Six Nations - Twickenham, 6 February 2010, 17:00 local, 17:00 GMT
England (13) 30 - 17 (3) Wales (FT)

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Summary

Time Score  
 

Good afternoon! It's 20 minutes until kick-off, Twickenham is filling up and the atmosphere is building nicely. Let's hope we have a slightly better game than the previous one between Ireland and Italy witha bit more buzz about it. Shouldn't be a problem with England playing Wales.

My Dad's there, my sister's there, I'm here and not there, but will be making sure that the rest of you who can't get there are at least up to date with what's happening. If you want to get in touch with any comments, queries or rugby trivia you just have to share, please do using the feedback link. I won't be able to get all your comments up, but I'll try.

I guess the main talking points are whether England can find any fluency or cutting edge- a prospect that has been dealt a blow with the injury to Flutey. Wales have all the talent and the players for the running game, but were not on the boil either over the autumn, but I'd back them to find it, playing England's always enough of a motivator.

This is Jamie Allaway, by the way, and I hope you'll still be with me come 5pm.

10 Mins to go We have a huge number of people on the pitch, a load of people dressed in red and a bunch of soldiers making up a huge St George cross. Putting on a bit of a show to mark Twickenham's 100th anniversary.

Any of you there at the ground? Let us know what the atmosphere is like.

A nice moment as we have a minute's applause in memory of Bill McClaren and Princes William and Harry are just meeting the players. Anthems to be sung, and then we're good to go.

They may not be purple, but England have managed to pull out another extraordinary looking kit. They are designed to look like England's first strip of 100 years ago with collars, but obviously are tight and made of modern materials; the result is...interesting.

1

Alain Rolland is the ref today, by the way, and he has blown his whistle.

England regain the ball from the kick-off and despite many phases of manful effort, only go backwards 10 yards.

2

Jamie Roberts will be feeling a bit sheepish. Trying to take a quick 22, he is hustled by Hartley and knocks on, giving England great position.

3

More fruitless effort from England, until Flood is forced to hang on in the tackle. I rate Flood, but have to admit, I think he might be a bit lightweight to play in the centre.

5

Basic errors from England as they get offside chasing a Care boxkick. Hook has a chance to open the scoring.

Brian Moore is typically indignant on BBC 1. Johnson will be too.

6

Let off, though, as Hook pushes it wide.

7

Wales' first possession and they look much sharper already. Williams is put into half a gap and, while he doesn't have the pace to exploit it, kicks on and the covering Wilkinson is hoiked into touch.

9

A nice break from Danny Care, the first bit of incision from England, despite having the vast majority of possession. Wilkinson kicks for territory.

11 3 - 0

A Welsh player goes in off his feet, and Wilkinson duly converts the penalty for three of his easiest points ever.

12

England look a bit more lively on the restart, until Hartley is bundled into touch. We have a bit of a hiatus as Ryan Jones receives some treatment.

14

Lee Byrne knock on under a high ball, which is notable in itself, the resulting scrum has now been reset a couple of times, I'm not sure why, I don't really understand how the front row works. You can email in and try to explain, but you're unlikely to succed, I've been trying to understand it for 30 years.

15

When we do get clean ball, Flood kicks, maybe needlessly. The play of a fly-half rather than a centre, maybe?

16

Jonny Wilkinson is asked to kick a penlty to touch, rather than to posts )it was only just in the Wales half). He rewards Borthwick's attacking decision with a kick right into the corner. Hopefully, this platform will wake the crowd up a bit, as they have been a bit subdued so far.

17

Good catching drive from the English pack, but Welsh bodies get underneath it and hold it up for a 5-metre scrum. That leads to our first convincing rendition of Sweet Chariot. If you can call 80,000 English rugby fans singing a slave spiritual song convincing?

19

No score as England collapse in the scrum. However, England win the ball back in the lineout; that's 3 stolen now. Wales can't afford to be doing that all afternoon.

21

Again, England are forced to resort to the kick after a number of phases only result in lost ground. The forwards are being held up and when the ball is passed it is far too static.

