Wales secure late win against England

England 12 Wales 19

Wales won the Triple Crown at Twickenham after substitute Scott Williams scored a stunning breakaway try to thwart battling England.

The World Cup semi-finalists were in deep trouble for much of an enthralling RBS 6 Nations encounter after England marksman Owen Farrell outgunned his rival goalkicker Leigh Halfpenny.

Fly-half Farrell, once again displaying an ice-cool temperament, kicked four penalties to Halfpenny's three before going off injured 15 minutes from time.

But there still threatened to be a final twist when England wing David Strettle as the game headed into added time.

Wales centre Jonathan Davies tackled him, yet there was a nerve-shredding delay of around four minutes for the visitors before Scottish television match official Iain Ramage ruled that Strettle had not got the ball down.

Toby Flood, on for Farrell, was lined up to attempt a potential match-levelling conversion when referee Steve Walsh relayed Ramage's verdict and blew for full time.

The glory, though, belonged to Williams, whose 50-metre breakaway try came when he robbed England lock Courtney Lawes of possession, sprinted away and then gathered his kick to score, giving Wales only their second Twickenham triumph since 1988.

 

In many ways, it was rough justice on England after they pushed below-par Wales to the limit, but they lacked a killer instinct.

England could still win the Six Nations title, yet the ball is now firmly in Wales' court, with the title and Grand Slam theirs if they win home games against Italy and France next month.

Should they seal the deal, it would give them a second Six Nations title and Grand Slam of coach Warren Gatland's four-year reign, but France in Cardiff on March 17 will provide a huge obstacle to overcome.

England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster made four changes for his first home Test in charge, with three players - scrum-half Lee Dickson, lock Geoff Parling and number eight Ben Morgan - handed their full international debuts.

Flanker Sam Warburton returned to captain Wales after recovering from a thigh injury, while hooker Ken Owens and lock Alun-Wyn Jones also featured. Jones had only played 110 minutes' rugby since the World Cup because of a toe problem and subsequent surgery.

Wales started in a hurry, laying siege to England territory with such determination that wing Alex Cuthbert was only denied a try by his opposite number Strettle's tap-tackle.

Wales continued to monopolise possession, and although England proved resilient in defence, it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors smashed through.

But for all their territorial dominance, Wales could not make it count during what proved to be a scoreless opening quarter, emphasised when Halfpenny missed a straightforward penalty chance.

Halfpenny's blunder sparked England into a response, and after Farrell sent a drop-goal attempt wide, he then kicked a resulting penalty that edged the home side ahead.

It was a tense, fraught contest, and even though Halfpenny drew Wales level after 26 minutes, England looked to have weathered a considerable early storm.

Given such defensive heroics, England predictably grew in confidence, with an impressive Farrell not afraid to vary his options, and Wales at times had their hands full on the back foot.

Farrell and Halfpenny exchanged further penalties, but England claimed a 9-6 interval advantage when Farrell completed his penalty hat-trick two minutes before half-time.

And it served as a powerful message to Wales, given their superior handling skills, yet they could find no way through an England defence superbly organised by Brad Barritt and his midfield partner Manu Tuilagi.

Wales continued to struggle early in the second period, suffering another case of the yellow peril when fly-half Rhys Priestland was sin-binned after he tackled England prop Alex Corbisiero from an offside position.

Priestland had seen a kick charged down by England lock Mouritz Botha just seconds earlier, and his misery was completed as he trooped off ahead of Farrell kicking a fourth successful penalty.

Wales regrouped to cut the gap by three points with Priestland still off as Halfpenny completed his penalty hat-trick, but approaching the final quarter an intriguing - if limited - game remained in the balance.

Wales should have scored 12 minutes from time, but centre Scott Williams - on at half-time for Jamie Roberts - failed to find an unmarked Halfpenny, and England escaped.

It prompted Wales' strongest spell of pressure since the opening flurries, though, and England had it all to do, defending the lead Farrell had given them.

Halfpenny made it 12-12 with nine minutes remaining, and then came the closing drama, courtesy of Williams and the video referee.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mock the tweet: Ukip leader Nigel Farage and comedian Frankie Boyle
peopleIt was a polite exchange of words, as you can imagine
Life and Style
fashion
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain