the front foot, it was nice to go up with that lead at half-time. We know the Wales team were going to have their patch, but we’ll take what we need to learn in the fallow week coming up.”
The Wales lineout is won safely and they are now in the England half before Itoje rips the ball in contact to win the game.
There would appear to be no prompt connection, from the outset, between the mercury Harry Randall, England’s beginning scrum-half against Wales, and Jack Leach, the bespectacled Somerset and England left-arm spinner. In the continually buzzing psyche of Eddie Jones, however, a critical association exists which is set to shape the result of Saturday’s vital Six Nations apparatus at Twickenham.
As an energetic cricket fan Jones took his standard distinct fascination with the new Ashes series, not least the determined manner by which Australia tried to hit Leach out of the assault right off the bat in the series at The Gabba. This week Jones has recovered those cuts again to show to his crew the significance of fastidious, shrewd readiness and the impact it can have on major brandishing results.
It’s Twickenham. It’s England vs Wales. Welcome.
Played two, won one is not too terrible a place to be. Played three, won one – not so much. Both sides today will be motivated by the usual historical and cultural brouhaha that runs through and alongside this fixture, but as cold professionals they will be desperate to avoid a fortnight cogitating that latter losing stat rather than any #banter that defeat will bring.
The context of the opening results has Wales arriving in arguably better shape. Pivac’s men were hosed by Ireland before putting together a solid and gutsy performance to close out a win vs Scotland. Their dander will be further up than England, who have spluttered both in defeat and victory vs Scotland and Italy respectively.
England: Freddie Steward; Max Malins, Henry Slade, Daly, Jack Nowell; Marcus Smith, Harry Randall; Ellis Genge, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Charlie Ewels, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes (captain), Tom Curry, Alex Dombrandt.
Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Nick Isiekwe, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, George Ford, Joe Marchant.
Wales: Liam Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar (captain), Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Jac Morgan, Kieran Hardy, Gareth Anscombe, Jonathan Davies.