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Wales win to retain Six Nations title

16 March 2013

  • Wales overpower England in Cardiff
  • Record win means Wales retain the 6 Nations title on points difference

Wales 30 England 3

Wing Alex Cuthbert scored two second-half tries as rampant Wales defeated England 30-3 in Cardiff to wrap up the 2013 RBS 6 Nations title.

Stuart Lancaster’s side arrived at the Millennium Stadium with hopes of a first Grand Slam in 10 years but were overwhelmed by a Sam Warburton-inspired Wales after the break.

England conceded too many penalties at the breakdown and at the scrum throughout, with Cardiff Blues’ Cuthbert profiting first from Warburton’s work on the ground, then from his awareness to charge clear of the defence. 

Wales needed to defeat England by seven points or more to win the trophy and showed intent from the off, with impressive power in the tight and speed in attack – making five first half line breaks.

After a positive start from England, Wales took the lead with their first real incursion into England’s half. Tight head Adam Jones was in charge at the first scrum and from the resulting attack dead-eye kicker Leigh Halfpenny was presented with the chance to open the scoring after an infringement at the breakdown on 11 minutes.

Brad Barritt of England is hauled down by Sam Warburton of Wales

Photo: Getty Images

The diminutive full back repeated the trick moments later after referee Steve Walsh adjudged that Tom Youngs was off his feet at the breakdown, kicking Wales into deserved 6-0 lead.

Frantic passages of play and big hits were going in all over the pitch, Richard Hibbard knocking Joe Marler back with a huge hit and Chris Robshaw crunching into tackles.

England were continuing to concede penalties but when Warburton was pinged for playing the ball off his feet, Farrell got England on the board, sneaking the penalty in off the upright on 23 minutes.

But Halfpenny got the advantage back to six a minute later after Wales’ front row busted England on their own ball, deep in their own territory.

At times England looked dangerous in attack, Mike Brown nearly escaping in the corner, but first Brown, then Farrell had to show huge commitment to halt George North as he threatened to stride clear on two occasions.

The pace did not abate in the second half and Halfpenny soon extended the lead to nine. Unbelievable goal line defence repelled wave after wave of Wales forwards but there was a hand in the ruck and the full back slotted his fourth penalty on 44.

Then Warburton illuminated the game with a starring role in two Wales tries in 10 minutes. First the former captain flew into a breakdown with such ferocity that the ball squirted out and when it got to Cuthbert, he out-paced and handed-off Brown to dive over in the corner.

Owen Farrell makes a tackle

Photo: Getty Images

In between Farrell missed a penalty but then Warburton’s 50 metre break after picking up the ball at a ruck and galloping clear gave the necessary field position for the second try. With England’s defence scrambling, the ball was recycled and sent through the hands of Jonathan Davies and Justin Tipuric for Cuthbert to score and send the crowd into raptures.

With Halfpenny, who ended with 12 points, off the field, Biggar took over the kicking duties – he'd already slotted a drop goal between Cuthbert’s tries – and the Ospreys fly half converted the second try before adding a penalty.

England were dejected at the final whistle, with Wales recording their biggest ever margin of victory, but the inexperienced side can reflect in time on only a second defeat in 10 RBS 6 Nations games under Lancaster.

Wales v England teams

Wales: 15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Mike Phillips, 1-Gethin Jenkins (Captain), 2-Richard Hibbard, 3-Adam Jones, 4-Alun Wyn Jones, 5-Ian Evans, 6-Sam Warburton, 7-Justin Tipuric, 8- Toby Faletau.

Replacements: 16-Ken Owens, 17-Paul James, 18-Scott Andrews, 19-Andrew Coombs, 20-Aaron Shingler, 21-Lloyd Williams, 22-James Hook, 23-Scott Williams.

England: 15-Alex Goode, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-Mike Brown, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Tom Youngs, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Geoff Parling, 6-Tom Croft, 7-Chris Robshaw (captain), 8-Tom Wood.

Replacements: 16-Dylan Hartley, 17-David Wilson, 18-Mako Vunipola, 19-Courtney Lawes, 20-James Haskell, 21-Danny Care, 22-Toby Flood, 23-Billy Twelvetrees.