Sport Union England down Wales to take Triple Crown

England down Wales to take Triple Crown

England's Luther Burrell on the burst against Wales.
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England have clinched the Triple Crown and kept their Six Nations title hopes alive with a 29-18 win over champions Wales at Twickenham.

On a sunny dry day, ideal for running rugby, England saw scrum-half Danny Care and centre Luther Burrell score tries in a match where fly-half Owen Farrell kicked 19 points.

All of Wales’ points came courtesy of six penalties from full-back Leigh Halfpenny as England deservedly gained revenge for a record 30-3 defeat by the Welsh in Cardiff last year that cost them a Grand Slam.

This defeat, though, ends Wales’s hopes of an historic third successive Six Nations title.

This was a first win against Wales for England coach Stuart Lancaster and it was a timely one too, with this match the last between the old rivals at Twickenham before they meet at the London ground in the pool stages of the 2015 World Cup.

Victory left England, who finish the Championship away to bottom of the table Italy on Saturday, level on three wins from four games with both Ireland and France, who next face one another in Paris.

A narrow French win over the Irish, who have a huge points difference advantage, coupled with an England win in Rome could see Lancaster’s men take the title.

But this result meant Wales, whose starring line-up included 12 of the British and Irish Lions their coach Warren Gatland guided to a series win in Australia last year, no longer had any chance of claiming an unprecedented third successive outright Six Nations title following their defeat by Ireland earlier in the tournament.

“I’m really proud,” Lancaster told the BBC on Sunday.

“We set our attacking intent from the start.

“Leigh Halfpenny punished our indiscipline but we were deserved winners.

“Wales got one over us last year and that was in the back of our minds but this is our day and I’m delighted and proud for the boys.”

Beaten Wales coach Warren Gatland admitted: “We didn’t keep the ball well enough today, there were too many turnovers and we were hammered at the scrum – very disappointing.

“I don’t think there’s a lot between the two sides, and home advantage probably played a bit today,” the New Zealander added.

“But I take my hat off to England, who played very well and defended aggressively.”

England, who dominated the much vaunted Welsh front row at the scrum, played by far the more enterprising rugby.