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Fraser Dingwall's assistance propelled England's victory over Wales in a thrilling comeback.
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Fraser Dingwall’s assistance propelled England’s victory over Wales in a thrilling comeback.

Since 2012, Wales has been unable to secure a victory against England at Twickenham during the Six Nations. This unfortunate streak continued in their recent match. However, throughout most of the game, it was England who seemed to be on the brink of defeat. Despite this, Steve Borthwick’s team has been successful in pulling off narrow victories. Once again, the final outcome was too close for comfort.

England, who were behind 14-5 at halftime, were saved by a penalty kick from George Ford and a try from Fraser Dingwall in the 62nd minute. Despite only showing occasional moments of strong offense, the hosts managed to secure a victory thanks to a tricky pass from Elliot Daly and a successful finish by Dingwall in the left corner. This brought relief to their fans, who finally had something to cheer about in the final quarter.

The Welsh team was reduced to 14 players after Mason Grady received a yellow card near the end of the game. They were disappointed that they were unable to maintain their strong start. Tommy Reffell played exceptionally well and Warren Gatland’s strategy also made it difficult for England. It would have been a deserved victory for the away team if they had managed to hold on. However, like the previous Saturday, they were unable to secure the win as England’s substitutes had a greater impact on the game.

It was clear to Wales from the beginning that they would have to play a full 80 minutes in order to defeat England in this year’s tournament. They were able to control the game for extended periods, and upon reflection, England will realize that they must make significant improvements if they hope to win at Murrayfield in two weeks.

One issue was that England did not take advantage of their strong start in the game. Freddie Steward easily passed through Adam Beard, creating a moment that was both Welsh and hairy. Daly did not have enough confidence to outrun the defenders in front of him and Henry Slade kicked the ball out of bounds even though there were other choices. Wales was barely holding on and hoping for any opportunity to change the game.

Ollie Chessum received a yellow card for a high tackle on Keiron Assiratti, leading to Wales making some progress and a well-placed kick from Ioan Lloyd. This resulted in a strong drive from the back, which was stopped illegally by England. Referee James Doleman quickly penalized England and awarded a penalty try, while also sending Ethan Roots to the bin.

England quickly responded, with Maro Itoje tackling Lloyd near their own goal line and setting up a scrum. Ben Earl took advantage of the position and broke through Alex Mann’s tackle to score. Unfortunately, the conversion was unsuccessful as Wales’s defenders were able to rush out before George Ford could make his approach.

Fraser Dingwall scores England’s second try against Wales.

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With the player count back up to 15, it was time for this latest version of the England team to make their mark. However, Wales proved to be the more energetic, clever, and forceful team. Reffell, in particular, contributed to the chaos at the breakdown with his instinctual poaching skills, showing the influence of his Leicester Tiger background on the visitors’ second try.

The recent changes to England’s defense are still being developed and once again, it was unable to hold off Wales as Reffell made a great inside pass to Tomos Williams. Williams then passed to the young Cardiff player Mann for his second try in two Tests. It is clear that the 22-year-old thrives in high-pressure situations.

At the end of the first half, Wales had a nine-point lead, which was a significant improvement from their poor performance against Scotland in Cardiff. Despite being down 27-0, their comeback had boosted their confidence and put pressure on England to respond. The previously loud and energetic home crowd was now silent, in stark contrast to the loud DJ set during half-time.

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When Dingwall passed to Daly on the left side, the team became more alert. However, Josh Adams made a courageous and successful tackle that forced Daly out of bounds. In previous matches, Daly has scored crucial points for his team, but some other players in the world may have been more aggressive in seizing opportunities.

England is showing a killer instinct only on occasion, which is one of their important qualities. However, without dominating set-pieces, they lack the necessary weapons to put pressure on their opponents or make them pay. Their strategy involves playing at a fast pace, but they do not have enough players with the ability to carry the ball and move quickly to effectively harm their opponents.

A clever coach like Gatland can take advantage of this. George North and Nick Tompkins consistently challenged England’s midfield with physicality. The visitors also did not resort to repeatedly kicking the ball out of bounds, giving England a steady supply of lineout opportunities.

England was in a position where they had to find a last-minute solution on their own. Ford’s two penalty kicks reduced the score to 14-8, but Wales still had the upper hand with possession and were posing more significant challenges. As has happened before, England’s defense was once again penetrated by Cameron Winnett, who passed to Adams on the outside. If Rio Dyer had successfully caught his teammate’s pass, it could have been a memorable night for Wales in southwest London. However, it was England who ultimately emerged victorious.

Source: theguardian.com