World Rugby

England Overcomes Early Setbacks To Down Wales At Twickenham In Six Nations

England Overcomes Early Setbacks To Down Wales At Twickenham In Six Nations

Steve Borthwick's England recovered from an early deficit and two yellow cards to defeat Wales at Twickenham Stadium in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations.

Feb 11, 2024
England Overcomes Early Setbacks To Down Wales At Twickenham In Six Nations

England’s 16-14 win over Wales ensured the hosts remain unbeaten at Twickenham in the Six Nations against their neighbors for over a decade. 

But for all the celebrations, it was a muted affair post-match for England, given the performance. 

Things started off strongly, but discipline quickly cost the men in white, and from that point, they never got their momentum back. 

In the end, the experience within the England squad paid dividends, as they managed to ride out the Welsh storm and come away with a valuable win. 

It was far from perfect, but for now, it’ll do for Steve Borthwick. 


The pressure always was going to be on England to deliver early, and it seemed the team would answer the call, as the men in white rampaged toward the Welsh line in the early exchanges. 

However, that pressure amounted to nothing, and soon, frustrations in Twickenham began to boil over. Fortunes turned, though, first when Ollie Chessum was shown yellow for a high hit. 

Wales then capitalized on the man advantage by marching toward the English line, setting up a rolling maul meters from the try line. 

The red wall thundered over the line, and Ethan Roots was ruled to have pulled it down - a penalty try to Wales and yellow for the England flanker followed. 

The hosts reacted well to being a man down, reducing the deficit with a thundering Ben Earl carry off the base of a scrum. The Saracens back rower finishing with three tacklers on his back. 

The games looked in the balance for a while, until Tomos Williams was unleashed into space and offloaded to Alex Mann, who crossed over to give Wales a strong lead at the break. 

The second half started slowly, with the only initial points coming from George Ford's boot. 

Both teams had their chance to capitalize off territory, but both faltered, until England found itself deep in the Wales 22 with just under 20 minutes left in the game. 

After sustained pressure from forward carries, the ball was spread wide to Elliot Daly, who juggled possession, before unleashing Fraser Dingwall, who crossed over in the corner. 

With only a two-point advantage, pressure fell on England, with Wales hammering away with consistent phases around the fringes. But in the end, England was resolute enough to come away with a narrow win. 

Tale Of The Tape 

Wales was made to rue its missed opportunities as, for the second week in a row, the Welsh lost a game by less than five points. 

For much of the first half, they showed composure and capitalized on English mistakes. 

But, when the pressure was placed on their shoulders, and they needed to score, they fell short and failed to deliver the spark to break through the English line. 

For England, it was a similarly mediocre affair, as the team struggled to maintain possession for much of the game. 

England's staunch defense was what won the game, but the inability to produce sustained attacking moves will be a cause for concern moving forwards.

Key Facet Of The Game 

Test rugby revolves heavily around the breakdown. The speed with which a team can attack relies upon consistent rucking, and for the majority of the game, the Welsh were demons over the ball. 

With its dominance, England was forced to rethink its strategy of attack and proceeded to rely upon the blitz defense to run down space and fluster the Welsh backfield. 

While the strategy failed at times, it did deliver fruit, as England was able to pacify two sustained Welsh attacks at the end of each half. 

Had Wales been able to score off those possessions, the game could have looked a lot different. 

Player Of The Match

In a match where few players stood out, Ben Earl made sure to rise above the rest and show his class. 

From the off, the England No. 8 put in the work at the breakdown and brought the physicality to the contact area. 

Earl was one of the only players to make an impact in both attack and defense, but in truth, his crowning moment came when he peeled off the back of a scrum in the Welsh 22, carried past three tacklers and reached out his arm to score England’s first try of the game.

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