Back-to-back Grandslam dream still alive for battling Wales

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by Andy Blair, Chief Sports Correspondent

Wales kept their 6 Nations Grandslam hopes alive with a hard fought 23-15 victory over a much improved England side.

An entertaining battle went the way of the Welsh as England were hampered by the same sort of handling errors and indiscipline which blighted Scotland against France earlier in the day.

[caption id=”attachment_1748” align=”aligncenter” width=”300” caption=”Wales recorded back to back victories over Engand”][/caption]

There was no Shane Williams for Wales but they still came into the game as huge favourites to come away with the victory over England. The opening of the match was an important period for England as they would have to attempt to keep Wales quiet. But with some schoolboy errors they found themselves down as Wales converted the penalties they had been given.

England were then reduced to 14 men as, having been warned for their continued infringing, Mike Tindall was sent off for using his hands in a ruck. But it didn’t seem to affect England too much, as they launched an attack down the right hand side of the pitch. Andy Goode got hold of the ball and chipped it over the Welsh defence for Paul Sackey to win the footrace and touch down for the opening try of the game. The conversion was missed but England reduced the lead to just one point at the interval with an Andy Goode drop goal leaving the score at 9-8.

The second half of the match kicked off at a ferocious pace with Wales shooting out of the blocks. Winger Lee Halfpenny came close to scoring a try but was held up at the line and not allowed to release the ball by Andy Goode which resulted in England having another player resting in the sin bin. The penalty was duly converted by Steven Jones.

Halfpenny was not to be denied much longer and following a flowing move down the right he was released on the wing and touched down in the corner for an unconverted try. Wales were looking the stronger of the to teams but it was England who scored the next try when Harry Ellis picked up a loose ball and passed it out to the wing where Delon Armitage sold the Welsh Defence a dummy and ran uninterrupted to score under the posts. Flood then added the conversion.

But England were still too indisciplined and gave away two more penalties, well taken by Jones, leaving the final score at 23-15. Welsh hopes of back to back grandslams are very much alive and kicking.

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