Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Five talking points ahead of Wales and England’s Six Nations clash

Fiji's Latest News and Sports website Injury rules Chris Ashton out of Englands Six Nations clash against Wales
Jennie Wade | 24 February, 2019, 18:46

England have begun the Six Nations in superb fashion, defeating Ireland in Dublin before brushing aside France at Twickenham.

Speaking to the BBC after the game, the Wales skipper played down the importance of the streak and the Welsh win, as they moved top of the table in the Guinness Six Nations.

England coach Eddie Jones said, perhaps tongue in cheek, his players would be taking on "potentially the greatest team ever" that is playing "the biggest game they are going to play in their lives".

"You could see how pumped the crowd were from the drive in and the players were the same when we got to the stadium", he said.

The Wales starting XV for Saturday's game have a combined 225 previous starts to their name in the Six Nations - over 40 per cent more than England's 159.

"We're evolving and we're not anywhere near where we want to be either", he said.

'We knew exactly where we were and I said to the players they had no idea what animal was turning up this week... but we did.

Owen Farrell kicked England into a 17th-minute lead when Wales conceded a scrum penalty, yet the home side continued to look more risky with ball in hand.

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Gatland's men were 10-3 down at the break after England flank Tom Curry scored the only try of the first half.

The Scarlets full-back has not played since suffering concussion in Wales' win over Australia on November 10.

Gatland explained the signs that Wales had a huge performance in them were evident from the way they had trained in the run-up to Saturday's match. For so long the captain with the poker face, Alun Wyn Jones let out a roar of accomplishment and celebration - he would later say it was a little "uncouth of him".

The five subsequent meetings have been close, with four games decided by six points or less, but England have always had just enough in the tank.

In the second half, it looked as though the prop would get a hat-trick as she drove over with the help of Beckett and Amy Cokayne, but Bern could not ground the ball and left the field shortly after.

"We just felt it was the opportune time to make a change. I don't think England have been truly challenged yet by a good attacking team". We'll back at it and we'll take from we need to from it'.

England could not cope with the intensity and error-free work of Wales' forwards, and they remained inside the visitors' 22 as the clock ticked into its final three minutes. 'They have a good chance of winning the Six Nations as they are the only undefeated side. We'll learn from today, we got beaten in certain areas so we'll improve in those areas and then we'll be ready to go.

Gatland's men have not lost a Test match for 364 days - Ireland were the last team to beat them - but the Kiwi is determined to ensure his charges focus on the next test against Gregor Townsend's Scotland.

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