In the second round of games in the 2017 Six Nations, John Inverdale presents live coverage from the Principality Stadium as Wales host England.
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The seeds are the same the grass is the same, everything is the same. It
is just another ground. There was plenty of exciting rugby, plenty of
exciting rugby, plenty of exciting rugby...
Wales can celebrate! Wales council of rate! Wales can rate!
The first meeting was almost 140 years ago, and supremacy has ebbed
and flowed like the River Severn in between, 60 wins to England, a
rivalry like you others, such close neighbours, such fierce opponents,
friend and foe in equal measure, and the winners tonight will be in pole
position to be crowned Six Nations champions. Although Ireland could
yet have a significant say in that after an emphatic victory in Rome by
63-10, and that means they are the first team not only to pick up a
losing bonus point macro in Murrayfield last week, but only a
winning bonus point, currently top, as you can see. This is as eagerly
anticipated a game as this great stadium has seen an awful long time,
and as you can see the roof is open, as I am sure most of you will know,
after England demanded it be that way early in the week, which means
for the 75,000 in here today, and us in our brand-new, deluxe outdoor
studio, it is freezing! Serious wind-chill, the temperature has to
be hovering around freezing. Jeremy Guscott, Martyn Williams, but a big
bit of team news, George North will not be playing in this match this
afternoon because of the injury he sustained in Rome last weekend, and
that means that Alex Cuthbert is on the field now, warming up to win his
latest cap on the wing. It means the Welsh bench remains the same, and
Dan Biggar, despite that bank to the ribs last week in Rome, will start
for Wales this afternoon. Martyn, obvious question, how big a blow is
that? It is a huge blow, on the form he is as lethal as any winger in the
northern hemisphere. Alex Cuthbert has trained all week, they didn't
expect George to poor through, so the whole of Wales is hoping Alex
Cuthbert can rediscover his previous form. Let's talk about the roof,
then we can move on! How big an impact, it is quite a crisp
afternoon, lovely conditions for playing, what bearing does it have?
I think, Eddie being Eddie, making the roof the subject of the week,
everybody's attention was drawn to that, rather than the players, what
was England's back row going to be made up of? He has done the job,
England might just edge wins when the roof has been open in the recent
past, so that might be a say -- a psychological edge. And the Welsh
love it closed. They don't want to give them their way, that is the big
thing. Ireland always wanted the roof open, and probably only because
Wales wanted it closed. It is all about not giving them their way, not
letting them get away with anything. You made the point macro that
England were almost afraid in Cardiff, but looking at the
statistics, there is a myth about that, because during the course of
this Six Nations, it is played eight, won four, lost four, but is
this a different proposition? The game is the game, it doesn't matter
who you are playing, you are still as intense, but this is the build-up
for the week, you cannot get away from it as a player. I would love to
play here, the atmosphere is the best in the world. EQ is getting
over the bridge have been extensive, putting it mildly. -- the queues.
England fans are revelling in their side's unbeaten run, even when they
are not playing particularly well, like against the French at
Twickenham last weekend. Contrasting fortunes, a day of white
and blue. No, yes, yes! No. 14 games
undefeated, 2016 undefeated. Down, up, still up, 15 wins, every
reason to be up. Eddie, France gave you a fright, how wary of Wales and
everything that comes with playing in Cardiff? Very good side, Wales,
good performance to win assertively in the second half against Italy,
and we are anticipating a very tough game today. You have just
experienced your first bus ride through the streets of Cardiff with
England, what was that like? A bit like going to the game in
Johannesburg or Pretoria, a lot of supporters in Bybee, having a good
time, it adds to the atmosphere. -- in by -- imbibing. I have never
spoken about a roof so much in my life! It creates an enormous amount
of interest, it looks pretty good open. Given that you did not play
well last week, awful to use your words, you are away from home, it is
Wales, is this the biggest test under your ten tenure? It is the
biggest test now, it is a fantastic stadium, the crowd is close to the
ground, good surface, you're playing Wales, traditional game, good time
to bounce back. Good luck. This game is steeped in history, two gentleman
here are played more than their part, Jonathan Davies and Brian
Moya. 50 years ago almost to the day, one of the most famous
incidents in the history of Wales against England, when Keith Jarrett,
making his debut for Wales at full-back, picked up this kick and
around 60 metres down the field in one of the great tries here. Look at
that, courted on the first bounce, and one CB to the first man, there
was no catching him. -- once he beat. There was a post match meal
here, he missed the last bus home to Newport, and a bus tribe was walking
home, see him and said, you are my hero, I am going to go to the depot
and get a bus specially to take you home, because you have just scored
that try to beat England today. If we fast forward 20 years to a less
savoury moment in the history of this fixture, a significant moment
in your career. It was, because shortly after this fracas, shall we
say, I got 64 caps in a row after Graham was dropped! Noticed that
Alba one rob Andrew there. No, it is before the watershed! -- notice that
elbow on Rob Andrew. Wales' problem, if we can transform ourselves,
today's game, create and scored tries, it will be a very close
encounter, but England have got the edge, with the axis, they are so
good at playing off each other, for me, a lot of people are saying
emotion is less in the professional game, but not today for Wales. They
have got to pile into England from the start, and I think it is
important that they have a good start, Wales. At what point does the
unbeaten run become a burden? I am not sure it should be, they have to
keep addressing the next game, and they will at some point lose, but
the important thing is how they bounce back, not much of an issue.
Very quickly, would you like to have played under Eddie Jones? I would,
he is world-class committee keeps you on your toes, he has always got
something to save. -- he is a world-class coach, he keeps you on
your toes. I played and two some Australian coaches, they are great,
they have mental toughness. There is the England hooker, Dylan Hartley,
the England captain too, and under a huge amount of scrutiny not just
playing ability but his conduct on the field. He is as combative and
feisty as they come, so this ground is is kind of place.
You are playing against a nation, a passionate crowd, I have been
hammered by Wales, I have beaten them, it is a good place to play
rugby, when you lose, it is intense, and when you win, it is a great
feeling as well. This is definitely exciting. Have you ever ventured out
in Cardiff before the game? No, I haven't, no. I've ventured out after
a game! It is crazy. Everything from the stadium kind of goes onto the
streets, there is an atmosphere that is unbelievable, it is a rugby
capital, it is brilliant. On match day, what is it like to be on that
England bus? It is good, I mean I think each player reacts to it
differently. For me, seeing the streets lined with people, whether
they are waving or throwing abuse at the bus, I think it is a great
thing. Five or six guys haven't been down yet, and we have made it known
to them what the atmosphere is going to be like. I thrive on it, I love
the atmosphere. Cardiff, like I said, is a rugby capital, one of the
rugby capital is in the world, and there is no better place to play.
From an England perspective, when we have been talking about the roof, we
have been talking about Dylan Hartley as well, how precarious his
position is, and the axis at ten and 12, George Ford very much the centre
after that, because he has got great hands and sets the backs going, but
you have to be able to tackle in that channel. You have, primarily he
is there because he is a great tactician, he's good at keeping
England in the right part of the field, but to tackle, that is
primary in the modern game, because some anime big guys come down that
channel. Paul Gustard is going to be annoyed about those stats from last
week, 34% of tackles were allowed, or they were passive, a guy is
running into you and you are giving away ground. We have got an example
from last week, and England put Ford at number nine, and I think in a way
just to protect him a little bit, but I believe France have seen that,
and off they have come, and they have seen it, and they're going to
really target George. He makes the tackles, but look how much ground
France have got. They have collected eight metres there without any
trouble. From that point on, England are scrambling in defence, dogleg
there, Picamoles takes a great line. George has gone straight to the win,
they have gone over him, and it is a scrambling defence. Credit to
Gustard and his team, because they have gone right to the flank, they
are not banging into the French, but they make the scramble. This is key
for me - if Wales have any cleverness about them, they would
have spotted that, and I would expect them to target George Ford.
The back row will be key, Maro Itoje in the back row, one of the most
talked about players in English and world rugby. He alternates from the
back row to the second row, how easy is that? It is easy if you are an
athlete like this guy, it is hard if you are an old school second row. I
think this is how the second row is going, the second rows of the future
will be tall, athletic back rows. What he does is very similar to what
he does in the second row, works really hard, carries hard, tackles
hard. He is obviously a phenomenal player. I thought he was a bit high
in how he went about his business at times last week, gave away a penalty
for a high tackle and can carry a bit high but he is a phenomenal
athletes to the guy he plays against today, Alun Wyn Jones.
This is the intimidating atmosphere that Wales were hoping to bring
against an inexperienced England back row in terms of the number of
starts, only four in the back row. There is Jack Clifford from
Harlequins, lots of people have said he will be a big star Rob the future
but he has not played a lot of rugby this season. A big game for him. For
me, the English back row was a bit cumbersome and slow last week, he is
a fantastic athlete who brings pace and energy. If you think of who he
is playing against, Tipuric, Moriarty and Warburton, they are a
bit slower. He is a superb rugby player. Perhaps not your typical
seven where he will be over the ball, he will have a big impact and
needs to have a big impact. It almost goes without saying that
this game is huge for the Welsh nation as a whole, it goes way
beyond the rugby field. The excitement on the streets of Cardiff
today has been such that you can almost reach out and touch it. The
last 20 minutes in Rome last Sunday gave the fans genuine cause for
optimism today. It has been described as a game that
Wales cannot afford to lose. It has been ten years since the last
Italian triumph. Clifford in number ten, he is in
trouble. The Welsh hit the front for the first time in the match. Chips
it onto Scott Williams. They go away. Jonathan Davies!