22

Wales win a penalty but Hook again misses. Not sure why Hook is kicking ahead of Jones, he won't be for long if he carries on like this, unless there is something wrong with Jones. I'll see what I can find out and get back to you on that.

24

Wonderful stuff from Williams, who breaks on the blindside, stays in field, and gets right behind the English defences. Cueto, who made the tackle, also gather the boxkick, marks, and kicks a great clearance up to halfway. Two of the most solid performers in a game that has lacked any stand-out individuals so far.

25

A couple of terrible kicks, there. First from Cooper, after snaffling a ball from under Care's nose. The second from Tait, who made the mark, but then failed to find touch.

26

Another penalty conceded by England when Flood is outnumbered in the tackle. I refer you to my earlier point about Flood at centre.

27 3 - 3

Jones has indeed taken over kicking duties now, and duly does the business.

29

A lot of kicking. Very little ground gained. Not a lot to report.

31

Still lots of kicking. Some good work under the high ball, but no real attacking intent after that. Cueto tries to run it back, to no real effect, Care kicks from teh back of the resulting ruck, and Byrne knocks on to bring an end to that rather tedious passage.

32

Moore is getting more indignant on the BBC. Yep, you guessed it, about referees' rulings at the scrum. England keep being penalised when Wales aren't binding properly, apparently. He does know more about it than I do, though.

34

Yellow Card Alun Wyn Jones. A trip on Hartley at the fringes of a ruck. Looks blatant on the replay, "half-witted" is Moore's typically reserved opinion.

35 6 - 3

Jonny does what Jonny does and England have the lead. A touch fortuitously given their lack of control of the game.

37

At last a bit of zip from England! Care starts it off, he has been sniping well round the rucks. Wilkinson takes it on, Monye supports well, the ball is recycled, Tait breaks through but not cleanly and can't get the ball away. It's driven over the line, but held up.

38

Another 5-metre scrum. Care takes the obligatory free kick quickly (try saying that several times quickly). The pack takes it on but the Welsh defence does well to hold it up again.

40

More pick and drives, surely crying out for the drop kick as the 40 minutes have passed. England must come away with some points from this field position you think.

40+1 13 - 3

TRY What do I know? The ball comes out to Haskell with the Wales defence committed and he is able to pop over with relative ease. They'll be happier with that than a drop-goal, certainly, especially when Jonny Wilkinson adds the 2 points.

England go into halftime much happier and the sin-binning has changed the game. Colin Charvis thinks the man down was critical, "they just had to dig in, but there was too much to do". He also points out that the Wales lineout and kicking has not been functioning properly, which is about right. Gatland will have some stern words at halftime.

England will be much happier, although the late score against 14 men shouldn't disguise the fact that they have not been fluent either.

 

The BBC Brains Trust seem to agree that England are good for their lead. Davis thinks Wales have to sort out their kicking and lineout, Guscott doesn't think that Wales have any fluidity, and Dallaglio thinks that the Welsh are lacking in confidence. They all agree that Jones' trip and subsequent sending-off was both stupid and critical.

42

England come out firing in the second half looking to make the most of their advantage. A promising attack breaks down after Flood and Tait get confused in the centre.

43 18 - 3

TRY No matter, Danny Care is over the line. Armitage runs Jones' clearance back, and the Welsh defence is in allsorts when, for once, England ball comes back quickly. Care takes it on himself and goes over the line almost unopposed.

44 20 - 3

Wilkinson converts. Jones is back on but England will be very happy with the way they have exploited that 10 minutes either side of halftime. Their lead is now 17.

46

England must have decided that that lead was too impressive, and try to give it away when a pass is thrown to no man. Wales take it back, Byrne almost making the break and evenrtually gain the penalty when Borthwick scrags Cooper at the ruck.

47

Wales opt for the scrum! There's still well over half an hour left of this game, and that smacks a little of desperation, when you would have thought points on the board were more important.

48 20 - 8

TRY I should really stop suggesting what decisions teams should make, because I've got it wrong again! Adam Jones is out on the wing and finds himself in sight of the line. It looks like this confuses him a little, as he glances round, but he decides that he doesn't need Shane Williams and leaps over the line. Not quite a swallow-dive, but he has the points and Wales are back in this game.

