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England posted back-to-back Six Nations victories by beating Wales 20-10 at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Wales, whose preparation for the game was hampered after a dispute with the Professional Rugby Board and the Welsh Rugby Union, have now suffered three straight defeats in this year’s competition.

Captain Owen Farrell got England going with an early penalty from 45 yards, before winger Anthony Watson, making his first international start in almost two years, stepped up to cap off a wonderful team play.

Farrell was unable to add the conversion from the touchline, helping Wales cut the deficit to five through Leigh Halfpenny’s penalty.

Farrell squandered the chance to extend England’s lead when he scored a penalty just outside the posts, before Wales shocked the visitors a minute into the second half when Louis Rees-Zammit intercepted a pass from 40 yards out and ran towards him.

That try was converted by Halfpenny to put Wales ahead, but England responded almost immediately when Kyle Sinckler went ahead from close range, with Farrell adding the extra points.

Wales pushed hard to get back into the game, but England’s victory was sealed with five minutes remaining when Ollie Lawrence fell off in the corner.

Wales fail to end difficult week on a high

Wales boss Warren Gatland said the threat of a strike by his players had brought the team “to the brink of disaster” this week.

However, the worst case scenario was averted after an agreement was reached with the Welsh Rugby Players Association on several key issues, including wages and changes to the 60 cap rule governing international selection.

The saga obviously took its toll on the Welsh players, who fought hard but lacked the quality and energy to beat Steve Borthwick’s side.

England maintain good run over Wales

England have now won eight of their last 10 Six Nations meetings with Wales. Their previous six victories before this one came by margins of six points or less.

This latest victory takes them to 10 points in the Six Nations table, five behind leaders Ireland.

Opta Key Facts:

– Watson scored his first try for England since March 2021 (against France). He has now scored five tries in his last five Six Nations starts and five in six games against Wales.

– Sinckler has scored his second try in the Six Nations in what is his 28th appearance in the competition: both of his tries have come away from home (also against Italy in Rome in 2022).

– Alun Wyn Jones played in his 16th Six Nations match against England; no other player has featured more than 13 times against England in the Championship.

– England have won a Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff for the first time since 2017 (21-16), and their tally of just 10 points conceded is the lowest in the Welsh capital since 2003 (26-9).

Whats Next?

Wales take on Italy at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico in a fortnight’s time, the same day England take on France at Twickenham.


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