It was easy in the end. Jonathan Davies again coming here is Liam
Williams. Try number two. George North!
There will be no bonus point for Wales.
A good start away from home, what is it like to be back in Cardiff with
England the opposition? With the best supporters in the world, great.
Looking forward to the opportunity. Our form at home in the Six Nations
is very good and we look to keep that this afternoon. You gave him
every chance until the 11th hour, George North does not make it. How
close did he come? Agog when he woke and saw the medical team it was
pretty obvious he would not be available. With a six-day turnaround
you want to give world-class players every opportunity, particularly for
Wales against England, but on the + Dan Biggar is fit and will start. It
would not be a Wales match if there was not a debate around the number
ten. Why not play Sam Davies after his cameo in Italy? The National
landscape is about the 23 players, Sam came on, did really well and did
what he was opposed to, have an impact off the bench. We feel Dan is
good to start, it is a 23 man squad. You will see changes last week on
the front row and again this afternoon. Have a good afternoon.
Cheers. STUDIO: We spoke about the significance of the back row battle,
at the heart this evening will be Sam Warburton. Marti saw him this
week, he is no longer captain but too many people he is Wales' top
dog. Good to see you. How many have you got, now? Two. As well as these
two, you have the added responsibility, you became a father
seven or eight months ago. A new perspective? It is mad, pretty much
all the forwards have kids and all the backs do not. You have to tie
down a girl and get a family sorted, because looks only go in one
direction! Has lately been fine? Lesley has been amazing. I have had
dogs my whole life. It is a nice distraction, I can switch off
easily. You can into my house, I only have one rugby jersey up in the
whole house, you would not know I was a rugby player, when you go home
I think you need to switch off. Alun Wyn Jones is the new captain of
Wales, replacing Sam Warburton, who has been skipper for six years. The
gal how has it been being Sam, rather than the captain? It is nice
to focus on yourself, not have to worry about the media and press
duties. Obertan you just think I just want to get back to just
enjoying playing -- overtime you just think. And be the rugby player.
I would still like a leadership role in the team. Alastair Cook has
stepped down from the England cricket captaincy, he said he went
to the well want to many times. Do you feel that was the case with you
or was it a little bit more that you could have given? I always said it
is like a relationship, nothing is mutual, when people break up and
they say it is mutual, somebody started it! But I think this is
pretty mutual. I put a lot of energy and time and effort into the
captaincy, I found it tough at times, but as I look back over the
five and a half, six years, I really prized -- really pleased I did it.
Is there a game you would like to relive? I did not want to be a
captain who had not won against the southern hemisphere team, so that
was probably my favourite moment as captain. Wales have beaten South
Africa! The time is right for him to do it, he is one of the form
players, it is an easy transition for him to take over, and he has had
a massive leadership role ever since I have been playing, since you were
playing. When he came on as a youngster, you knew. It made the
decision easier knowing such an experienced guy would come in and do
a good job. I don't know how long I will play, I'm 28, whether I have
three, four, five or six years, I want to enjoy them. Have you set any
specific target? Lions is a big one? I thought the best players in the
world ones have been on more than one World Cup and more than one
Lions tour, it has improved their longevity. I would love to get to
the next World Cup and the Lions tour, of course.
Behave self-exploration mark here! Is this your therapy, to get away
from the madness of Welsh rugby and the public? You know what it is like
in Wales, when it is Wales and England, flipping heck, you can't go
anywhere without people wishing you luck, it is massive. Players get
that from Monday all through the week, when you are in the hotel,
they constantly ask. We will be OK, as Eddie said, they
will fight going into Cardiff. We just enjoy the hype, you can tell
the fans are loving this. It makes for a great game.
There he is, minus his dogs. Do you detect any difference in war but in
the player, as opposed to the player and captain? Agog he was so relaxed
when I saw him on Wednesday. It is a big burden, Paul could properly talk
about it more than me. Without that added burden of being captain as
well, he is really thriving. Captaincy can sometimes be a lonely
job, especially when you are struggling with injury, you want to
focus on yourself and be the best you can be, but you have to look
after the team, so it works out very well. Alun Wyn would have hated to
have retired and not had a period as the Welsh captain, so it is good
that Sam is happy to see the back of it for a while and Alun Wyn can work
on it for a while. They use Tipuric and Warburton a lot last week. The
big question for Wales for four or five years is whether they can play
together. We saw Princes last week that they could. Tipuric last week,
it enables Sam to play inside. He goes for the first contact. It is
not needed. This would be a concern for me, how far Justin Tipuric is
from the ball. They did that superbly well, it was nice and
clean. Some did not get over. But this is way DC the best of both
players, this skill and timing, it looks easy -- this is where you see
the best of both players. I think the way that Wales hope to
play, Tipuric is the player you want in the Middle where he can go out
the back go on. Going into the game, this is where Wales are ahead,
Warburton over the ball, Tipuric as well, they both have to be on top of
their game if Wales are to stand a chance. Statistically England have a
better turnover rate. Talking about the captaincy, the words of Alun Wyn
Jones are the entire front page of the Western mail today, he is
talking about the anthem, he says you have to sing it as if it is the
last time. It is not 23 on the park and 75,000 in the stands, we are all
together, for those few minutes we are connected. It gives the team
that extra edge, it is special. In terms of his position and authority
in the second row, he is a giant of a man on and off the field. He is
fantastic, it is hard to believe that at 31 years of age she has 106
caps. He is 120 kilos, a big old school lump of a second row, that he
has the workrate and fitness of a smaller man, he is like a number
seven in batter Josey. I was lucky enough to tour with him on two Lions
tours and I was blown away. He will bring away a certain level of...
Here he is, in the new way that Wales will play, he will be
brilliant. He has lovely hands, just like Tipuric, he will be brilliant.
I was blown away at how big his engine was and how fit he was. Going
past 34-macro Italians, produces a quick ball for Italy. He has a
fantastic engine for such a big man. This is a bad clip for me, he is
still good at the old school second row stuff, he catches me napping and
blows me off the ball. Wales scored about two or three minutes after
that. It was a big moment in the game.
Not that you remember! Dan Biggar is playing, on Sunday night you said
you would be amazed if he started, because of the bang in the ribs. Eye
40s did less of a chance the George North, anyone who has injured their
ribs, that is very painful. -- I thought he stood less of a chance.
But I would have picked in today, he is a big occasion player, you was
the catalyst for Wales to get back into the game. I agree with Martyn,
he starts for me because of his tactics and strategy. He has been
pulling the strings for Wales for a couple of seasons. He has the X
Factor and the magic, that can command when England are tired, or
when they are at their strongest he may be able to counter that with
vision and ability. The key conversation at half time will be
when we look at who both sides have got to bring in the last 20 minutes,
where so many international Zol won and lost. Cuthbert has had some
great moments and some horror games, how big a test is this for him,
being parachuted from nowhere? He would have known from the start of
the week that he would play of George did not. He burst onto the
scene and was superb, but he has really had a tough 18 months. You
need confidence, you hope that something positive can happen from
his first touch. He is a finisher, he has bags of pace, he needs the
first touch of the confidence. The pyrotechnics are starting, we are
getting closer. It is almost time for the talking to stop and the
players to start. Jeremy? I look forward to this, you look at the
Welsh side, the quality of player. Those experienced players, the
Lions, they have not played to the best of their ability. They have the
most room to improve. The worrying factor for that would be that
England have not reached anywhere near their potential and are winning
games. They seem to rise above and get the victory. I feel this,
generally I have not seen a nation want to win a game as badly as
Wales, knock England off their stool. England have been superb over
the last year under Eddie Jones. The big man is on the pitch, saying
this is our game, this is Welsh rugby. Paul, who wins it for you? I
really fancy Wales. Most people here fancy Wales! Maybe it is because it
is my first time here, I cannot get over the atmosphere, just
incredible. My first time here for an England Wales game, mind blowing.
I fancy Wales, the motion will be high.
-- the emotion. One very special person watching us this afternoon,
Harry Walker, 102 today, the oldest surviving international rugby player
in the world, he made his debut for England in Cardiff in 1947, England
won 9-6 but Wales topped the table. Harry, watching at home in Coventry,
it was not like this in your day and I hope you have a great birthday.
Before the game gets under way we will have the minutes's silence for
great players ever to grace the stadium and all the other great
grounds of the world cheering and absolutely stellar career including
captaining the Springboks and being an indelible part of South Africa's
1995 World Cup triumph. Who could ever forget those tackles?
This week Joost van der Westhuizen died from motor neurone disease, and
we will have a moment's silence in memory of one of the greatest
scrum-halves of all time. APPLAUSE
The anthems coming up now, then commentary from Jonathan Davies,
Brian Moore and Eddie Butler. # Mae hen wlad fy nhadau
yn annwyl i mi # Gwlad beirdd a chantorion,
enwogion o fri # Ei gwrol ryfelwyr,
gwladgarwyr tra mad Late in the afternoon in the second
weekend of the Six Nations of 2017, Alun Wyn Jones, the Welsh captain,
bellows out the anthem. The props that came on as replacements against
Italy start for Wales against England, Rob Evans and Tomas
Francis. George North a late withdrawal, Alex Cuthbert on the
right wing, Dan Biggar has recovered from a bruised rib to partner Rhys
Webb as the half-backs. One change in the England starting back, Jack
Clifford in the back row for Tom would, who starts on the bench. The
back row has only 20 caps in all, against Wales's 130. Jonny May goes
to the bench. England A-level slow out of the blocks in game one, they
will be looking for more speed everywhere. -- a little slow.
