Search

Six Nations: England 12 Wales 6

PUBLISHED: 19:15 10 February 2018

Saracens' Maro Itoje attacks for England against Wales (pic Gareth Fuller/PA)

Saracens' Maro Itoje attacks for England against Wales (pic Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Jonny May ran in both tries as England kept their Grand Slam aspirations alive by edging out Wales in a brutally competitive NatWest 6 Nations clash at Twickenham.

May crossed twice in the first half to help sweep the champions 12-0 ahead in the 20th minute, but Warren Gatland’s men bravely clawed their way back into a captivating Test played in treacherous conditions.

Controversy clouded the result, however, after television match official Glenn Newman ruled out a try for Gareth Anscombe in the second quarter.

Anscombe appeared to exert downward pressure with an outstretched hand at the end of an attack down the left wing, but Newman thought otherwise and a key moment had fallen in England’s favour.

The decision proved critical as a late penalty by Anscombe reduced their lead to six points.

It took a try-saving tackle from Sam Underhill to again deny Wales in a second half dominated by the visitors, who were missing seven Test British and Irish Lions including Leigh Halfpenny, a casualty before kick due to an unspecified injury.

Eddie Jones ignited the build-up when asking if Rhys Patchell had the “bottle” for the occasion and whether the mind games affected Wales’ fly-half only he will know, but he endured a disappointing afternoon.

At one point in the second half the ball squirted unexpectedly out of his hands as he staged a counter-attack, summing up his afternoon, and he was replaced shortly after.

Opposite him George Ford, brilliantly assisted by Saracens’ Owen Farrell, excelled through his kicking, but it was the two defences that emerged with enhanced reputations after refusing to buckle.

Dylan Hartley departed for a head injury assessment after only 42 seconds, to be replaced by Saracen’s Jamie George, but the captain’s exit failed to knock England off their stride as they surged ahead through a try founded on the vision of Farrell.

Anthony Watson challenged Patchell for a hanging kick and a slippery ball squirted out to Farrell who, spotting space on the left, delivered a perfectly-weighted kick for May to outrun three onrushing defenders and touch down.

Wales were met by a wall of white shirts as they sought to make an impression and it was Saracens’ Maro Itoje who forced a turnover with a thumping tackle, the prelude to the hosts’ next try.

Waves of runners made ground and with the defence finally splitting the ball was sent left where Joe Launchbury burrowed forward before feeding an opportunistic May the scoring pass.

Alun Wyn Jones was booed when he spoke to referee Jerome Garces about penalties, home supporters clearly having noted Eddie Jones’ claim that the Wales skipper intimidated official Pascal Gauzere in Cardiff last weekend.

A Patchell penalty got the visitors off the mark after Anscombe’s try had been disallowed and they entered a key phase as they attacked from a line-out, hammering away with success until a knock-on undid all their good work.

The rivals continued to exchange blows and it took the arrival of Jack Nowell from the bench – to replace the injured Anthony Watson – to get England moving forward again.

As play entered the third quarter a breathless series of turnovers unfolded and it took a try-saving tackle by Underhill on Scott Williams to keep Wales out.

Wales threw everything at England in the closing stages, Anscombe’s penalty adding to the tension, but the home defence held out.

Latest Islington Sports News

30 minutes ago

Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to draw fans back to the Emirates for Europa League matches after a low turnout for the Gunners’ 4-2 victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

15:03

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has hailed midfielder Lucas Torreira after the Gunners’ 4-2 Europa League victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

12:23

Bernd Leno has been speaking to the Islington Gazette after making his debut in the Europa League against Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates on Thursday evening.

10:00

Finsbury Park will bid to continue their perfect start to the new Herts/Middlesex One season when they travel away to play UCS Old Boys on Saturday.

Yesterday, 23:26

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has been left frustrated after the Gunners conceded two late goals in his sides 4-2 victory over FC Vorskla Poltava.

Yesterday, 21:58

Arsenal began their Europa League journey with a dominant 4-2 win over FC Vorskla Poltava on Thursday night.

Yesterday, 21:53

Arsenal hosted Vorskla Poltava in their opening match in Group E of the Europa League at the Emirates on Thursday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Yesterday, 20:02

Middlesex all-rounder James Harris hopes his side can go on and complete victory over Derbyshire on day four of the County Championship Division Two match at Lord’s on Friday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now