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6 Nations

England Secure Triple Crown with Welsh Win

England have sealed the Six Nations Triple Crown with a hard fought win over Wales

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(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

England have sealed a Six Nations Triple Crown with a 33-30 win over Wales this evening at Twickenham.

The victory which was by no means easy for the hosts as Wales put up a valiant performance with a late rally, but it leaves them in contention for the title as they wait to see how France and Ireland fair in their final games. 

England came bolting out of the blocks at the start of the game, putting in some massive early hits on their opponents and their bright opening was rewarded in the fourth minute. 

Following a break through the Welsh half the home side had a line-out inside the Welsh 22 and off that they unleashed a brilliant move leading to Anthony Watson stepping through the defence, holding off two tackles to touch down. Captain Owen Farrell slotted over the conversion from the right-hand side to make it 7-0. 

Wales came back fighting and thought they had scored a try five minutes later only for George North to knock-on at the vital moment. Although Leigh Halfpenny got his side off the scoreboard with a penalty that resulted from the afters of that try incident. 

However, a quarter of an hour in and Farrell smashed over a penalty of his own to push England 10-3 in front. 

Halfpenny cut the lead back down to four minutes later as he kicked his second penalty of the match. 

It was the hosts that struck again next as they spread the ball out left off the back of a line-out that was in a similar position to the one they scored their opening try from and Elliot Daly ended up darting over in the corner after some quick hands. Farrell made no mistake from the conversion to stretch the lead out to 17-6 with eight minutes to go in the half. 

Over the final 10 minutes Farrell and Dan Biggar traded blows at penalty time to leave the score at 20-9 in England’s favour come the half-time whistle. 

It took Wales just 27 seconds to register the first try of the second half as they broke from their own 22 straight from kick-off putting the ball through the hands while charging forward, with Tomos Williams eventually sending it to Justin Tipuric, who raced under the posts for the score. Biggar provided the extras with from the tee to make it 20-16 a minute into the half. 

However, four minutes later and England went further in front as Farrell once again punished the visitors with a penalty kick. 

While Farrell received attention for an injury George Ford took over kicking duties as the home team won another penalty, but the result was the same as the ball sailed between the posts to extend the lead back out to 10-points. 

Just past the hour mark and England had their third try of the evening as Ben Youngs broke away in the middle of the pitch, and within a number of phases the ball found Manu Tuilagi who had the easiest of jobs in waltzing over for the try. Farrell continued his perfect form from the tee to leave it at 33-16 heading into the final quarter. 

Wales camped in the England 22 for the next few minutes as England conceded penalty after penalty before substitute Ellis Genge was sent to the sin-bin after the referee lost his patience. 

Two minutes later and they were reduced to 13-men as Tuilagi went from hero to villain following a dangerous hit on George North, which left the referee with no option other than to show him a red card. 

With that two man advantage Wales eventually got over the line for a try as Biggar ran through a gap in the defensive line, reaching out and tapping down. He converted his own try to make it 33-23 with two minutes to go. 

Wales ensured they left Twickenham with a losing bonus-point as Rhys Webb provided a lovely offload for Tipuric to touch down for his second try of the game with the clock in red. Biggar kicked the two-points with the last action of the match to leave it at 33-30 come the whistle.

As mentioned above the win leaves England in with a chance of winning the championship depending on results elsewhere and their own postponed fixture against Italy that was meant to be played next weekend. Meanwhile Wales will hope to avoid a fourth loss in a row when they take on Scotland next Saturday. 

Player Ratings

England Starting XV: 

Elliot Daly (8), Anthony Watson (8),  Manu Tuilagi (6), Owen Farrell (7), Jonny May (N/A), George Ford (7), Ben Youngs (9); Joe Marler (8), Jamie George (7), Kyle Sinckler (7) Maro Itoje (8), George Kruis (7), Courtney Lawes (7), Mark Wilson (7), Tom Curry (8)

Replacements (7)

Wales Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (8), George North (7), Nick Tompkins (8), Hadleigh Parkes (7), Liam Williams (7), Dan Biggar (8), Tomos Williams (7); Rob Evans (6), Ken Owens (7), Dillon Lewis (6), Jake Ball (7), Alun Wyn Jones (8), Ross Moriarty (7), Justin Tipuric (8), Josh Navidi (8)

Replacements (7)

6 Nations

Cian Healy signs short term extension

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Ireland and Leinster loosehead prop Cian Healy has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

Cian is Ireland’s most capped prop forward having lined out for Ireland on 107 occasions to date. He made his Ireland debut against Australia in November 2009 and was selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia making two appearances before injury ended his involvement.

Cian has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and represented Leinster on 226 occasions winning four Heineken Cup titles during his career in blue.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Cian has been a cornerstone of both the Irish and Leinster packs for over a decade.  He has shown incredible resilience to come back from serious injury and perform at the highest level.  Cian has a lot to contribute to Irish Rugby and we are delighted that he has signed on for another year.”

Cian Healy, commented,

“My drive for success at both Leinster and Ireland is as strong as ever.  I am lucky enough to currently be part to two teams with the same mentality which is special and I look forward to another season of pushing boundaries and achieving our goals.

I’m loving my rugby as much now as I did at the very start of my career and looking forward to having our supporters back in stadia.”

Article from Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

O’Mahony Signs Contract Extension with IRFU

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Ireland and Munster backrow Peter O’Mahony has signed a two year extension to his IRFU contract keeping him at Munster until 2023.

Peter made his Ireland debut in the Six Nations against Italy in 2012 and has gone on to win 74 caps and captain his country on eight occasions.  A Lions tourist in 2017, Peter captained the Lions in the opening Test of the series against New Zealand.

Peter has represented Munster on 141 occasions becoming captain of his province in 2013 at the age of 24.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Peter has played a leadership role in Munster from an early age and is one of the senior leaders in the national squad.  He is a competitor and passionate about playing for both Ireland and Munster.”

Peter O’Mahony, commented,

“It’s a huge privilege to sign on with the province and country I’ve grown up in and dreamed of playing for. It’s been something I’ve been very open about saying from day one and its very pleasing to be able to continue the journey for two more years.

There’s a huge amount of responsibility that comes with representing both teams and I understand how much pressure there is to deliver silverware, however, I am incredibly enthusiastic on the position and competitiveness of both Munster and Ireland and I look forward to hopefully contributing to both, to succeed in delivering that success on the pitch.”

Irish Rugby

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6 Nations

Sexton extends contract

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(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Ireland and Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton has signed a 1 year extension to his IRFU contract up to the end of the 2021/22 season.

The 2018 World Player of the Year took on the Ireland captaincy in January 2020 and is one of Irish rugby’s most decorated players.

He has been central to both Ireland and Leinster’s success for over a decade following his international debut against Fiji in November 2009.

A two time Lions tourist in 2013 and 2017, Johnny has won three Six Nations titles with Ireland and four European Cups with Leinster.  He has represented his provinces on 171 occasions scoring 1505 points.

David Nucifora, IRFU Performance Director, commented,

“Johnny continues to show he has the quality and appetite to compete at the highest levels.  He is playing an important leadership role with the Ireland squad and his insight and experience continues to be of great value to the group.”

Johnny Sexton, commented,

“I am really enjoying my rugby and I want to keep learning and adding value to both the Ireland and Leinster environments.   I am enjoying the challenge of captaincy and the added responsibility that it brings.  My appetite for success is the same as it ever was and the ambitions of both the Ireland and Leinster squads match my own.”

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