Taulupe Faletau returns to the Wales squad, he has been out with a knee
injury, Ben Te'o game off the bench to score the winner against France.
Jerome Garces of France will be in charge today, he will be a busy man,
referees always an nowadays, with new protocols, new directives. Their
role becomes ever more important. And on such a day as this, he is
going to be such a figure. Dan Biggar, over his injury.
Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford, youngsters in the England back row.
It is Wales against England in Cardiff. Itoje goes up, claims for
England. Ross Moriarty brings the England back row down. Ben Youngs,
towards Dan Biggar. Scott Williams. Itoje and Clifford,
six and seven combination. Alun Wyn Jones in midfield, gets over the
halfway line. Biggar, Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies. Stays away from the
touchline. Justin Tipuric finding space, a wing
forward in the wide channels. Jake Ball. Good tackle by Dylan Hartley.
Moriarty, good tackle of him by Courtney Lawes. Wales have the
penalty. A couple of things there, first thing, good refereeing, Rhys
Webb not rolling away. England did not commit hardly anyone to the
tackle area, and the two ball-carriers targeted George Ford,
that should be the target. George Ford, run him all day, tire him out,
so when he gets the ball offensively, he will not be so
effective. This penalty is what they call a coach killer, given away on
the ten metres line when there was really no threat, no need to hang
around on the floor. The players know that if they don't get out of
the way of the receiving player, penalties are going to come, because
referees are very hard on that - unnecessary. And Wales did not
penetrate that ten metres line, the defence was good, penalty given
away, though. Leigh Halfpenny just needs five more
points to pass the 300 in the Six Nations. He has passed 500 in
general, but in the Six Nations. This to move to 298.
He likes it, couldn't be straighter, Wales take an early lead in the
Principality Stadium. Alex Cuthbert under pressure from
Elliot Daly. I thought he was taken in the air there.
Charged down for Rhys Webb, Itoje texted, the ball away to Daly. Jack
Clifford taking the ball for Owen Farrell. Ben Youngs to Joe
Launchbury. Jack Nowell, into the Welsh 22.
Jonathan Joseph goes to scrum-half and feeds Dan Cole.
Wales have riposte England from the 22, but England comeback, well into
the Wales 22 now through Jonathan Joseph. Hartley on the short ball.
Robbed by Dan Biggar, brilliant bit of stripping of the ball by the
Welsh ten. Rhys Webb has time to clear map not to touch, just into
the England have. Moriarty and Ken Owens with the tackles.
Nathan Hughes knocks on, they try to launch a counter, Halfpenny gets a
boot to it. Back goes Jack Clifford, in touch. That is a tremendous kick,
made possible by the work of Dan Biggar.
There is the tackle. He lost the ball, but England will not be happy,
they have made two handling errors that have caused them back into this
position, so two errors. But they are very effective. Courtney Lawes
catches from Dylan Hartley. Ben Youngs waits patiently behind
the advancing maul and is quite happy, after such a line-out, to go
directly to touch. He will be a key man today, he puts the tempo in the
game, and when it beaters out a little bit, they can put Danny Care
on. All the runners are coming off Ben Youngs, great defence, though.
Gumshield out as well! Clean ball down to Rhys Webb. Scott Williams.
Cuts inside, makes ground. Advantage to England being played, and it has
turned into a penalty to England. He is in some discomfort there. That
Ise-Shima Wales, because the gap had opened up. -- that is a shame for
Wales. England have their first real opportunity. Good feed by Scott
Williams, spotted use, cut inside him. -- spotted Hughes. Nathan
Hughes against Tipuric, who makes half a yard.
Rhys Webb with an important tackle on the big number eight. Launchbury.
England with numbers here. Crucial tackle, numbers on the outside, by
Jonathan Davies. Alun Wyn Jones has stolen the ball for Wales, facing a
horrible overlap against them, they have turned the ball over. Moriarty
comes away with it. A high tackle, I think. Brilliant
dive. Catching in the goalie. Back to the high tackle. England with a
penalty. This will be one of the ones that
looks fairly iniquitous, I think he was on the way down. No, it was a
high tackle. Earlier when England had a turn,
there were defenders on the blindside who did well. They had to
guess. With the ball going out wide over the top, or would it hang back
and drift? They chose to come forward, creating a situation where
England were back inside, and then Alun Wyn Jones got into some
trouble. I think the worry for Wales was the
way with the ball. A desperate defence, they had created the
overlap on the right-hand side. If the ball had gone it quickly, they
were over. I think Ford just checked, stepped inside and the
opportunity was missed. Do you think it has been a ploy for the Welsh
clearance, Biggar and Evans, not keeping in touch? I am not sure that
England will count about, the kicks have to be very good. -- England
will counter that. Owen Farrell levels the scores.
Three apiece in Cardiff. England managing what they did not
do against France, which was make ground after the initial contact.
That is making all the difference. Dan Biggar has split the forwards,
as he did against Italy. Maro Itoje caught safely.
Another penalty against Wales. Again, another completely
unnecessary one. They will not drive the more than five yards, they will
be outside the 22. All they have done now is give England the
advantage, should this be kicked out.
Dylan Hartley, the England captain. Joe Launchbury in the second row,
Nathan Hughes, number eight. Penalty advantage, Courtney Lawes
came away with it. A good pick-up by George Ford.
Change of style, no advantage, that went straight out. We will go back
to the penalty. Offside at the ruck. Just watch this, it is the change of
angle. He steps inside. The forwards either side of George Ford, it is
difficult to pick up. There are so many runners outside George Ford. He
just picks the right one. At that angle he just runs the inside
shoulder on Dan Biggar. A change of kicker. There is George Ford, he is
not required as a pace kicker. For the moment. Elliot Daly, a left
footer. Lovely left foot. Anything near the 48 or 50 mark, he steps up.
Mike Brown has been a great servant for English rugby, but is this the
next English full-back? Very intelligent player. I have seen in a
club game kick from 58 metres. Distance no problem, direction...
Not good. Just gave it is too much welly. Not bad, not good enough. We
are all square. We have got to get some momentum back, keep possession.
At the moment, England are just on top.
Dan Biggar long into the England half.
England seems to have an overlap again. The ball went backwards, said
the referee. Looks to the touch judge. Play on, is the order.
Tipuric try to hold him up and stripped the ball.
Great tackle. Play on, no high tackle.
Wales are fully stretched, trying to cover the gaps. Forged a Itoje.
Halfpenny with the brilliant try saving tackle. But England still
thunder at the Welsh line through Joe Launchbury. They need to put
width on this. Ben Youngs calls more players in. Wales are shorter
outright. -- short at the right. Itoje can't make it. Nathan Hughes
could not make it. England still have it.
The Welsh defence were still holding out until just now. I tell you what,
fantastic, sustained pressure with a variety on the attack. George Ford,
his little late passes. He is getting runners over the gain line.
They got close and put the pressure on. Ben Youngs the last man up. Here
is his finish. The ball could have gone earlier. The defenders were
outnumbered. England eventually moved the ball wide, they went over
the line and kept patient. Wales are not able to stop the ball at the
source, they are not able to slow the ball down. England are getting a
quick ball, any defence. When that happens and Wales did. That was an
easy finish for Ben Youngs. They have been so powerful up front, they
dragged Welsh players in and they have had numbers on the left. When
the numbers left that ruck area, not enough numbers, Ben Youngs pops up
on scores. -- and scores. England in the lead, but they can
tap the two points. Wales three, England eight with the first try of
the game. -- England in the lead but they cannot add the two points. What
has been interesting, the variety of Ford's distribution, the delays in
the past, some flat, some wider, keeping defenders guessing.
Robert Evans, the proper, makes the tackle. Ben Youngs, down towards
Leigh Halfpenny Lee. Was it touched in flight? They are clearing out
going to the touchline. They are confident, come at us from a set
piece. Are maybe not -- Wales are maybe not kicking into touch.
Williams has had his first touch of the ball.
Biggar thought about the kick but Timmy did. Very quick from Wales.
This is low, they will have to generate quicker. -- this is slow.
It is a free play now, a penalty. Wales earned a penalty. That is a
lot better from Wales. REFEREE: You don't stay in the
opposite side to block the player. I don't thing he understood much of
that, to be honest. That was good from Wales, they cleaned out on the
ball went wide. The one difference for me at the moment is the width,
England cap their width. With the two phase attack with George, this
has been the big difference so far, George Ford. His distribution has
been brilliant. Wales take the three points, the two point game. He is
initially on his feet and then he is not any more.
It is the question of discipline, you know when you have a decent
purchase or you have not. Leigh Halfpenny brings Wales to
within two points of England. Wales six, England eight. It is a very,
very good game at the moment. They have both come to play and everybody
is enjoying it. George Ford for Elliot Daly to
chase, straight out, was it? A lot of questions being asked, did Daly
get it edge? -- get a touch? Straight out.
LAUGHTER Good try! It was touched, I believe,
look, yes, just that is hand on it. That is very good play by Elliot
Daly otherwise. Good play by that man there.
Well, this is the first scrum, and England suffered a bit against
France. Wales have been very steady, rock-solid. Ross Moriarty picks the
ball out of a scrum that had gone down.