49 20 - 10

Jones converts to bring them back within 10.

51

They were almost right back in this game, as Jones has a penalty attempt. It's good and straight, but it was a long way out and doesn't have the legs.

52

More woes for the Welsh lineout as they lose the ball again. Mind you, it may just be a cunning ploy, as they gain free kick at the scrum.

They are really missing Martin Rees, who was a late injury. He is normally an ever-present and reliable thrower.

54

Wales really are all over England here. Hook makes a break and releases James, who can't quite hang onto the ball. It bounces over the line and he touches down. but Alain Rolland rules that he knocked it on. James isn't particularly happy about the decision, but it looked like the ref got that one right.

55

Pressure really on for England as Wales almost win a scrum against the head.

57

Barnstorming run by Easter. After Shaw gathers a bouncing ball, Easter makes 30 or 40 yards taking 3 or 4 men with him. When the ball is spun from the ruck, Cueto dinks a cute little chip through for Armitage, but it bounces into touch 5 metres from the Welsh try line. England need to put some pressure of their own on here, as they have been under the pump since scoring at the beginning of the second half.

59

A couple of changes in the front row for England. Dan Cole, a promising youngster from Leicester, and Steve Thompson, a World Cup-winning veteran, who must be mentioned for making a comeback from an injury that was declared career-finishing. Well done, him.

60

Lovely work from Cooper, who releases James down a very tight blindside. James is moving at pace and is almost through, before having to sling the ball infield as he is bundled into touch. Generally, though, most passages of play at the moment end with the ball scuttling along the ground in the mid-field.

62

Monye is looking a lot better under the high ball, after his nightmare in the autumn. He cleans up a Gary Owen under some considerable pressure.

64

"Wales haven't managed to get a grip on the game in the second half", says Colin Charvis. "You don't want another yellow card in the game, but Wales need something to open up this game". You don't want to see an England player yellow-carded, Colin? Really?

66

You can see what Colin means, though, as Wales are making quite a few mistakes and failing really to build anything. An inaccurate pass forces Jones S. to knock on. Only a knock on from Shaw prevents them suffering more than a lost ball and a scrum against them.

68

Great counter-rucking by Wales. It is possible in the modern game, albeit only when the attacking side make a bit of a mess of it. That said, Wales drove England back several yards and forced them to hold the ball.

70

You have to say, for all their mistakes, Wales are looking more likely at the moment, as they work the ball left to right and back again in the England half, creeping forward.

TRY Game on! A splendid solo try from James Hook, when collective work was not making the breakthrough. He shows the ball to a drifting Matthew Tait, before cutting back inside him. He then has the pace and strength to hold off Payne and Care and put the ball down near the posts.

71 20 - 17

Jones' conversion means that there are only 3 points in it, with under 10 minutes to go.

72

Remarkably, 17 of England's 20 points came when Wales only had 14 men.

74

TRY Not anymore! As England score a try from an interception. Armitage initially snatches the ball, Flood didn't have the pace to go it alone and feeds Tait, Tait turns Williams and turns him again, but can't shake him off, so pops an inside ball to Haskell, who does very well in supporting him. Haskell goes over with no resistance for his sencond try of the game.

75 27 - 17

Wilkinson converts to make the lead 8 points, which should be enough, but this game has woken up a bit and you can be sure Wales will come back strongly.

76

And they do come back! Williams, hugging the touchline, darts down the blindside and is looking dangerous but doesn't have enough space to get clean away. Moody, who as always has been putting himself about everywhere, turns the ball over and England clear.

77

That may have done it: Haskell gets his hands on the ball at the breakdown and forces Wales to concede, giving Wilkinson a chance for a long-range penalty. Brian Moore appropriately chooses this moment to name Haskell his Man of the Match, despite also generously describing him as "not my favourite player".

78

Jonny Wilkinson slots the ball over and that really must be the game done now, as England's lead is 13.

79 30 - 17

Wilkinson - penalty goal

80

And it's all over. There is nothing Wales can do, as England hold the ball to run the clock down and start their 6 Nations campaign with a win. The crucial factor was, undoubtedly, the sinbin of Jones, but credit must go to England for exploiting it so well and scoring 17 points. After a sluggish first half, the second half had a bit more ding-dong about it and was much more enjoyable to watch.

