Six Nations: England's Grand Slam slip ups

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

England can complete clean sweep with victory over Wales this weekend

Wales and England will walk out into the cauldron of the Millennium Stadium on Saturday evening with the RBS 6 Nations title on the line and the visitors chasing a first Grand Slam in a decade.

But it will not be the first time these two proud rugby nations will have met with a Grand Slam up for grabs.

In fact, the last time the Red Rose faced the Welsh Dragon in search of a clean sweep it ended in one of English rugby's most painful defeats.

Click HERE or click 'VIEW GALLERY' to see England's near misses in pursuit of the Grand Slam

England had ruthlessly dominated the 1999 Five Nations, the last before Italy were admitted to the tournament the following season.

Victories over Scotland, Ireland and France teed up their final meeting with Wales, held at Wembley with the Millennium Stadium under construction.

Wales had lost to Scotland and Ireland during Graham Henry's first season in charge and, despite a thrilling win over France in Paris, few expected them to derail England's Grand Slam chariot.

Despite patriotic pre-match performances in warm spring sunshine from Max Boyce and Tom Jones, the first half offered little indication of an upset as England confidently dealt with their opponents.

First-half tries from Dan Luger, Steve Hanley and Richard Hill put England in control, and only the immaculate goal-kicking of fly-half Neil Jenkins kept Wales' deficit to 25-18 at the break.

Members of the Wales management have since claimed England coach Clive Woodward, still over four years away from his knighthood, was so confident of victory at the interval he demanded white ribbons be placed on the championship trophy.

Full-back Shane Howarth crossed in quick time after the break to level the scores, but two Jonny Wilkinson penalties gave England a six-point advantage with time running out.

Then, out of nothing, Wales struck their unexpected knockout blow.

Scott Quinnell's juggling act as he attempted to gather a pass in midfield saw the England defence momentarily hesitate, and Scott Gibbs capitalised.

The bull-dozing centre showed uncharacteristic nimble footwork after breaking through to evade the final desperate England tacklers and dot down.

The conversion was still needed, but Jenkins nervelessly added the extras to spark Welsh delirium, English agony and leave Scotland as the winners of the tournament.

One can only hope Saturday's titanic encounter provides such a thrilling climax to this year's championship.

Click HERE or click 'VIEW GALLERY' to see the times England fell at the final hurdle

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project