Oh, no! Well, no? Jonathan Davies on Mike Brown. It wasn't a knock-on, no
advantage to Wales, it is a lead off for England. He did well there,
Brown, under pressure. Halfpenny waits and catches cleanly. Jack
Clifford and Itoje with the follow-up tackle. Ken Owens looked
in pain, but he is up and about. Justin Tipuric, meanwhile, Ken Owens
is back in the Welsh line. Webb from slow ball, Cuthbert sets
off in pursuit. Dan Biggar! Nowell, Wales arrived, two metres from the
England line. That is brilliant by Nowell to save the day.
Ben Youngs has to clear, has to find touch. Wales have an attacking throw
in the 22. Nowell did extremely well, not only did he field the
ball, but he got back to allowing players to come back to secure it.
The ball bounced favourably for Dan Biggar. He had no option, he was
always going to win that race, but they go to ground, was that a
knock-on? I don't think the ball went forward, he had no option. Was
Jack Nowell not tackled there? Well, he let go. You can get up on his
feet, that is great play. He holds Sam Warburton off. Such a fast first
26 minutes, there will be tired legs out there, the gaps are going to
open up in the last ten minutes of this game. It is all about the way
you play the last ten minutes of this game, the first half. Ken Owens
with the group, Wales in the England 22. -- with the throw.
Not the quickest ball. Rhys Webb, Ross Moriarty delivers, Alun Wyn
Jones, the captain. Ken Owens steps inside Maro Itoje.
Webb, Warburton, Webb again, Biggar, Ross Moriarty! Scott Williams goes
on his own. Webb, Biggar again. Biggar still
going, held up, and now he is on the ground, Webb. Alun Wyn Jones
stretches! One metre short! Play on! England have won it
illegally. Anil Didi Wales. -- penalty to Wales.
Good confident refereeing, isn't it? Well done, referee. May as well have
a look. Don't ask the scrum-half if he thinks he scored, he will say
yes, I am telling you! For me, the number nine tried to put the ball on
the line, but it was short. But have a look, please. We are checking to
see of the ball was grounded. If the referee is sure he was short,
he should just carry on. Maybe he is not so sure. If the scrum-half says
he thinks he scored, we cannot see it from there. That is short. This
is the angle, short. Well short. Well done, referee! Never trust a
scrum-half, see? For me, that is what I saw, short. And after, there
is a turnover on the ground by white?
The TMO, Glenn Newman of New Zealand. What do Wales do? Just hand
the ball to Leigh Halfpenny? 9-8 would obviously put them in the
lead. Scrum. Wales are going for the scrummage. It is a good call. You
know, they have got great position, they are playing well. I'd have gone
for the three points. It looks like they have got some special set
please move here, a long chat amongst the backs. -- said these --
set piece move. George Ford covering for the moment.
Penalty to England! Dan Cole just getting forward and that is... That
is a problem when you do not hook the ball, you cannot clear it unless
you go forward. That is one for the English pack. I
would always take the points. Look, it is not as if you have not got
very reliable kicker yeah as well! The ball is still there, England
going forward. Jack Clifford shows what it means to win that penalty.
Nathan Hughes back to Ben Youngs. It hasn't gone that far, somebody has
to claim it. Penalty to Wales now. Dan Cole kicks the ball away. I
didn't really understand it, standing so far back when he is
kicking it, the backline had encroached, they were offside, the
forwards were in front, so far in front, so difficult to hold your run
for the English forwards when you are so far back from the line-out.
The decision this time, Leigh Halfpenny not called up, Dan Biggar
does the old banana kick down the line. I am puzzled by that, I must
admit. Definitely kickable. Two kickable penalties. Six probably
guaranteed. -- six points. Ken Owens, the line-out is still in the
England 22, won by Warburton. Knock-on by Wales. It is not going
Wales' way at the moment, congratulations being passed around
the England forwards. Well, whatever option you take, if you don't
executed properly, it turns out to be the wrong one! Rob Howley will be
frustrated. In a game that is likely to come down to a single score, if
you have opportunities, you have got to take them. They have got one of
the best kickers in the world. I would have taken one of those
penalties, yes. Ben Youngs let's Nathan Hughes take
control at the scrummage. The ball out, the referee holds his arms out.
England have the put in. How quickly that got to the number eight's feet,
when he was still down, easy yardage. With Wales, the strike
wasn't there. That says it all, look at the
tackles made. Wales have made 81 to England's 38, that just says the
amount of possession that England have had. It is a good response by
Wales to come back and put pressure, that is what they need, get the ball
recycled, keep possession. Hughes comes away, tackled by
Tipuric. Wales have turned the ball over. Ken
Owens feeds Dan Biggar, Alex Cuthbert. He has seen very little of
the ball, he sets it up and watches as Webb passes to Warburton. Rob
Evans. Jonathan Davies, Tipuric, Liam
Williams. Nowell did very well, picked him up, made sure he didn't
drop him. Rob Evans, the proper! Webb weights. -- waits. He rides the
first tackle, Wales will have to finish one of these attacks.
Warbled and tries to twist and turn away from the ruck. -- Warburton.
Alun Wyn Jones over the ball, Webb again. Ken Owens lays it back.
The captain and his second row partner, Jake Ball.
Good tackle by Joe Marler, Biggar, Scott Williams. Quick, quick, quick!
Alun Wyn Jones knocks it on. He is offside, Ben Youngs, clearly
offside. Nothing spotted, nothing given, England put in at the scrum.
Surely that wasn't meant for Alun Wyn Jones. Well, Wales getting
successively quick ball but not able to get over the line. One of the
problems, I think, they are... He has got to be offside, look at this,
he is clearly offside, that should be picked up. Wales have got to have
someone who will step and beat the first tackle. The England defence
are so well organised, so well disciplined, they are not creating
any unders. Ben Youngs got away with it, that is all that matters for
him. England lead by two points. Jerome
Garces listening to Alun Wyn Jones. I have a look, yeah, yeah. If I give
you a call, response to my call. He is not outside. -- offside. He is
not, no. Ben Youngs has a chance to clear the
England lines. The scrum shifts, moves under pressure. The referee
will order a reset. One Wales move the ball wide, what I don't see,
which I see in lots of other attacks, is a lot of players
holding, options left and right, to make defenders have doubts about
whether ball will go into contact. They are making ground because they
are powerful in going forward, but there is little or guile. -- little
subtlety or guile. There is no deftness of past, no second phase
coming behind the players. -- there is no deftness of pass.
Ben Youngs feeds the England side of the scrum. The England scrum holds
firm, turns a little bit. Liam Williams gets back to his position.
Then he drops back as Ben Youngs prepares to kick. Charged down. An
advantage being played. Only a knock-on by Joe Marler. Good player
by all the Welsh players, another very good run by Nathan Hughes. Does
not give Ben Youngs much option from the base of the ruck but good, good
pressure. There is the knock-on.
The only difference so far is that England may score a try under
pressure. Wales need to get something from this pressure.
A quiet word, Rhys Webb to Liam Williams. The motor instructions of
Jerome Garces. -- the louder instructions. Can Wales turn
pressure into points? Williams can! Wales score! And they take the lead.
With just over two minutes to go at the end of the first half.
You can see the first difference, they struck the ball.
The was in a good line. -- Liam Watts. Initial surge in, angle in
towards their England line, kept the England defence straight. That is a
great dummy run. Scott Williams is the dummy runner, it opens of the
Liam Williams. The conversion is good from Leigh Halfpenny, and Wales
are in the lead by 13 points to eight. Straight off the training
ground. This is the player. He is held up. What will happen then is
that this guy will take it in and he will go in there, go.
Cuthbert was the catch just outside his 22.
Tipuric with a dummy which does not really get him more than a metre
beyond the Wales 22. Outside, Jerome Garces fells Rhys Webb. He will keep
it in place. Jack Clifford was forced back and it
was ripped off him. England are back in possession.
It is all about the second rows. Just if you second left at the end
of the first half. -- just a few seconds left.
Brilliantly taken, or was it? Liam Williams took it. The first half has
gone into overtime. Jerome Garces puts an end to the opening period.
It has been 40 minutes of excitement, and at the end of it,
Wales lead 13-8. CHEERING
STUDIO: All the bluster and hyperbole all week in the leader, it
was worth every word, because what a fantastic spectacle.
How could you not be enjoying this on a Saturday tea-time. That was Ben
Youngs' try, this is Liam Williams' try, he was one of the most
threatening players in the first 40 minutes.
Dusk has long since settled on the Welsh capital, Wales lead 13-8.
Possession 49/51, it has been real ebb and flow, some periods felt like
all Wales, other periods England seem to have strangled Wales, but
Wales found themselves in the ascendancy at the end. A riveting
first 40 minutes, you are happiest at the moment?
So far, so good. Everything we expected, full on blood and guts. It
has been really intense. The first ten minutes, I thought Wales were on
the front of it, then they lost all momentum, then when England made it
8-3 I thought it looked onerous, but Wales came back superbly. I thought
it would be a rerun of England against France at Twickenham,
England were getting into the Welsh 22, the scores own. Wales are
inspirational in their play, they have been talking about this new way
of playing and it is impressive, they studied together.
Wales are very comfortable playing with these pods of three, they
struggled with it in the autumn but they look like they have really,
really come on and got the hand of how they want to play.
As a spectator in your first experience of Wales/ England match
in Cardiff, what do you make of it? It is incredible. You don't always
notice the noise when you are on the field, to be here is amazing.
