Wales Routs England for Second Straight Six Nations Title
Alex Cuthbert scored the only two tries of the game at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff today as Wales dominated the second half by outscoring England 21-0. Leigh Halfpenny kicked 12 points and Daniel Biggar added eight points, including a drop goal, as Wales became the first back-to-back champion since France in 2006-07.
Wales won the title because of a better points-difference over England in the standings after both teams finished with four wins. England’s first loss denied it the so-called Grand Slam sweep of five victories in the tournament.
“We know what we can do and have been ready since Monday,” Wales flanker Justin Tipuric told the British Broadcasting Corp. “To turn up Saturday with such a great performance, we are chuffed to bits.”
Wales won its final four games following an opening 30-22 home loss to Ireland.
Wales took an early 6-0 lead on a pair of Halfpenny penalties. England got on the scoreboard in the 20th minute as Owen Farrell, who sat out last week’s win over Italy with a thigh injury, kicked a penalty.
Halfpenny restored Wales’s six-point advantage with another penalty, while Farrell was wide with his attempt moments later. Wales’s George North then intercepted a pass and was denied a try by Mike Brown’s tap-tackle near the midway line. Biggar then missed a drop-goal attempt just before halftime.
After Halfpenny kicked his fourth penalty early in the second half to make it 12-3, Wales broke the game open.
Cuthbert shook off a tackle from Brown to score a try in the 57th minute and Biggar added his drop goal. Cuthbert touched down again in the right corner in the 66th minute, with Biggar converting. Biggar then closed the scoring run with a penalty to make it 30-3.
“We got in at halftime and thought we were going okay, although we didn’t have the execution right,” England coach Stuart Lancaster told the BBC. “But the first quarter of the second half wasn’t good enough and Wales thoroughly deserved the win, no complaints”
Pre-tournament favorite France beat third-place Scotland 23-16 in Paris but still finished last in the standings. Italy finished in fourth place by securing its first Six Nations win over Ireland with a 22-15 victory in Rome.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at firstname.lastname@example.org.