Wales hammer England to retain Six Nations

By Julian Guyer, Julian Guyer is a Roar Guru

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    Wales thrashed England by a record-breaking 30-3 at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on Saturday to retain the Six Nations title and deny the visitors a Grand Slam.

    Alex Cuthbert’s two second-half tries proved decisive in a match Wales had to win by seven points to retain the title for the first time since 1979, provided they maintained their superior try-count.

    As it was the defending Grand Slam champions beat a 108-year-old record, surpassing the 25-point gap they achieved in their previous largest winning margin over England — 25-0 back in 1905.

    “It’s unreal, it’s what dreams are all about,” said Wales flanker Justin Tipuric, who was named man of the match.

    “We were outstanding, we all worked so hard, it’s brilliant. We knew what we could do, we talked about it all week and we were ready to play since Monday.”

    Tipuric said Wales’s opening defeat at the hands of Ireland had inspired them to their victory.

    “We got a lot of bad media. That gave us a kick up the backside, but we all stayed tight.”

    England coach Stuart Lancaster admitted Wales had been the better side.

    “We are gutted. We didn’t get the execution right and didn’t turn up,” he said.

    “We just weren’t good enough. We have no complaints, we couldn’t match their physicality.”

    After building a 12-3 lead early in the second half, through four penalties by full-back Leigh Halfpenny to one from England fly-half Owen Farrell, Wales surged ahead through a try by Cuthbert

    That put them 17-3 in front and minutes later Farrell missed his second penalty in three attempts

    Dan Biggar added a drop-goal before Cuthbert stormed in for another try, with fly-half Biggar completing the rout with a penalty.

    This was Wales’s second victory in a row over England, with the Welsh the only side to defeat the English in Six Nations action since Lancaster became coach of the Red Rose brigade in 2012.

    And the win also saw Wales end a run of five straight defeats at the Millennium Stadium in the most emphatic fashion possible, with the champions not conceding a try in the tournament since the 42nd minute of their opening defeat by Ireland.

    Lancaster, who’d seen his side score just one try in their three previous matches, responded to a deeply unconvincing 18-11 win over Italy at Twickenham by making four changes.

    He recalled half-backs Ben Youngs and the fit-again Farrell while up front prop Joe Marler returned and blindside flanker Tom Croft made his first Test start in 12 months following a career-threatening neck injury.

    Interim Wales head coach Rob Howley lost one captain in Ryan Jones to injury and passed over another in Sam Warburton after the flanker indicated he wanted to remain in the ranks following last week’s man-of-the-match winning display against Scotland.

    Instead fit-again loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins returned to captain Wales for only the fourth time in his 12-year career.

    Italy produced a breathtaking display to hand Ireland a 22-15 defeat on what was Andrea Lo Cicero’s 103rd and final appearance for the Azzurri and possibly Brian O’Driscoll’s last game in an Irish shirt.

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    The Crowd Says (105)

    • March 17th 2013 @ 7:59am
      Ben.S said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:59am | ! Report

      Fair play and congratulations to Wales. What a result.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:09am
      Worlds biggest said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      What a win for Wales, I thought they could win but to belt them, impressive. They went through the horrors last year ( 8 straight defeats ) and come out the other side. Italy beating Ireland, unbelievable. Italy have beaten France and now Ireland, this must be there best ever campaign. Great for rugby. I’d say that’s it for Declan Kidney, a miserable campaign with just the one win against champs Wales.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:26am
      FTR said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      A few observations:

      – England didn’t put nearly enough pressure on the Welsh breakdown; the Welsh, conversely, competed very strongly against the English breakdown

      – Wales’s defence was superb and did to England what the English defence has been doing to other teams

      – The absence of quick hands in the English midfield was extremely costly; Tuilagi remains very much a work-in-progress. Twelvetrees must replace Barritt

      – Ashton is truly abysmal and – as I pointed out on here a few weeks ago in the face of some criticism – ought to be ditched from the squad immediately until he learns how to tackle, pass and ruck

      – The Launchbury-Parling combination is too lightweight; England lack an Ian Evans-style enforcer

      – The inclusion of Tom Croft backfired badly. He looked short of a gallop (which he is) and doesn’t bring much physicality anyway. Moreover, if you’re going to pick a pack to dominate the line-out, you should probably pick your best throwing hooker

      – Robshaw was immense in a beaten pack. True Lions captain material

      – How much better would England have been if they’d been competing on a level playing-field – that is, with a day’s more rest to match Wales’s 7 days and with a less prattish ref? The tight five looked exhausted

      Overall, though, credit to Wales for a magnificent performance.

      • March 17th 2013 @ 10:33am
        Colin N said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        Pretty much agree with most of that, particularly the point on Croft. As I said pre-match, England lacked carriers and by playing Croft, they weren’t exactly rectifying that issue.

        I like the two locks but agree we are too lightweight, especially without an outstanding scrummaging prop in Corbisiero.

        Couldn’t believe the general conservatism though. England never attacked the game and waited for the mistakes…which never came. Then, when they were down by a few, they didn’t bring on Twelvetrees soon enough and when they did, they moved Tuilagi to the wing and kept on Barritt.

