Justin Tipuric score kicks off second half against England in style
Wales score stunner to bring Twickenham clash to life
After England dominated for the majority of ther first half against Wales in the Six Nations, the visitors needed something special to start the second half. And oh boy, did they.
In an instant classic of a score, Tipuric was sent under the posts just 27 seconds into the half. It could well be one of the most exciting scores in the competition’s history and signalled a roaring fightback from the Welsh, with the contest ending 33-30 for the hosts, despite seeing a red and yellow card.
You won’t get tired of watching this five-pointer. Straight from the kick-off centre Nick Tompkins caught cleanly, created enough space to manufacture a two-on-one and sent No 8 Josh Navidi flying down the wing. He got the ball back to Tompkins, who passed infield to Tomos Williams.
The scrum-half double-pumped, ensuring last man George Ford was comitted, and then hit Tipuric who raced to the sticks. The stadium erupted.
The score was a salve for Welsh fans, after the visitors went in at the interval trailing 20-9.
England wing Anthony Watson scored the opening try of the encounter. Maro Itoje caught a lineout that saw No 8 Tom Curry taking the ball and passing to scrum-half Ben Youngs, with the nine firing an inside ball to the wing who jump-stepped and pulled powered over. Captain Owen Farrell made it 7-0 with his conversion, surpassing 900 England points in the process.
The hits kept on coming and there was the inevitable fracas on the England line, that produced two incidents – and while a Leigh Halfpenny penalty made it 7-3, it’s likely Joe Marler’s over-familiar moment with Alun Wyn Jones will live longer in the memory.
England secured their second try as Elliot Daly tore in at the corner and then Farrell and Dan Biggar traded penalties.
Then the magic moment happened, bringing it to 20-16 and kick-starting the second half. It prompted a response from the hosts too, and after another penalty, England turned the power up a notch, hammering into contact.
They eventually manufactured a walk-in for Manu Tuilagi, scoring England’s third, making it 33-16.
But Wales never know when they are beaten and a break from substitute Rhys Webb brought the red side pouring upfield. The number of England penalties mounted and eventually Ellis Genge was given a yellow for repeated team infringements.
Wales manufactured another chance in the corner, but as George North slowed in the corner, Tuilagi came flying in. the officials took a look at the incident and concluded that the England centre had made contact with the wing’s head as well as making no attempt to wrap the arms and he saw a red card.
Related: Manu Tuilagi sent off at Twickenham
With Wales’s two-man advantage, Dan Biggar exploited a hole to score and – after converting it – make it 33-23.
Tipuric got himself a second score too, as a quick-thinking Webb dummied his way around a ruck in the corner and the flanker touched down. Biggar converted to bring the game to a close at 33-30. England clung on to take the win.
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