Wales got off to a physical and positive start? Came out with lots
of energy, they are big ball-carriers. They are making a
focus on stripping the ball. A big hit from Moriarty and Nathan
Hughes, he has grown into the game, in fairness. But if you're not
pulling in big hits in the first five or ten minutes of a Wales
against England's game, you never will. Wales were holding on for dear
life at some stages. Alun Wyn was being an absolute pest. Bad ribs or
no, Dan Biggar is playing well. He is answering every question, he is
100% fit. He has had a great 40 minutes. We always talk about Italy
giving away stupid and necessary penalties, as a leader you have
always said you had to cut down on that. Wales allowed England to game
entered by giving them opportunities. In a game of rugby,
some penalties will be inevitable, but you have to about the silly
ones. This was really by Jake Ball. Just after this, Rhys Webb came in
from the side, just pointless. The pressure and momentum Wales had just
goes straightaway, they were 4-1 down very early. It is unusual for
Wales, given the start that they had against Italy, the whole game, five
penalties. England had a period of about ten
minutes putting phase after phase together, there was almost an
inevitability that they would score? It was looking on and is, they were
not winning the game, Wales were getting no pressure on the ball. --
it was looking onerous. There was no pressure on Ben Youngs. Noel Pace
all pressure on the ball whatsoever, Itoje can go through the middle and
they had real momentum at this stage. Warburton went for this, a
good clean out. This eventually led to the try. You can play how you
want when the ball is quick, it is very difficult to defend when the
ball is quick. Fantastic player, a great pass by Joseph. Great insight
by Daly. We thought occurred that needed to get low and be ready for
this. Well spotted by Youngs. You get in that position, you want to
score. That was a fantastic pass from Joseph. I thought Daly would
get in, but Ben Youngs has got their and it was just poor old Cuthbert,
should have been down. Small things that about, Farrell missed a kick.
Daily Lawson missed a penalty from the halfway line. You have a
penalty, will you kick for goal, touch, take the scrum? Wales decided
on two occasions to not take the points, they have halfpenny in their
ranks and it backfired on them on both occasions. Both myself and
Martyn said we would go for the points, we might be older
conservative, but at very least they should have gone for a corner, I
thought. You look how excited the English players get, what a big
listed gives them. The Welsh walk away with their heads down. -- what
a big lift it gives them. Later when they had a scrum in a similar
position they scored. The line-out is the same again, 20 metres out,
drop the ball and turn it over. Against a good defensive side like
England you will get few and far between moments to really attack.
They let it slip twice. To counter the fact that England
missed five points, Wales spurred six points as well, it has levelled
out a bit? You thought they would be hammering away at the England line.
Alun Wyn, for all his work he gets in the way of Dan Biggar. This needs
to go in front of Biggar. Simple give and take, but he just gets in
the way. At that stage you think the momentum is back with England, but
England's wishes -- England were sloppy after this. If you put away
tries like this it gives you more confidence. The opportunity was
there. We thought Ben Youngs might be offside but in slow Mo we have
watched it and he is on-site, they get another opportunity. A great
debate about whether Liam Williams should play full-back or in the win,
when he has the ball in hand he is a devastating runner and this was
beautifully worked? He is a talisman at the moment, he gets the ball and
something happens. You had to get it to him as much as possible. They
held Farrell, Joseph needs to step in. After last week's passive
tackling, these are missed tackles, they are not treating the situation.
It went for the scrum earlier, did they have a play up their sleeve
that they felt they could break England with? When anybody scores a
try or gold you look for mistakes in defence, sometimes you have to
praise the ingenuity in perfecting a move? -- when anybody scores a try
or goal. We had a move that we wanted to record, we felt it was
that good. That was as good as it gets, it was smoke and mirrors, most
offences would have been tricked. You had two or three other passes
you would have made, it did not have to go to Williams. The animation off
the ball makes the try. You are pretty happy after Ireland plasma
performance in Italy? They are very strong, clinical, none of the
inequities of last week, two guys scored hat tricks, they played some
great rugby. At times I thought Italy were very poor, which was
disappointing. CJ Stander was one of two Irish players to score a
hat-trick. Laid back by Healy, Jackson tries to
slip through. Paddy welcomes him. Advantage to Ireland. Ads whited
goes, CJ Stander for the corner! Try number two for Ireland -- and wide
it goes. Still they go, still goes Scannell
within ball metres of the line. This CJ Stander once more. He drives and
he scores, what a try from CJ Stander.
CJ Stander again. Stander, oh, a hat-trick for CJ Stander. Ireland
have another try, they are ripping Italy apart. CJ Stander, three tries
for Ireland. Craig Gilroy also got a hat-trick,
63-10 was the final score, meaning Ireland were the first team last
weekend to get a losing bonus point in the RBS Six Nations under the new
scoring system, this week they are the first to get a winning bonus
point by scoring four tries in that emphatic triumph in Rome.
We had a minute's silence before the game and some spontaneous applause
to mark one of the great players of rugby, who lost his life this week.
We thought we would take a break from discussing this much for a
moment to allow Eddie Butler to our fan appreciation of the life of
Joost van der Westhuizen. The micro he wore Springbok green
light a second skin, the new South Africa was his stage, part of the
team that moved the world, that stopped Jonah Lomu, that won the
World Cup. He wore green, he stared blue, I that could cut through
steel, he was a pin-up, and a tear them down. Controlled, a little bit
wild, strong, fast, then we and slowed by motor neurone disease. He
was brilliant in his pomp and brash, he was inspirational in his decline.
Joost van der Westhuizen, a giant of his time, gone way before his time.
Guys, thoughts on Joost, you played against him. I played with him a
number of times, worked with him in 2011 when he was first diagnosed
with motor neurone disease, and he took on the challenge as strong as
he did as a player, and right to the end he was pushing, raising
awareness of the disease, and he will be sorely missed. Marc? A
phenomenal player, I played against him as well, that performance in the
World Cup final in 1995, one of the all-time great performances, really
sad. He visited our team hotel in 2014, at the height of his illness,
obviously an amazing player and a leader on the field, but more of a
leader off of it, he will be a big loss. I am sure the whole South
African nation art in mourning, many people watching in South Africa,
what has been a fantastic first 40 minutes, and there will be a great
audience for the match tomorrow, France against Scotland live from
the Stade de France to: 15 on BBC One. What else have we got to tell
you about? The Women's Six Nations, regular coverage continues at 11:45
tomorrow night, repeated on Monday. There is Rugby Union Weekly, the new
podcast available from Monday. There is an awful lot to talk about
on the red button forum, the first 40 minutes has been immense, and who
knows what the next 40 minutes has in store? It is Wales against
England in Cardiff. Wales take an early lead. The Welsh defence still
holding out, until now! Wales are within two points. They
score! Well, it is one of those of quoted
statistics, nine out of ten matches between the main rugby union nations
are always within one score at around about the 60 minutes mark,
which means the players who are going to come on for the last 20
minutes are going to be key in determining the outcome of this
match. So there are the two ventures, what is the first thing
that strikes you about that, Martyn? Wales have got Faletau back, the
back row was going really well, but Sam Davies was a game changer last
week. In the forwards, you would have to edge England, but some of
those Welsh finishes... The English finishers have been superb, the
likes of George Cumming on relatively early, Haskell coming on,
giving England the impetus to finish extremely well. We have got
explosive English finishers coming on, and if they can execute better,
they will score one two tries in this second heart. We have been
saying in commentary, both teams have come out to play today, some
great running rugby, but as the clock ticks on and the margin is
tied, the temptation is to be conservative and pragmatic. Who wins
on that basis? It is hard to tell, you have got to avoid that
temptation, that is where France lost last week against England, they
started kicking to touch and playing safely. You have to avoid that
temptation, you have to keep playing, the more the pressure comes
on, and you have to maintain the momentum when guys come off the
bench. OK, well, 13-8 at the moment, just one score in it, great to be
able to say, at a first 40 minutes, that after all the build-up to such
a moment as event, it has lived up to the billing. Let's hope the
second half is every bit as engrossing, back to Eddie and the
team. George Ford starts the second half.
England trailing by five, Alex Cuthbert on the ball, driven back
into his 22 by Maro Itoje. Nathan Hughes, waiting for just such
a kick. Courtney Lawes. Turnover, Justin Tipuric has it,
advantage Wales. Elliot Daly feeds George Ford,
England back in numbers. Excellent follow-up tackle by Rhys Webb, still
England, though. Ken Owens did well to stop the England flyer.
Oh, brilliantly manufactured, that kick by Dan Biggar. Off the outside
of the boot, that is tremendous, you can see the way the ball was
spinning. That is a beautiful kick. Moriarty, the shot on Farrell, there
was a few complaints. We might see it here. In we go, that is late.
Cannot help it, that is late. It is a great tackle - if it was a bit
earlier. The referee is not going to go to the TMO, he thinks that is
fine. Didn't complain. That is what I like about some of these players,
he absolutely got nailed, and he didn't moan at all. He is having a
wry smile now. A smile and a cough and off he goes. I have seen their
dads have the same tussle, Farrell and Moriarty! Courtney Lawes with
the catch and the England eight putting a drive to issue a reminder,
a statement of authority. They will do well to scrape this back, though.
