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England 46 Wales 12

England 46 Wales 12

Wales travelled to English Rugby HQ in the third round of the tournament, only to find England had fortified the defences and battened down the hatches.

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In their first match away from home, Wales were largely competitive with the English in the first thirty minutes of play. Neil Jenkins, who proved faultless with his precise kicking throughout, matched the efforts of English opposite number Jonny Wilkinson; each fly half attained three successful kicks to take the scores to nine apiece after nearly half and hour played.

Yet after this spell, Wales were unable to keep pace with an English side of immense quality, a reality displayed in the fact that four out of the five eventual tries scored by the home side were gained by the forwards. Phil Greening got the oval balling rolling with England’s first try just short of the half-hour mark, signalling the Welsh demise.

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Though Rob Howley and Neil Jenkins pushed kicks deep into English territory, Allan Bateman and Mark Taylor showed impressive spurts of pace in eventual non-fruitful breaks and Peter Rogers, David Young and his replacement Spencer John were impressive in the scrum, once England had gained their momentum their was no stopping the scoring.

As Wales tired indiscipline sank in with both Quinnell brothers lucky to remain on the field. Wales conceded seven penalties to one English in the first ten minutes of the second half, further indiscipline saw Scott Quinnell and Garin Jenkins receive yellow cards before the match was through.

Neil Back gained England’s first try of the second half when Jenkins was in the sin bin whilst Dallaglio made light work Jenkins and Taylor when Quinnell was absent. Richard Hill was also rewarded for his outstanding performance with a trip across the Welsh line.

Wales’s indiscipline continued, with fly half Wilkinson converted all the offences offered, ending the game with a personal points collection of 21. Jenkins meanwhile, was only able to add a further three points to Wales’s small haul in comparison to their Anglo neighbours.

Ben Cohen crossed the Welsh line three minutes from time, the only back to do so all game, which closed the try-scoring for another year, and ended the Welsh demolition.

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