CARDIFF: Wales blew the Six Nations wide open with an epic 21-13 victory over England yesterday as late tries for Cory Hill, after a monumental 30-phase goal-line assault, and Josh Adams at the death secured a national record 12th successive victory.
England were leading 13-9 after a first-half Tom Curry try and looked set to make it three wins in a row before the hosts turned the match, and possibly the championship, with a relentless attack that sent Hill over 12 minutes from time.
Winger Adams then caught a high kick in the corner to settle it and send the Principality Stadium into raptures, bringing back memories of 2013 when England arrived in Cardiff seeking a Grand Slam but were sent packing 30-3.
Saturday’s game was a different beast, with momentum swings and nail-biting tension, but the outcome produced the same outpouring of emotion.
Wales top the standings on 12 points, with England second on 10, though, thanks to their earlier bonus points and with home games against Italy and Scotland to come, they are still well-placed to win the title.
Wales, who visit Scotland then host Ireland on the final day, are also in the hunt for their first title 2013.
France, who beat Scotland 27-10 earlier yesterday, have six, with the Scots on five. Defending champions Ireland, on four points, visit bottom side Italy today with renewed interest.
In a tight first half, England continued with their kicking policy while Wales tried to keep the ball in hand.
England’s defence was immense, though, with gallant Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson and Curry tackling anything that moved to ensure the absent Make Vunipola and Maro Itoje were not missed.
The atmosphere, as expected, was electric but the thousands of England fans who had found tickets made their presence felt with “Swing Low” reverberating around the ground, before being drowned out by a cascade of boos.
It was locked at 3-3 after a penalty apiece before England struck in the 27th minute. Lawes stripped the ball from Justin Tipuric and Curry peeled off the ruck almost unseen to charge over.