Wales scores 10-20 in the 2023 Six Nations. English victory brings agony to the hosts in England

With a shaky Six Nations victory in Cardiff, England added insult to injury for struggling Wales.

The teams were divided by a try from England wing Anthony Watson during the frenzied first half.

England wing Before England responded with scores from Kyle Sinckler and Ollie Lawrence, Louis Rees-Zammit managed an interception try.

In the lead-up, Wales’ players had hinted about going on strike, but they were unable to overcome their rocky preparation.

They have now lost 12 of their previous 15 games and have lost three straight Six Nations matches since Warren Gatland took over as manager.

In an effort to prevent their first Six Nations whitewash in 20 years, Wales, who have had their worst tournament start since 2007, must travel to face Italy and France. Wales will now be ranked 10th in the world as a result of this loss.

Following a loss to Scotland on the opening weekend, England has since defeated Italy and Wales, and could even afford to lose 10 points as a result of captain Owen Farrell’s four missed field goal attempts.

British fullback Wales kept kicking to Freddie Steward, who won the aerial duel in Cardiff and was named player of the game.

It was also England’s first victory at the Principality Stadium since 2017 and their largest victory in Cardiff since 2003.

France and Ireland will now be the opponents for Steve Borthwick’s team in their final two games.

Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, and Freddie Steward of England team together to take down a prop for Wales. Robert Thomas
Maro Itoje, Lewis Ludlam, and Freddie Steward of England team together to take down a prop for Wales. Robert Thomas
troubled buildup in Wales
Even by rugby’s own standards of self-destruction, the wild past 10 days of the Welsh game are impressive.

A prospective strike over player contracts that would have forced the cancellation of this match was avoided on Wednesday night thanks to an eleventh-hour deal reached between the national team and Welsh rugby executives.

With a build-up that included the cancellation of a training session so that negotiations could continue, it was unclear whether a tragic era in Wales’ history would inspire or deplete them.

Wales struggled on the field as well, suffering two devastating losses to Scotland and Ireland prior to this game, and Gatland was still looking for his best team during his second managerial tenure. There was unrest everywhere you turned off the field.

For this game, he made an additional nine changes, including starting center Mason Grady, 20 years old.

Grady and Joe Hawkins, who shared the same age and had only had four caps, formed a midfield partnership, and Owen Williams started his first Test match in the storied Wales number 10 jersey.

With Liam Williams, George North, and Dan Biggar out of the starting lineup, the loss of more than 300 caps in the back division was offset by the return of more than 300 international appearances in the forward division with Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, and Justin Tipuric.

In comparison, England was more composed, with the lone change from the team that defeated Italy being wing Watson taking the place of the injured Ollie Hassell-Collins.

Gatland suggested the visitors made the wrong choice by saying Wales triumphed in Cardiff with these playing conditions, and England coach Steve Borthwick asked that the roof of the Principality Stadium remain open.

Gatland’s mental maneuvers before the game at least temporarily restored normalcy.

Putting the Cardiff crowd to rest
After an emotional week for the Welsh players, England was determined to silence the crowd. They were able to accomplish that.

With Farrell’s successful kick of the opening penalty, it was the visitors who made the early advances.

Alex Dombrandt took a magnificent high ball, Jack Willis forced a turnover, and Lewis Ludlam impressed in both attack and defense as England’s back row trio made an early impression.

Max Malins and Lawrence showed England’s determination to attack by opening up space that Watson could dive into and score in his first international game in nearly two years.

Before full-back, Farrell’s conversion attempt hit the post. In his first start since July 2021, Leigh Halfpenny scored a penalty to get Wales off to a good start.

After being repeatedly hammered by England tacklers as the visitors dominated the aerial duel in the first half, Halfpenny was given a terrifying welcome return to international rugby.

As Wales prop Tomas Francis was given a penalty at a scrum, Farrell lost a chance to add three points with a missed penalty.

By the close of the first half, Wales made some of their most hopeful offensive efforts.

Dombrandt and Ludlam’s superb breakdown steals prevented breaks from Rees-Zammit and prop Gareth Thomas, helping England to an 8-3 halftime lead.

Wales’ lack of a cutting edge was once more evident during ventures inside the opposition 22.

Lightning Early in the second half, Louis Rees-Zammit lit up the Cardiff stadium by scoring after intercepting a Malins ball that was thrown into the air. Wales took the lead for the first time thanks to a Halfpenny conversion.

That was only momentary as English prop Sinckler burrowed over from close range, earning a try call from French referee Mathieu Raynal.

Sinckler was seeking revenge in Cardiff after being injured by Wales four years prior and having to be replaced early in the game’s second half.

Wales added further backline support, and Dan Biggar took the place of Owen Williams, who appeared to be suffering from a hip injury.

Josh Adams was replaced at center by Nick Tompkins, while Grady moved to the left wing.

Before Wales substituted Dafydd Jenkins and Tommy Reffell, who they anticipated would help them have greater success in the breakdown, Farrell missed his third attempt at goal.

Injuries to his neck, glute, calf, concussion, and neck allowed Courtney Lawes to enter the game and earn his 97th England cap. This was his first time playing since guiding the team on its July 2022 tour of Australia.

Lawes took part in England’s bid to win the match with a decisive try, although Tipuric first derailed their attempt with a turnover.

But, England would not be defeated, and center Lawrence delivered the winning point.

Player of the game
British fullback Freddie Steward advances.
Mr. Freddie Steward The Wales team today in Cardiff fed the strength of the Leicester full-back, one of the finest in the world at handling high balls.
Wales’ starting lineup is as follows: Halfpenny; Adams; Grady; Hawkins; Rees-Zammit; O. Williams; T. Williams; G. Thomas; Owens (captain); Francis; Beard; AW Jones; Tshiunza; Tipuric; and Faletau.

Roberts, Carre, Lewis, Jenkins, Reffell, Hardy, Biggar, and Tompkins are the replacements.

Steward, Malins, Slade, Lawrence, Watson, Farrell (captain), Van Poortvliet, Genge, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Chessum, Ludlam, Willis, and Dombrandt are the members of the England team.

Walker, M. Vunipola, Cole, Lawes, B. Curry, Mitchell, M. Smith, and Arundell are the replacements.

Mathieu Raynal is the referee (France)

Andrew Brace (Ireland) and Pierre Brousset served as touch judges (France)

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