Disappointment For Gat's Men

Wales have suffered their first defeat in this season's rugby union Six Nations.

Despite a late fightback, they went down 25-21 to England at Twickenham.

George North and Taulupe Faletau crossed for two dramatic scores in the space of three minutes while England were down to 14 men with Dan Cole in the sin-bin, but the unbeaten English were still able to stay on course for a potential first Grand Slam since 2003. They also claimed a 26th Triple Crown.

Their triumph allowed them to gain revenge for their World Cup defeat by arch-rivals Wales earlier in the season. Wales came to Twickenham for the fourth time this season and hoping to make it two wins in a row over England at their home ground for the first time since 1978.

Two unbeaten teams lined-up knowing the winners would be able to go into the final round with every hope of clinching the title. England came out of the blocks much the better of the two teams and the reliable boot of Owen Farrell steered them into a nine point lead in the opening quarter.

They dominated territorially and in terms of possession and forced Wales to concede a string of penalties. The first Farrell strike came in the ninth minute for not rolling away in a tackle in the shadow of the Welsh posts and the second came for wheeling the scrum eight minutes later.

The scrum followed a double tackle by Rob Evans and Gareth Davies on England prop Cole as he crossed the Welsh line, but was adjudged to have been held up. England were having all the ball and continued to threaten and Farrell's third penalty, once again for not rolling away in the tackle, ended a near perfect first quarter for them.

The pressure from the home side continued, though, and a thrust from Maro Itoje on the Welsh 10 metre line committed two defenders and created a two-on-one overlap that enabled Mike Brown to send Anthony Watson racing over for the game's first try.

Farrell added the conversion to leave Wales with a mountain to climb even before the first-half had ended. Wales were largely masters of their own downfall with 19 missed tackles and eight penalties conceded in the opening half.

England started the second half as they ended the first and a brilliant break out of his own 22 by Brown took them immediately onto the offensive. Wales were penalised for the ninth time in the game and Farrell maintained his 100 per cent goalkicking record with a 45 metre shot in the 45th minute to make it 19-0.

That at least stimulated some sort of reaction in the visiting ranks and a break up the right touchline allowed Jamie Roberts to send Alex Cuthbert up to within five metres. Wales earned two penalties in front of the hoe posts, but three successive scrums failed to provide a solid enough platform from which to strike.

England cleared that threat, but Dan Biggar closed down the gap on opposite number George Ford as he tried to clear from his 22 and charged down his kick, guided the ball between the home posts and touched down for a try which he also converted.

Welsh hearts were lifted, but moments later they sunk when skipper Warburton was carried off on a stretcher after taking a blow to the head. His side responded by quickly returning to the home 22 and Jonathan Davies was adjudged to have lost the ball in the tackle as he tried to free his arms and send George North over for a try in the left corner.

English pressure then told again as they squeezed two more penalties out of Wales in their own half and Farrell hoisted his match tally to 20 points with two more successes. That seemed to have put the game beyond Wales' reach, but there was a sting in the tail for the home side as two tries in three minutes bought the visitors back to within a score of victory.

North raced in the first and Faletau grabbed the second and Rhys Priestland converted them both to turn the gap from 18 points to four. Wales went for glory, and worked the ball wide to North in the home 22, but Manu Tuilagi came across to forced him into touch and England hung on.

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