James Haskell describes this win as a "step in the right direction". It was by no means a flawless performance, but they can be justified in taking some positives away from this match. Wales will be less inclined to do so, although they still showed moments of threat, however they made so many mistakes in their kicking, in their handling and in the lineout that they were never able to develop any fluency.

Warren Gatland is massively disappointed, to be honest he looks completely gutted. He is identifiees there inability to defend when down to 14 men. But he does not let AW Jones. "Stupid" is how he describes the trip, "Absolutely" is his response when asked if he would drop a player for persistent indiscipline. w ith that much honesty with the media, one suspects there will be some unequivocal discussions in the changing room afterwards.

Less illuminating stuff from Borthwick and Johnson who are "proud" and "pleased" but "can see areas for improvement". However they give the impression of feeling vindicated and satisfied.

That's it from me, please join us on Scrum.com for France v Scotland and I will be back next weeknd for more Six Nations rugby.

Timeline

Time England  Score  Wales
0 start of first half start of first half
11 Wilkinson - penalty goal 3 - 0
13 Davies - sub on
Charteris - sub off
16 Davies - sub off
Charteris - sub on
27 3 - 3 SM Jones - penalty goal
34 AW Jones - yellow card
35 Wilkinson - penalty goal 6 - 3
40+1 Haskell - try
end of first half
Wilkinson - conversion
13 - 3 end of first half
40+2
40 start of second half start of second half
43 Care - try 18 - 3
44 Wilkinson - conversion 20 - 3
48 20 - 8 AR Jones - try
49 20 - 10 SM Jones - conversion
53 Bennett - sub on
GJ Williams - sub off
54 Davies - sub on
Charteris - sub off
59 Thompson - sub on
Hartley - sub off
Cole - sub on
Wilson - sub off
64 TE James - sub off
Halfpenny - sub on
67 Powell - sub off
Cooper - sub off
Rees - sub on
Thomas - sub on
69 Shaw - sub off
Deacon - sub on
71 20 - 17 Hook - try
SM Jones - conversion
75 Haskell - try
Wilkinson - conversion
27 - 17
76 Moody - sub off
SE Armitage - sub on
Hodgson - sub on
Care - sub off
77 Flood - sub off
Hipkiss - sub on
79 Wilkinson - penalty goal 30 - 17
80 end of second half
end of half
end of second half
end of half
0
80

Notes

 
Result England won by a margin of 13 points
Six Nations points England 2, Wales 0
 
Ground name Twickenham Stadium, London
Attendance 81406
 
Referee ACP Rolland (Ireland)
 
England Test debuts DR Cole
Wales Test debuts RS Rees

Teams

England Wales
Tries Haskell (40, 75), Care (43) Tries AR Jones (48), Hook (71)
Cons Wilkinson (40, 44, 75) Cons SM Jones (49, 71)
Pens Wilkinson (11, 35, 79) Pens SM Jones (27)

Match stats

England   Wales
3 Tries 2
3 from 3 Conversion goals 2 from 2
3 from 3 Penalty goals 1 from 4
100.0% Kick at goal success 50.0%
0 Dropped goals 0
Kick/pass/run
37 Kicks from hand 31
70 Passes 126
87 Runs 91
398 Metres run with ball 339
Attacking
4 Clean breaks 4
9 Defenders beaten 12
3 Offloads 6
68 from 70 (97.1%) Rucks won 67 from 67 (100.0%)
3 from 4 (75.0%) Mauls won 3 from 3 (100.0%)
9 Turnovers conceded 16
Defensive
94/12 Tackles made/missed 105/9
88.7% Tackling success rate 92.1%
Set pieces
9 won, 4 lost (69.2%) Scrums on own feed 6 won, 0 lost (100.0%)
9 won, 1 lost (90.0%) Lineouts on own throw 7 won, 5 lost (58.3%)
Discipline
12 Penalties conceded 9
0/0 Yellow/red cards 1/0