Dan Biggar can't take it, a rare misjudgment by Dan Biggar in the air
- play on, says the referee, though. Good counter-rucking by Itoje. Rhys
Webb has knocked it on. Itoje did well, didn't he, Eddie Cue Mackie
saw the ball on the floor. There is the knock-on. Oh! That is
well laid! I would love to see at full speed. I still think it is
late. He didn't miss, did he?! The strike by Dylan Hartley, Nathan
Hughes picks up. Dan Biggar goes for the ripping of
the ball, but it has been knocked on. Play on, says the referee.
Courtney Lawes delivers the ball. Joseph was not quite so involved in
the first. Halfpenny towards Ford. Scott Williams with the knock-on,
deliberate. Just a knock-on. Knock-on advantage. That is a fair
tackle by Moriarty! As the game breaks out, a very fluid
second half. Turnover Wales, Moriarty, Ken Owens!
Out. Rob Evans sends it long, Jonathan Davies. Davies inside
Courtney Lawes, outside to Leigh Halfpenny. Beautiful by Rhys Webb!
Throne passed to Dan Biggar, but Wales showing what they can do. What
will this game turn into? Great play by both sides, good counterattacking
by Wales. Unfortunately, the ball went forward. Brilliant games so
far, great width on the ball, taking it in. The turnover there, Sam
Warburton. England are keeping the ball high, and they cannot get the
ball to the ground. This is a great pick-up, one-handed. But he couldn't
get it flat. Jonathan Davies in full flight inside, then looks back out,
Leigh Halfpenny and support. Advantage being played there, the
first knock-on, then the blatant forward pass. But it has potential
now. Ben Youngs will feed the scrum, that is the England 22. Good
scrummage, England. Liam Williams, has he...? Has it
gone into the crowd? We will have a slight pause. I did ask you in the
first couple of minutes, we have seen different tactics, where they
kick into touch then set their defence, England. Wales preferred to
counterattack. They deliberately keep the ball on the field. Jamie
George comes on for the England captain, Dylan Hartley, 46 minutes
on the clock. Eddie Jones will be worried at the
moment. Ken Owens, a bit of confusion, Justin Tipuric.
Oh, to have a conversation at the bottom of a ruck!
Outside his 22, the follow-up tackle by Williams, Dan Biggar does well,
just arriving to do his little bit. Nathan Hughes, Moriarty, monster
tackle! High tackle by George Ford, Wales
have an advantage, one of the stars of the moment, Ross Moriarty. That
is Rhys Webb at the bottom. He knows the penalty is there. Back
they go, there he is, number eight for Wales, Ross Moriarty. Well, he
made one late one, but ever since then his tackling has been
extraordinary. It has been tremendous, yeah, high tackle. If
you run someone straight into Moriarty, he is going to do that, he
has the capability, the technique. England need to be cuter, especially
with Hughes. He has to use a dummy occasionally, someone to run off
him. People will line you up and hit you, and that is what Moriarty is
doing - he is doing his job and doing it very well. England need
more subtlety. The home of Welsh rugby in full cry
as Dan Biggar looks towards the far corner. The 22 will do just fine for
Wales. England start to ring the changes, the captain has gone, Jamie
George zone, James Haskell is no one. The substitutes have come on a
lot quicker this week. -- Jamie George is on, James Haskell is now
on. The try scorer Liam Williams twisted
and turned undelivered for Webb. -- and delivered for Webb.
Wales tried to get the passes away. They can't.
All a bit rushed and frantic. Wants one player passes the ball in a
situation where they are under pressure, it gets excessively worse.
You don't improve a bad ball by putting it back where some people
take the opportunity. Just keep up with the ball and carry it forward.
Eddie Jones has made his changes early, it is quite apparent that
they are needed. Wales are on top at the moment. They started the second
half better than England, they just about deserved the lead going in and
they definitely deserve the lead at the moment.
Mike Brown this time, his left boot now required.
That was a mistake. He was in two minds. If you watch Rhys Webb
convince himself to go the wrong way from the scrum defensively, then he
thinks it is on the run. Rhys Webb readjusts and tries to get out of
it. He then kicks it. He goes, goes and kicks and then he slices that
off his left foot. In two minds. Mike Brown will go back to and watch
this four man line-up Wales. -- will go back to full-back.
England rush, Murray are two drives, wriggles, back on his feet. Play on,
says the referee. A little bit of off the ball going on, Jamie George
and Alun Wyn Jones. A little gap, Webb sensed.
But direct approach was a test of Dan Biggar's ribs. -- that direct
approach. What might have been for Jonathan
Davies, if he had clung on. It was a drill to pass. We saw the defence
step in. Just watch this. Daly just ball watching.
At the moment, the England back row are being soundly beaten by their
Welsh counterparts. Changes in the Welsh front row.
Samson Lee comes on, Nicky Smith comes on, the props are changed.
That is a big call. Taulupe Faletau is back in international rugby. It
is a big call. The all tackling Ross Moriarty is going off. As a number
eight, he has played so well. Faletau is world-class. We are about
to find out. England have a stern drive under
penalty advantage. -- and the penalty advantage.
Wales have been in the ascendancy for 13 minutes, not recorded a
score. At some point England will have a period when they put pressure
on Wales. Wales really need to register points when they are on
top. Farrell took the kick, England are in the Welsh half. They have not
been here much in the second period. Such an absorbing test. A brilliant
Test match. Sam Warburton was the chief tackler
on the Welsh side. Being an drive from the line-out
seems to be gathering strength. -- the England drive from.
Faletau made his first tackle of the game. More to be made, solid
tackles. Loose turnover ball, illegally won
by Wales. In from the side. In these situations in the first
half, Wales did not go for points. Well if this is converted, and it
should be, because it is relatively straightforward, it will be the
first time England have really got into the Welsh half in the second
half of this game, and they will score points.
Owen Farrell... Scores the penalty for England. Having been on the back
of that for 15 minutes, England now narrowed the gap. -- having been on
the back foot for 15 minutes. Wales 13, England 11.
Dan Biggar, the familiar split of the forwards. High towards Mike
Brown. Faletau tackled Brown inside the
England 22, turnover ball for Wales. It is a ruck ball, and awakens
Jonathan Davies. -- and a way comes. No covering the corner, but it is
all Wales again for the moment. Samsung, Lee, Faletau.
Faletau minded by Haskell, Wales have to regroup a yard further back.
Tipuric had to lift Nathan Hughes out of the way. Faletau spins.
The crowd are in full voice. A long pass to Leigh Halfpenny from Biggar.
Five metre short. Penalty advantage to Wales. No free play, referee has
blasted the whistle. It is absolutely ferocious. The
defences amends. The intensity of the attack.
Over 20 phases, Wales stayed patient. Will they ended with three
points? Maybe they should have had more.
James Haskell still got hold of the ball. He knows exactly what he is
doing. That was all started a long time ago by a really callous
restart. Itoje really callous. -- really callous. Brown was the guilty
party. Jonathan Davies, was that an
advantage? It was in his best Clermont French.
Owen said that the sideline. His day is done, another good game by the
barge hooker. Halfpenny kicked the penalty, Wales
16-11, the margin back to five points.
George Ford, he has split his forwards. James Haskell on the far
side. Well-placed. It fell to Jake Ball.
Awakens Nathan Hughes. Faletau reacted first. -- away comes Nathan
Hughes. Cole Sante Fed to George Ford. Ford delivers.
Jamie George arrived at pace, Tipuric made the tackle. That was
tremendous defence. Here they come again.
Nicky Smith is involved again on the defensive side.
Courtney Lawes was out in the centre. Scott Williams tried to
strip the ball off him. An echo of games past.
Brilliantly picked up by Farrell. Jack Noel. It is George again, he
has made an impact, the England hooker. Forward to Haskell, it is
out, he can play the ball. Youngs, Nowell, the tackle by Nicky Smith.
Joe Launchbury, Scott Williams, Alun Wyn Jones holds up, they have to let
him go. Change of direction, Mike Brown. He
loses the ball again. The referee has the whistle to his mouth, but he
is not sure. He is not sure, he says. England are a foot short. They
drive through the forwards, Youngs has to go digging for it. They have
men over on the right. Interception! Dan Biggar! Biggar chased down, Lee
Williams outside him! Daly, what footballing skills by Daly! Oh, what
a game! Dan Biggar guest, and he guessed right. Do you know what?
That came from England not recognising that they had players
over on the right, they should have gone wide earlier. But that doesn't
take away from the anticipation of Biggar. They had numbers on the
right-hand side, it is a brilliant read, just watch! There he goes come
he comes off the line quickly. On the outside, England would score. He
is never going to get there, he puts a kick win, Daly is always going to
win it, turning defence into attack - brilliant, brilliant read! When
you look back, I don't know how the game will end, but that may well be
the decisive contribution. Daly did well to cover him. Didn't he just!
64 minutes gone, Daly made 70 metres back. It has been a very tight match
all the way through, now Wales are in an attacking position. Should
they go for the three points and get that little gap between them? Well,
it is only a line-out for the moment, to be taken by Scott
Baldwin. We have more changes, Ben Te'o is on
in the centre for England, try scorer, matchwinner against France.
Danny Care is at scrum-half for Ben Youngs. Meanwhile, Scott Baldwin to
throw for Wales. Oh, it is a raggedy old line-up. Gareth Davies is on for
Wales at scrum-half. And not for the first time in this game, a set piece
goes wrong. The call was not communicated or misunderstood,
no-one got off the ground. If you would in eight, that would have been
frustrating. After the pressure they have been under, they want to secure
the line-out, have a little momentum back for themselves. That could have
created a full set of phases. 16-11, England back on their 22, but with
the relative comfort of the feed into the scrum. Joe Marler against
Samson Lee. They have met before. Yeah, the less said about that, the
better, probably! Hello, Samson! Hello, Joe!
