Scott Williams came up with a dramatic try after 75 minutes, and David Strettle seemed to score one for England after the 80 minutes have come to pass, but a few looks at the replays delivered a no-try call, and give Wales a dramatic 19-12 win, giving them the triple crown on the Twickenham grass, despite not delivering the kind of performance expected from them.
The Welsh side had nearly all of the possession during the first 20 minutes, before Lancaster’s men began actually building and creating some attacking phases. Manu Tuilagi with some bulldozing and mostly Owen Farrell with some cool nerves, despite the criticism over his performance against Italy and Scotland. Leigh Halfpenny matched two of the penalties, but England came down 9-6 leaders at half time.
Confidence was booming for the English side who not only made it 12-6 early in the second half, but were awarded with Priestland getting sinned binned with a yellow card. That’s where everything actually turned around again. The English didn’t come into this match as favorites, and didn’t know what to do with the advantage. Instead of deciding on a position to attack through, they just wasted time and looked confused while the Welsh side, with a brilliant Sam Warburton leading the charge, came back and held on.
When Preistland came back on, the lead was already 12-9, and England kept digging in instead of actually trying to go back to a passing game. A lot of changes have been made since the World Cup, which showcased plenty of that conservative tactics, but mentality is a tough thing to change, even when actually playing attacking and positive rugby pays off.
Scott Williams stole the ball from Courtney Lawes, another who came off the bench, to complete the turnaround into a result that many expected would be the final won, a 19-12 win for Wales. England came up with one final push that became a David Strettles no-try, not enough to deny Wales their 3rd win in the 2012 Six Nations.
England aren’t as bad a side as people made them out to be, handling Wales’ size rather well for most of the game with patience and good defending. Still, it’s not enough to repeat their Six Nations title from last year with a relatively young and inexperienced squad against a Welsh team that seems to be on their way towards a possible Grand Slam, their 11th and first since 2008.