Six Nations : English Resilience Prevails Against Old Rivals

Ed Budds
Ed Budds - Editor
Cardiff,Wales, UK. Nov 9, 2022. A Six Nations Championship Gilbe

Steve Borthwick’s England roses made it two wins from two at Twickenham Stadium in a gruelling Six Nations Championship tie, eventually prevailing against a struggling Welsh team.

ENGLISH RESILIENCE PREVAILS AGAINST OLD RIVALS

Twickenham Stadium (Twickenham), the home of English rugby, witnessed an explosive showdown between two old rivals in the second round of this year’s Six Nations Championship (Six Nations). 

England fought back to beat Wales by the narrow margin of 16-14 after Steve Borthwick’s team once again overcame a half-time deficit to emerge with a second straight victory in the showpiece tournament.  

Warren Gatland’s woefully out-of-form Wales team travelled to Twickenham off the back of a slim 26-27 home defeat to Scotland in round one, while a Jamie George-captained England outfit entered the weekend having won their opening tie against Italy. 

Going into the contest, England had won each of their last five Six Nations home matches against Wales, however, with each of the last four victories came by margins of fewer than seven points, teeing up an intriguing contest.

Twickenham Stadium

MATCH REPORT

England returned to their home turf of Twickenham, intent on putting on a spectacular show for the legions of passionate fans in attendance, and back at the ground for the first time since their World Cup warm-up defeat by Fiji last summer. 

Jamie George, in his first home fixture as captain, had promised an enhanced ferocity in attack, and his team were true to their word in the opening stages as they started brightly and applied pressure to the Welsh wall of hulking bodies. 

Freddie Steward mercilessly broke the line with a surging run in the opening exchanges, and Ford’s kick wide handed them vital territory as Rio Dyer saw the ball into touch. 

However, while the searing sense of ambition was evident, the final game-changing pass seemed to evade the English. 

By stark contrast, Wales had minimal possession but shocked the stadium by scoring with their first foray into the England 22, as they were awarded a penalty try for continual infringements, resulting in Ethan Roots being sent to the sin bin. 

Next, Ben Earl powered triumphantly over from the base of the Welsh scrum before controversy ensued with Ford’s following conversion attempt. The England number 10 couldn’t remain still in his set-up, which led to Wales closing him down and keeping their noses narrowly in front. 

Tommy Reffell was a consistently bright spark for the Welsh visitors, and his incisive play opened up an England defence still trying to adjust to its new blitz tactics as Mann carried home their second try for a first half-time lead at Twickenham since 1980. 

Thankfully, England were much improved and rejuvenated after the interval but continued to be wasteful, exposing an utter lack of cutting edge in the attacking sequences.  

However, unperturbed, the eventual breakthrough came after a knock-on by the usually assured Josh Adams deep inside Welsh territory. 

The hosts and the raucous, heavily partisan crowd could smell blood from this point and soundtracked a sweeping momentum shift. As the English forwards continually pounded the red wall, the ball was expertly moved wide for Dingwall to score a final, crucial try. 

Ford’s late penalty perfectly completed the epic comeback as England prevailed despite another largely floundering attacking display, finally squeezing past the stuttering Welsh.

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