Care feeds, the ball goes out, Wales spin the scrum illegally, they have
a relieving penalty. You have got to be squeaky clean now, because
anything you do, the ball goes out. The sad thing is, England will now
have possession in Wales' halve. Sad if you are Welsh, yeah! All right!
Farrell made good ground. Jamie George finds Courtney Lawes
with Sam Warburton putting pressure on, England setup the maul, danger
for Wales, it is a mighty maul, James Haskell comes in and joins it.
Care comes away with it. Ben Te'o, Scott Williams.
Nicky Smith makes the tackle - play on, says the referee.
Lawes again, Samson Lee the tackle this time. James Haskell tramples
the referee! Ben Te'o going nowhere. LAUGHTER
Warburton, over the ball, cannot work the turnover. Care comes away
with it, Ford, to George, the hooker.
Itoje outside, Nowell cuts in the field.
Courtney Lawes is almost permanently stationed in the middle of the
field. Ford, long, Farrell, George. The ball has been stripped clear,
England come away with it yet again, but Wales offside, original penalty.
Take the points. Switch on, switch on, everyone. Pack and defence.
Nathan Hughes. I have to say, the referee has had a very good game,
very good game. Virtually anonymous, he has got virtually everything
right. Owen Farrell is going for the posts.
I tackle, Samson Lee. It is common sense by the referee. It is one of
them accidentals, it is a penalty, nothing else.
I wonder, at the end of the game, how significant the five points that
England have missed with the boot could be, could be highly
significant. Ten minutes to go before we have
that debate. I am sure there are more twists and turns to come. That
is dead straight, Owen Farrell narrows the gap. Wales 16, England
14. Mullan comes into the England throat
row, off goes Joe Marler. There is the points scorer. -- front row.
Jonny May comes on, Roberts on the other side is on for Wales, going
across the ten metre line now. Scott Williams is leaving the field. The
clock is not running, here we go. He has had a good game. Scott
Williams has had a good game. Te'o, Tipuric tries to hold him up.
Care, out of play, not much ground gained but set pieces, I don't
suppose England will mind them too much. Wales have a conference about
what they are going to do, Clyde Sinckler is on into the England
front row. I am sure Jamie Roberts is looking forward to running down
George Ford's channel. Certain amount of pressure on Baldwin,
Warburton wins it. Jerome Garces is involved in the
action! Nicky Smith. He has carried well, Jake Ball, hasn't he? Change
of direction, Biggar, Roberts, Cuthbert. Nicky Smith glides away
from Kyle Sinckler. Warburton arrives quickly, Dan
Biggar, Joe Launchbury put a good tackle in.
A slight pause, Gareth Davies organises the direction of play.
Still good line speed from the English defence. Here goes Samson
Lee, the prop. Cuthbert loses the ball, England
through George Ford with a big boot to it, Justin Tipuric goes back, but
first it is going to be Leigh Halfpenny, and he dives down for the
22. England desperately wanted that ball to stay in, but they will
receive the kick off, or the restart from the 22. Still big collisions.
Wales have taken four minutes off the clock. When you look back at
this game, and you watch the contribution, Justin Tipuric has
been immense. I think Launchbury is immense for England, Biggar has had
a huge game. Biggar, as long as he can down the field, and Nathan
Hughes. Sam Warburton! He has had an immense game too! The tackle, the
tackles all day! Now, England through Ben Te'o, a glimpse of the
overlap sort of vanished, but England still have it through
Launchbury, Jonathan Davies tackles him.
Liam Williams over the ball, tries to counter-ruck.
Sam Warburton is carrying an injury, just watch. Farrell, Te'o, Te'o
still going, inside him is Danny Care, who cuts back. Great tackle!
Alex Cuthbert with the all-important tackle for Wales. Try saving tackle.
England in the Wales 22, Launchbury tackled by Faletau.
It is going to be Jonny May, he cannot get there! Wales cannot get
him into touch, Itoje delivers. Sinckler driven back, Wales saw the
ball go loose, Liam Williams has turned it over! The biggest roar of
the day as possession goes from England to Wales. Alun Wyn Jones,
Wales in no rush, but at some stage they are going to have to clear
their lines. Jonathan Davies, straight down the field towards
George Ford. Back England! Elliot Daly for England! Scores!
England take the lead with foreign to half minutes to go! -- with four
and a half minutes to go. They have been made to pay this time. He can't
believe it. You've got to clear the lines. You've got to kick it into
touch. They are kicking midfield. Just watch it come across. Alex
Cuthbert shows Daly the outside. He's got to make the tackle. It is a
great finish by Elliot Daly. That had to go across the touchline. If
you're going to keep the ball in play, you need to have your chasers.
It has to go off the field just to give you time to recoup and recover.
That was a big kick. If this goes over, Wales have to score a try to
draw. Owen Farrell, to extend England's's
lead. Brilliant. Brilliant kick. England
five points ahead, Wales have to score a try. Cory Hill comes off the
Wales bench. Two and a half minutes to go. Dan
Biggar, one for the forwards to chase. Up goes the outstanding Joe
Launchbury. Wilson and the ball through Jake Ball, who has been just
as industrious. -- Wales win the ball through Jake Ball.
Gareth Davies is the new player on the field.
Farrell did well against the proper. -- proper macro.
The try will level the scores. Penalty to England. Kyle Sinckler
has won them the penalty, he might have won them the match. We had to
find out who is the man of the match. Have been some outstanding
contributions today, Itoje has played well, Tipuric, Moriarty, Dan
Biggar, but head and shoulders above everyone else for me has been the
England second-round Joe Launchbury. He has been amends, carrying,
kicking, just brilliant performance. -- has been the England second royal
Joe Launchbury. He has been amends. There is time for England, through
Jamie George, to put it into the line-out. Nobody is rushing in white
towards this line-out. Amazing statistics, 8-1 turnovers to Wales.
Danny Care. It has been an outstanding game of rugby. Eddie
Jones' team remain unbeaten. 15 games go to 16 games. England have
beaten Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Wales 16,
England 21. It shows again that if you do not put this England side
away, if you are on top, they will make you pay. They have done it
again, as played for large parts of this game but when it came down to
taking the opportunity, they created from a poor Welsh kick and found a
way to win it again. Te'o did well when he came on. They looked
threatening. They looks very, very dangerous. When the opportunity
came, they took it. The difference was they were so clinical in the
opportunities they had. Wales had a lot of possession and territory, a
brilliant try in the first half, but unfortunately they could not turn
that into points. STUDIO: And absolutely spellbinding spectacle,
it really was. It lived up to all the pre-match billing. All the joy
for England and the disappointment for Wales, for the neutral it was
just a riveting match. This is the man of the match.
Is released the overriding emotion? Certainly release, we knew how tough
the task would be coming here, delighted with the results. There
was never more than five points in what was a magnificent Test match.
What was it like to be part of it? Pretty quick, very physical. We got
what we expected coming here, it is always great to play in this stadium
but this result is unbelievable. It is the 16th win on the bounce for
England, what made the ultimate difference in this tight contest? We
addressed issues at half-time and controlled the field a bit better in
the second half. Good parts of our game, but lots to improve on. You
are the man of the match, you can wear your medal with pride. Well
done. After the two matches, England are
on top. Ireland, despite having only won one game, had six because of the
bonus point victory for so many tries in the 63-10 demolition of
Italy in Rome. Wales got a losing bonus point because there was less
than seven points in it at the end. Jeremy, almost a carbon copy of
Twickenham last week in the sense that England were behind that there
was always the suspicion they would find a way through to win it? Carbon
copy in the impact that Te'o had when he came on, it gave England the
impetus. The England captain is now with Sagna.
You left it really late, with five minutes to go before Elliot Daly got
the match-winning try, did you really still believe? Yes. We showed
good examples of what we can do today. I would prefer that we
wrapped up earlier than that but it shows great character from the team.
The finishers came on, added loads, showed great composure and there are
parts of that game that we have to look at and get better, it was self
enforced pressure a lot of the time, not being able to get out of the
half. It is something we have to learn from. We will take that. I bet
you will. Wales pushed England to the limits, what does it say about
this team under Eddie Jones that they still got to the line?
Unbelievable character, they believe they will play for a full 80 or 81
minutes if need be. Full credit to Wales, and unbelievable challenge, a
hell of a side. We knew that they would be there and from minute one
to 80 they showed how physical they were. Hell of a Test match. Were you
a little disappointed to come off as early as you did? I want to play as
long as possible, but I'm sure the substitution was of the team, it
comes from AND I HAD TO DEAL WITH IT. IF IT IS FOR THE TEAM, THAT IS
THE MAIN THING. Can you begin to express disappointment? Hopefully we
answered some of the doubters, ultimately probably did not. I said
to Joe Launchbury there were never more than five points in it through
the entire Test match, did you believe you could get it over the
line? I think that was the difference in the end, so I think
there was. We had a good score before the half, considering the
pressure we were under, but ultimately we did not maintain that
for the second half. How frustrating as it when clearly Wales are trying
to evolve, we saw them playing a different way today, but you still
could not get the victory? You say that with an air of negativity, we
are disappointed with the result but we have changed. The performance was
that the 76 minutes. Unfortunately those four minutes eluded us. It has
a gym Test match, hard lines. Thank you. We saw several close of
the Dan Biggar, what a fantastic match he had. You can see the facts
and figures, the possession was basically 50/50 and it was what you
did with it in those key moments, if you kicked it away at the right
moment or the wrong moment. The off-loads the turnovers. The
turnovers, 8-2, that kept Wales in the match at certain points.
