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England vs Wales: Six memorable Twickenham clashes

05 March 2014

  • Relive six historic Anglo-Welsh encounters
  • England out to avenge consecutive defeats
Dan Luger carries

Photo: Getty Images

As we come to the fourth round of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations, some rudimentary maths shows there are still five sides that can take the Championship. Two of them meet at Twickenham on Saturday in one of Test rugby’s most primal, passionate fixtures. Here are six memorable Six Nations Anglo-Welsh clashes from down the years at Twickenham.

England 50 Wales 10, March 23, 2002

A first Triple Crown in four years came England’s way with this comprehensive victory, a 30-point haul from Jonny Wilkinson propelling the fly half over the 500-mark in internationals. Will Greenwood also excelled as Wales were engulfed by a five-try avalanche.

It was Wilkinson and Greenwood who combined for the hosts’ opening score after 10 minutes, the former chipping through for his centre to dot down. Three penalties and a drop-goal for England’s No.10 brought a 19-3 half-time lead, and though Iestyn Harris tried manfully – tackling hard and grabbing all of Wales’ points – a rapid Dan Luger brace in the second period completed the thrashing.

England 31 Wales 21, March 20, 2004

World champions England eventually overcame a determined Welsh effort, but not before the visitors had battled back from 16-9 down to take a 21-16 lead. Indebted to a Ben Cohen double and a late score from flanker Joe Worsely, the visitors managed to keep their title hopes alive.

England opened strongest, Cohen finishing strongly inside six minutes after wrestling away from both Gareth Thomas and Jonathan Thomas. A kicking duel between Ollie Barkely and Stephen Jones then ensued, but two fabulous tries from Gareth Thomas – his record-equalling 33rd in Tests – and Mark Taylor brought Wales ahead. A phenomenal turnaround looked possible, before Cohen shunted over from close range.

England 62 Wales 5, August 4, 2007

A record-breaking win marked England’s final warm-up match ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, Wales’ second-string conceding nine tries including four to No.8 Nick Easter. 

Wales celebrate

Photo: Getty Images

In front of just over 66,000 fans at Twickenham, the hosts’ pack was far too powerful for Gareth Jenkins’ charges and tore through them at set-piece time and again. Easter was the main beneficiary, while scrum half Shaun Perry also snatched a brace himself as a Welsh squad including youngsters Alun-Wyn Jones, James Hook and Mike Phillips was cast aside.

England 19 Wales 26, February 2, 2008

It appeared as though England would start their campaign with a fairly routine triumph, but a spell of 20 unanswered points in only 13 second-half minutes from Wales put paid to that. Well-taken tries from full back Lee Byrne and scrum half Mike Phillips condemned the home side to defeat and foreshadowed a mixed tournament that included a loss to Scotland but wins over Ireland and France.

Earlier, a try from Toby Flood and 14 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson had built a considerable lead for England. However, the hosts were ousted by a string of injuries and some brilliant footwork from Shane Williams and James Hook.

England 30 Wales 17, February 6, 2010

Alun Wyn-Jones’ yellow card for a rather misguided trip on Dylan Hartley after 33 minutes proved to be something of a defining point at HQ, England wholly capitalising on the one-man advantage as the home celebrated the centenary of Twickenham Stadium. Scores from James Haskell and Danny Care either side of half time while the British and Irish Lions lock was off the field were enough to forge a 20-3 lead.

Though Wales were given hope – tight head Adam Jones dotting down for one of his two Test tries to date and James Hook going over – but Haskell barrelled through again to complete an impressive individual display.

England 12 Wales 19, February 25, 2012  

Sam Warburton

Photo: Getty Images

Dreams of a Grand Slam in Stuart Lancaster’s first RBS 6 Nations campaign at the helm came crashing down as Scott Williams’ stunning try captured Wales a Triple Crown that became a clean-sweep in the ensuing weeks.

Despite George North causing havoc early on and Sam Warburton going close – only denied by Manu Tuilagi’s superb tackle – the compelling contest remained locked in a kicking duel between Owen Farrell and Rhys Priestland until the 75th minute. 

However, Williams stripped lock Courtney Lawes magnificently in midfield, grubbered through and dived on the ball to break English hearts.