Six Nations 2000
England rumble on past Wales
Scrum.com
March 4, 2000
Report Match details
Date/Time: Mar 4, 2000, 14:30 local, 14:30 GMT
Venue: Twickenham Stadium, London
England 46 - 12 Wales
Attendance: 73500  Half-time: 19 - 12
Tries: Back, Cohen, Dallaglio, Greening, Hill
Cons: Wilkinson 3
Pens: Wilkinson 5
Pens: NR Jenkins 3
Drops: NR Jenkins
Lawrence Dallaglio looks for the offload after breaking a Welsh tackle, England v Wales, Six Nations, Twickenham, March 4 2000.
Lawrence Dallaglio capped a muscular display with a try
© Getty Images
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Teams: England | Wales


If any Welsh parent was asked two years ago why one Welsh national emblem is the leek, they could simply point to the sixty points that Wales conceded last time they (dis-)graced Twickenham as the reason. Graham Henry's appointment as the Dragons' coach has ensured that a repeat performance was unlikely today but at times that unenviable record looked in some danger.

After a shaky second quarter England were superb, all power and pace. They genuinely have backs and forwards who can intermingle without embarrassment and if a couple more passes had gone to hand Welsh faces would have been as red as their jerseys. The visitors' senior players were almost all disappointing. Howley and Jenkins will be unlikely to survive their least effective performances in a Welsh shirt and Shane Howarth was little better. In the forwards the front row had their moments of glory and Colin Charvis did the thankless tasks, but elsewhere they were comprehensively outplayed in every aspect of the game.

The opening minutes all went England's way. Jonny Wilkinson kicked a penalty in the third minute after the Welsh front had infringed at a scrum. A few minutes later and Matt Perry had a brilliant chance to put Lawrence Dallaglio into the left-hand corner after Shane Howarth needlessly kicked the ball away. Instead the fullback's pass rolled into touch and the look on Dallaglio's face illustrated his disgust. Rather than go 10-0 Wales fought their way into English territory and back into the match where two penalties to Jenkins in the 11th and 14th minutes gave the visitors a 6-3 advantage. It was to last all of one minute as Scott Quinnell was penalised in his own 22, a little harshly perhaps, and Wilkinson's kick levelled the scores.

Although both sides were showing plenty of enterprise, Healey popped up on the "wrong" wing to good effect, still the kicking duel continued. A drop goal by Jenkins was cancelled out by Wilkinson's third penalty at the end of the first quarter. England then turned the screw, at times it looked like twice as many white shirts as red in the back line, and when Shane Williams dropped the ball two yards from his own goal it took some heroic fire-fighting by Scott Quinnell to save the day. England's front row was penalised at the resulting scrum and Wales could breath again. Unfortunately for the Dragons skipper Dai Young was taking an extended rest on the sidelines with an injury.

The opening try came just before the half-hour mark. Jenkins had a drop goal charged down and from broken play England moved the ball quickly left. There was no overlap at first but Ben Cohen created one when he brushed past Neil Jenkins' challenge and while Howarth stopped the winger he could do nothing to prevent Phil Greening from cantering the final twenty metres. Wilkinson's conversion made the score 16-9. Appropriately enough the half ended with another penalty apiece. Jenkins dragged Wales back with a 38 minute effort. Then two Quinnell mistakes, a knock-on by Scott and a high tackle by Craig, meant that Wilkinson re-established England's seven point advantage.

England in general, and Matt Dawson in particular, upped the pace of the game in the second half with a succession of quick penalties. Wilkinson finally kicked one after four minutes as Welsh hooker Garin Jenkins was sent to the bin for obstructing Dawson. England went ten points up and were full of running but the only thing the Dragons were running was out of breath. Sure enough Neil Back touched down in the right hand corner shortly after. England drove up the middle from a ruck, sucked in the Welsh defence and quick hands meant that anyone of three white shirts could have scored. Wilkinson's conversion proved to be his first miss of the match.

Despite being restored to 15 men Welsh fortunes continued to fall. Healey should have scored after breaking the first line of defence and English backs were doing their bit in the rucks and mauls while Greening and Vickery relished the running game.

The inevitable result was another try and this one fell to Richard Hill who popped out a ruck to score under the posts. With 20 minutes still to play Wales were in danger of being swamped. When Jason Leonard takes a quick tap penalty in the final quarter of the match then the opponents are in trouble.

The two number eights then had a huge impact. Scott Quinnell was sent to the sin bin on the 29 minute mark. Dawson opted for a scrum and Dallaglio then picked up at the base and ran fully 20 metres to score an astonishing try, thoughtfully escorted all the way by Mark Taylor and Neil Jenkins. The final minutes saw a Cohen try, courtesy of Healey, and a Phil Vickery dummy which Alan Bateman bought. It summed up a sad day for Wales.

Meanwhile the bookies will be well-advised to close their books on any further Grand Slam bets. In this form England are magnificent and they probably have their hardest games behind them in this Championship.

Scorers: England: Wilkinson Pen 5, Conv 3, Greening try, Back try, Hill try, Dallaglio try, Cohen try Wales: Jenkins Pen 4, DG

ENGLAND:15 M. Perry, 14 Austin HEaley, 13 M. Tindall, 12 M. Catt, 11 B. Cohen, 10 J. Wilkinson, 9 M. Dawson, 1 J. Leonard, 2 P. Greening, 3 P. Vickery, 4 G. Archer, 5 S. Shaw, 6 R. Hill, 7 N. Back, 8 L. Dallaglio.

Replacements: 16 N. McCarthy, 17 T. Woodman, 18 J. Worsley, 19 M. Corry, 20 A. Gomersall, 21 A. King, 22 I. Balshaw.

WALES: 15 S. Howarth, 14 G. Thomas, 13 A. Bateman, 12 M. Taylor, 11 S. Williams, 10 N. Jenkins, 9 R. Howley, 1 P. Rogers, 2 G. Jenkins, 3 D. Young, 4 C. Quinnell, 5 C. Wyatt, 6 C. Charvis, 7 B. Sinkinson, 8 S. Quinnell.

Replacements: 16 B. Williams, 17 S. John, 18 I. Gough, 19 M. Williams, 20 R. Smith, 21 S. Jones, 22 M. Cardey.

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