Fans were treated to a fascinating battle between England and Wales this evening at Twickenham.
In the end, it was England who came away with the Triple Crown while Wales are left to nurse their wounds following a third straight defeat under Wayne Pivac. The game finished 33-30 but there was so many swings and roundabouts to this one that it was hard to keep up.
England were raced out of the blocks early after Anthony Watson went over for the game’s opening try. Wales responded well to the early setback and managed to put England under pressure throughout the opening half-hour. However, disaster struck for the Welsh when a Leigh Halfpenny knock-on close to half-time gave England a penalty.
Farrell opted to kick to the corner and eventually the play ended with Elliot Daly sliding in for England’s second try. A Dan Biggar penalty gave Wales a glimmer of hope at half-time but it was England who held an 11-point lead.
The tie turned totally, however, 22 seconds into the second half when openside flanker Justin Tipuric went over underneath the posts after Wales worked the ball the full length of the pitch following England’s restart.
🔴 RED CARD
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 7, 2020
Biggar would reduce the gap to four but England regained control following Manu Tuilagi’s try coupled with another Owen Farrell penalty.
However, Wales came back at England and dominated the final quarter of the game. They managed to frustrate England who finished the game with 13 players. Ellis Genge was sent to the sin-bin before Tuilagi was given a red card following a dangerous hit on George North.
1 – Manu Tuilagi is the first England player to be sent off in a Five/Six Nations match and the first player from any nation to score a try and be sent off in the same game in the Championship. Naughty. pic.twitter.com/E5v9TJxVbP
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) March 7, 2020
With Wales looking to set-up a grandstand finish, North looked to be over in the corner only for the England centre to take the winger out with a dangerous tackle that deserved a red. Biggar would eventually close the gap to three with a converted try as Wales exploited England’s lack of numbers but it was too late in the day.
Tuilagi’s red card means he becomes the first England player to receive a red card in the Five/Six Nations and the first player to both score a try and get sent off in the same championship game.