Luther Burrell goes over for England’s second try
England avenged last year’s Millennium Stadium mauling by deservedly defeating Wales 29-18 at Twickenham – ensuring their Six Nations title hopes are still alive.
First-half tries from Danny Care and Luther Burrell ensured the Red Rose sealed the Triple Crown for the first time since 2003.
Wales saw their dreams of a third successive championship extinguished in the springtime sunshine as Leigh Halfpenny’s 18 points with the boot proved in vain.
In what was a dress rehearsal for the World Cup group match at HQ next year, Care’s try under the posts following a quick tap penalty gave the hosts the perfect start with five minutes played.
After Halfpenny and Farrell had exchanged penalties on three occasions to make it 16-9, it was England who again were celebrating a try in the 34th minute.
An overthrow by Wales at the line-out was recycled and when the ball was fed to Billy Twelvetrees, his grubber kick was grounded by Burrell in the corner.
Two further penalties from Halfpenny made it 20-15 at half-time, when in truth England were considerably more than five points superior to their Welsh counterparts.
After an opening half that had seen 35 points tabled for only the second time in history between the two sides, the second was more like the cagey affair many had expected.
Two penalties from Farrell – the second of which came following the sin bin of Gethin Jenkins for the angle at which he approached the scrum – enabled England to dominate possession.
Halfpenny’s sixth penalty was duly cancelled out by Farrell taking the score to 29-18, in what was a master-class of kicking by the pair.
The margin of victory could have been larger had Burrell not been denied his fourth try from four appearances by a last-ditch tackle by Halfpenny.
England will hope France do them a favour against Ireland in Paris, as they head to Rome to face Italy full of confidence following this resounding win.