Eng stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB DA Armitage 0/0 0 7/4/5 33 0 0 0 4 2/0 1/0 0 0/0
W Cueto 0/0 0 5/2/6 44 0 0 0 1 4/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Tait 0/0 0 1/2/6 52 1 1 0 1 6/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Flood 0/0 0 1/6/3 10 0 0 0 0 8/0 0/0 2 0/0
W Monye 0/0 0 0/0/4 54 1 3 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH Wilkinson 0/0 15 13/4/5 25 0 1 0 1 7/2 0/0 0 0/0
SH Care 1/0 5 9/43/8 63 1 3 0 0 4/0 0/0 2 0/0
P Payne 0/0 0 0/0/2 0 0 0 0 0 8/1 0/0 2 0/0
H Hartley 0/0 0 0/1/7 12 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
P Wilson 0/0 0 0/0/5 6 0 0 0 0 3/0 0/0 1 0/0
L Shaw 0/0 0 0/0/6 1 0 0 0 1 6/1 2/1 3 0/0
L Borthwick 0/0 0 0/1/5 6 0 0 0 0 9/1 3/1 1 0/0
F Haskell 2/0 10 0/0/8 37 1 1 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
F Moody 0/0 0 0/1/5 15 0 0 0 0 11/2 0/1 0 0/0
N8 Easter 0/0 0 0/5/10 36 0 0 0 0 6/1 3/1 0 0/0
(H) Thompson 0/0 0 0/0/1 3 0 0 0 0 4/0 0/0 0 0/0
(P) Cole 0/0 0 0/0/1 1 0 0 0 0 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Deacon 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) SE Armitage 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
(SH) Hodgson 0/0 0 1/1/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0 0/0
(C) Hipkiss 0/0 0 0/0/0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

Wales stats

Pos   T/A Pts K/P/R MR CB DB OL TO Tack LO Pen Y/R
FB Byrne 0/0 0 7/2/8 24 0 3 0 3 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
W TE James 0/0 0 1/4/5 42 1 0 0 5 2/1 1/0 0 0/0
C Hook 1/0 5 1/12/13 66 1 3 0 1 2/1 0/0 0 0/0
C Roberts 0/0 0 0/2/7 5 0 0 0 1 10/0 0/0 2 0/0
W SM Williams 0/0 0 1/7/6 43 0 2 0 0 3/0 0/0 0 0/0
FH SM Jones 0/0 7 14/29/4 26 0 0 0 1 12/0 0/0 0 0/0
SH Cooper 0/0 0 6/44/5 20 0 0 0 0 3/1 0/0 0 0/0
P P James 0/0 0 0/0/3 0 0 0 0 0 5/1 0/0 1 0/0
H GJ Williams 0/0 0 0/0/2 4 0 0 0 2 7/0 0/0 0 0/0
P AR Jones 1/0 5 0/1/1 3 0 0 0 0 5/0 0/0 0 0/0
L Charteris 0/0 0 0/1/2 0 0 0 0 0 12/0 0/0 0 0/0
L AW Jones 0/1 0 0/3/6 5 0 0 0 0 6/1 2/1 1 1/0
F Powell 0/0 0 0/1/4 2 0 2 0 1 8/2 1/0 2 0/0
F ME Williams 0/0 0 1/5/6 52 2 2 0 1 13/1 2/0 0 0/0
N8 RP Jones 0/0 0 0/2/11 43 0 0 0 0 12/1 0/0 0 0/0
(H) Bennett 0/0 0 0/1/3 0 0 0 0 1 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(L) Davies 0/0 0 0/0/1 0 0 0 0 0 2/0 0/0 0 0/0
(F) Thomas 0/0 0 0/0/2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 1/0 0 0/0
(SH) Rees 0/0 0 0/12/0 0 0 0 0 0 1/0 0/0 0 0/0
(W) Halfpenny 0/0 0 0/0/2 4 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0 0/0
Key T/A Tries / Try Assists Pts Points scored
K/P/R Kick / Pass / Run MR Metres Run with ball
CB Clean Breaks DB Defenders Beaten OL OffLoads TO TurnOvers
Tack Tackles made / missed LO LineOuts won on throw / stolen on opp throw
Pen Penalties conceded Y/R Yellow / Red cards

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