        I don’t understand the coaches obsession with Barritt. He might be the defensive leader, but Twelvetrees is also part of one of the best defensive units in the Premiership and is an outstanding defender himself.

        Still, an outstanding display by Wales and it bodes well for the Lions – that first half was played at an incredible intensity – and Wales’ physicality throughout was immense.

        • Roar Guru

          March 17th 2013 @ 7:41pm
          jeznez said | March 17th 2013 @ 7:41pm | ! Report

          Colin, you guys definitely missed Corbers. I don’t want to be churlish but I have to admit to a bit of glee listening to the English commentators distress as their scrum got destroyed or gave away penalties.

          Moore wanted to put the blame on referee Walsh but as an Aussie all I can say it was quite familiar to see a weaker scrum getting the rough end of the pineapple from the referee as well as from the opposition. Just glad it was happening to a team other than my own – for it to be England who’s players, fans and press have been less than complimentary when it was my side on the receiving end left me a bit happy to see them getting some of their own back.

          On less of a kick a man when he is down note England are still a good team and on the rise, they just came up against another good team who re-found their mojo after about a year in the doldrums.

          • Roar Guru

            March 17th 2013 @ 9:49pm
            Jiggles said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

            Perceptions Jez! Corbs is quality but the LHP depth falls away pretty quickly. Cole has potential but I don’t think he’s as good as he’s made out to be just yet. This is with regards to the scrum, mind you. Their work around the park is pretty good.

            • March 18th 2013 @ 1:11am
              Colin N said | March 18th 2013 @ 1:11am | ! Report

              To be fair we were probably facing one of the best scrums in world rugby with a tighthead who’s on the top of his game at the moment.

              Agree Marler and Vunipola aren’t quite there technically but they both have ability. In fact, I would consider the latter for a bench spot on the Lions tour – he always makes an impace when he comes on.

              I think Cole’s an excellent tighthead but he’s playing with a pretty lightweight pack. Only last year, a Corbisiero, Hartley, Cole combination was one of the best around, but changes have occured since throughout the pack and the balance isn’t quite there at the moment.

              A good place to judge him will be on the Lions where we can actually compare the necessary qualities of Cole and Jones.

              • Roar Guru

                March 18th 2013 @ 1:51am
                jeznez said | March 18th 2013 @ 1:51am | ! Report

                Agree mate, as far as scrums go I rate France 1 and Wales 2. Will be interesting to see Cole come Lions time. I rate him highly but he certainly had a rough time of it on the weekend.

      • March 18th 2013 @ 1:59am
        Ben.S said | March 18th 2013 @ 1:59am | ! Report

        This is nonsense about Ashton. He’s had a poor tournament, and he’s not firing for Saracens. He likes to be brought into the game from the 9-10-12 channels and Farrell and Barritt simply aren’t capable of doing that, hence he isn’t scoring tries for Saracens either. His defence has been hit and miss this 6N, but to suggest he can’t pass is ludicrous. Regardless, on form he shouldn’t have been starting for England.

        As well as Goode and Brown have played for England, the back three lacks balance and width. There’s no real verve, and for that reason I’d like to see Jonny May on the wing. Somebody who can create tries out of nothing. I also noted that Goode was rarely used at first or second receiver as the tournament progressed.

        Not surprised re: Barritt as Lancaster is a conservative selector.

        The back row lacked balance, and I think the midfield and back three does too. 4 wins is a solid return, but there was no real improvement in terms of performance as the 6N progressed, and I worry about the selection.

        Disagree re: the 2nd row. The same pack has stood up to the Boks and other sides since then. IMO the issue is a small front row. If the front row consisted of Sheridan-Hartley-Cole then nobody would be mentioning the size of either lock. And Ian Evans isn’t exactly an enforcer. He has a tremendous work rate as is a far greater range of talents than somebody like Etzebeth, for example. The Welsh were just pumped on the day. That happens.

        Don’t moan about the extra day.

        • March 18th 2013 @ 3:32pm
          Dean Vincent said | March 18th 2013 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

          Agree with you about the English back row, the balance is all wrong. Watching the game on Saturday, Robshaw seems to cover kicks etc like a number 8…..not sure if thats because Wood isn’t comfortable there or what but they don’t seem to work as a unit

          Been impressed with the locks for most of the 6 Nations but they were outplayed at the weekend. Launchbury is still very young and will learn a great deal from that I reckon.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:39am
      stillmatic1 said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      does this now mean that wales are almost frontrunners to win the next world cup, as it was stated after england beat the allblacks last year?

      its one loss lads. who has been more impressive this 6nations? wales or england?

      • March 17th 2013 @ 10:56am
        Riccus said | March 17th 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        LoL. Yeah, but the AB’s beat Wales in November, so….

      • March 17th 2013 @ 2:20pm
        Wales15 said | March 17th 2013 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

        Wales have been more impressive this 6N.

    • March 17th 2013 @ 8:40am
      Reality said | March 17th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Well done Boyos, good win!

    • March 17th 2013 @ 9:12am
      richard said | March 17th 2013 @ 9:12am | ! Report

      Well done Wales.Who would have picked that result.

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