Tries for Gareth Davies and George North saw the crowd erupt at Principality Stadium
Wales came roaring out of the blocks at the start of the second half to slice England open with two devastating tries on their way to a 20-9 victory to give the Principality Stadium crowd something to cheer after a turgid first half.
England led 9-6 at the interval as Marcus Smith and Leigh Halfpenny, on his 100th appearance, exchanged penalties. Handling errors denied England, the more dominant side in the first 40, of any real cutting edge or attacking platform.
However, all changed after the break as Wales scored two tries in ten relentless minutes to catch Steve Borthwick’s men cold. First, fly-half Sam Costelow put in a pinpoint cross-field kick to No 8 Aaron Wainright who shrugged off Danny Care before offloading inside to his back-row colleague and captain Jac Morgan.
Morgan went marauding dangerously into England territory but looked to have missed the perfect opportunity to pass inside. However, he persevered and eventually shifted the ball inside to onrushing scrum-half Gareth Davies who escaped the despairing clutches of England full-back Freddie Steward to dot down for the 16th try of his international career.
Things got even better when, after a spell of relentless pressure on the England line, George North jinked inside replacement Jack van Poortvliet to dot down untouched to trigger a deafening roar under the roof in Cardiff.
Halfpenny’s conversions put Wales 20-9 ahead after 14 points without reply which appeared to leave England shellshocked. Borthwick rang the changes with Theo Dan and Tom Willis coming on for their debuts and Wales did similar with Taine Plumtree, a former New Zealand U20 international, making his international bow.
Similarly, prop Henry Thomas made his Wales debut having previously played for England against Wales. Thomas the beneficiary of World Rugby’s new eligibility laws that allow players to switch allegiance after a three-year cooling off period.
Louis Rees-Zammit thought he had used his blistering speed to score a wonder try but the TMO thought otherwise, ruling a knock-on, however that decision didn’t change the fact that Wales were worthy winners after a superb second 40.
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