Tiny margins make the difference between winning and losing,
ultimately. At this level you have to take your opportunities. I think,
in a way, the emotive tackles Wales put in was probably 30 or 40% more
than England -- the amount of tackles. When they needed to be
clinical, they were more tired than England. England, from the
experience of 16 wins in a row, they know they have the beating of a
side, they just have to get in the right position. The more
opportunities they create, they will finish one. At the end they did,
albeit a bit fortuitous from a miss kick to touch. Pharrell got them to
within a potential penalty drop goal of victory, which put some pressure
on the back foot. Wales and had this opportunity to clear the ball and
choose to not put it out. Was that a conscious decision? The policy was
for Wales to keep the ball. This, they just needed patients, they
needed to get Dan Biggar back in the slots, they needed to go one more
rock. Biggar, the forwards need to take that up one more time, he gets
back. John Davies, he is putting it in touch. From here, great vision.
Look at this pass. Two defenders, it wizards into Daly, and we know how
much pace he has, he takes on Cuthbert makes it. It was earlier in
the game, look at the amount of players. It will be very hard for
them to fill the field, and they are exhausted, they have just offended
their try line. -- just defended their try line. Coming back about
ten minutes before that, Wales have a line-out, they will apply more
pressure. A botched throw, botched corner from Scott Baldwin. Wales
will be kicking themselves. Traditionally those of the sorts of
games that they win. You have to give huge credit to England, they
kept going and going. You can pinpoint half a dozen
moments when the game could have turned on its axis but did not. You
mentioned the line-out, we can see that now. This is just after a
brilliant intercept by Biggar. Elliot Daly has to put it out.
Brilliant attacking opportunity, then this happens. Turnover year,
crooked line-out, a scrum. England get a penalty. England kick this 40
metres down the field. They maul, two minutes later it is a high
tackle against Wales. They had opportunities, just not the killer
instinct. I suppose that comes with confidence. England on the back of
15 wins had the killer instinct, Wales probably not in the same
mental frame. We will shows or missed
opportunities from Wales, but the fact they played with so much more
energy and intensity, for all the disappointment, they will be
enormously encouraged the performance? Utility I mean? It was
an incredible Test match, it was probably the best Wales have played
in three or four years. Dan Biggar, Moriarty. Miles forward, but an
opportunity. You can see there is a loosehead prop within a 1050 metre
pass, which we have not seen for a good while, we just need to be a bit
more clinical. The good thing for England, they did not play a poor
Wales side away from home, Wales played fantastic rugby, we were very
impressed. England have beaten an excellent side playing well. A great
pass across Elliot Daly's phase, from wrangle Jonathan Davies had a
great chance to score. Full credit to England, to come away from home
and play a side close to their best and beat them, great achievement. Is
a happy man! You looked a cool customer, but what
were you thinking with five minutes to go? Looks can be deceiving! I
always thought we could still win the game, I thought, second-half, we
got our defence intensity back, and we just needed to get some more
ball. We didn't have much ball apart from the first 20 minutes, we did a
hell of a lot of defence. If you could bottle the ingredient that got
England over the line, as against France, what is it? I think it is
great, the players believe we can be the best team in the world, and you
have to win those games when you are not absolutely at your best, and you
come up against an opposition that is playing well, and we did that
today. Matchwinner Elliot Daly, the red card in the autumn, how pleased
were you for him today? Well, he is a lovely player, we are not sure
what his best position is, but he is handy on the wing, his finish today
was absolutely first class. Your first experience of Cardiff with
England, I think you will be mightily relieved, but what a Test
match! What a great atmosphere! You know, that is a proper Test match,
proper Test match crowd, plenty of stick from the supporters, it is
fantastic. What did you learn about England today in real adversity, up
against this Wales team, because they were magnificent? A lot of
credit to them, they defended really well, and you have to look at the
facts. We had five starting players out, so it shows the depth of our
squad, and it shows that our young players are developing, Clifford
only playing his second start, did well for us, Nathan Hughes, fourth
or fifth Test match, Ben Te'o hitting the mark. Back-to-back games
coming up now at Twickenham, starting with Italy, who have
struggled so far in this championship. England are well
placed, would you say? Well, we are looking forward to a week's training
in central London next week, we will train hard and do a few different
things with the boys, we will be right for the week's preparation for
Italy, it is a big game, we want to put them to the cleaners. I don't
doubt it! Thank you, well done. In the end, the roof was a complete
irrelevance! England are such a hard team to beat now, why is that? I
believe they are 23 and not 15, just when you think you might have them
on the ropes, they have got eight substitute who can really have an
impact. At least four of them will. Today we had Care, Te'o, George,
Haskell. They do not doubt themselves when they are going
behind, but they still play smart enough to get into position and make
the dry happen. That was still a great finish with Ford and barrel,
but they got the job done. Halkett a player is Farrell, not just in the
context of England, he has to play for the Lions somewhere. -- how key.
He is a terrific player, he is a real defensive leader as well,
really aggressive, and that kick from the corner late in the game was
really important. Wales had time to try to get a penalty, a lot harder
when you have to get a try. That kick was spectacular. It would be
remiss to not mention Dan Biggar, who was not fit, what a game he had!
He has got critics, and every time he plays, he has got it, he is
superb, him and Moriarty, I think Wales were immense. We mentioned
Owen Farrell, here years. How is the body have that tackle from Ross
Moriarty? It really took the wind out of me for a bit! I was dry
retching or a bit! Give us a glimpse inside the dressing room right now,
what is the emotion? I have not been back in yet, we have not spoken, you
know, there was times in that game when we played really well, times
when replayed as well as we could, so in glimpses we were showing what
we could do. Obviously, to come to a place like this, against a team like
Wales, who have talked about lifting for this game all week, grinding out
a was old in the end, coming away with the win is a brilliant result
for me. We will look to put in a more complete performance. If you
are an England fan with five minutes to go, people were chewing their
fingernails on the sofa - what were you thinking as a team? You just
focus on your job, you have not got time to think about too much else,
just try to make the right decision at the rate time, we got some
opportunities, as they did, but it felt as if it was coming, but you
know, you have to be able to execute at the end, and thankfully we did.
Briefly, how much self belief as Eddie Jones given this team, that
you believe, even when you are down on the board with five minutes to
go, that you are going to win? You know, the last couple of games we
have found a way, and that is big, going into big games, like they have
been over the past couple of weeks, so there is a lot of self belief in
this team. I think that is what is exciting about hopefully what is to
come, we are not the finished article, we will keep getting better
and better. Wins for Ireland and England today,
the third match of the second weekend of the Six Nations is at the
Stade de France tomorrow, live from 2:15pm on BBC One.
Stick with us on BBC One for Haskell, that is the agonising
decision, it is Gary Barlow or Jeremy Guscott on the red button!
Decisions, decisions in life! What does Eddie Jones do for being than
team against Italy? Does it give him a to rotate a bit? I think he would
have landed the Six Nations started, so he will know what he is thinking
of, people would maybe think heartily out, George Inn, but I
think he needs the games. -- Hartley out, George in. I don't expect to
see too many changes. It is a weak off, then a week in, and if you
rotates to many, it is four weeks before they're really big game. From
a Welsh point of view, for all the disappointment, was that a step up
from what we have seen over the past few months? I have not seen a
performance like that since... New Zealand? At home, 2013, that was the
last time I saw that intensity at home. They won three out of four at
home, but really tough next against Scotland in two weeks. It will be
really interesting selection. I think Owen Farrell said that they
ground out the win, I don't think they did at all. If he was told that
Wales would play that well Andy Woodward them, he would be very
happy. It is a big win and a big performance from England. -- play
that well and you would beat them. How do you see the game in Paris
tomorrow? Can Scotland do what they did in 1989? They can, France are
better than I thought, I think they will raise their game at home, it
will be tough for Scotland, but they can definitely win. France will
always give you access to the game, silly off-loads, penalties with
silly decisions, so Scotland have a great chance over there. If they can
get up front, the French have a juggernaut pack, but the backline,
Scotland do stand a chance. That promises, tomorrow in Paris, to be a
great finale to the weekend. As far as what we have had today, we could
not have asked for a better spectacle in terms of competition,
in terms of the ground up front, the flair behind, the most brilliant,
brilliant entertainment, and I hope you have enjoyed and over the last
two hours or so. From England's point of view, the sweetest of 16s,
and we will see you in Paris tomorrow. Bye-bye.
The second weekend of the Six Nations of 2017 is Wales against
England in Cardiff. # Everybody, get in the groove and
lead the good times roll # If it takes all night long, yeah
# You can stay here until # If it takes all night long, yeah
# All night, all-day # All night and all day
# I'm going to stay here # I ain't going to move there! Soul
Brother, let me find the groove... #
In the second round of games in the 2017 Six Nations, John Inverdale presents live coverage from the Principality Stadium where last year's Grand Slam winners England are aiming to continue their run of good results against Wales. The men in white have won four of their last five matches against Wales, but playing in Cardiff is always a formidable task.
Former internationals Jeremy Guscott, Paul O'Connell and Martyn Williams will be in the studio to offer expert analysis, while match commentary comes from Eddie Butler, Brian Moore and Jonathan Davies.