Wales v England: live gives you all the news, views and nonsense from the Millennium Stadium. Get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet him @Timwellspent.
By Tim Hart
Published: 3pm 4 February 2011
FULL-TIME: Wales 19-26 England
9.44pm: That’s it for me for tonight. A great match but not the result Wales were looking for. Hopefully the standard of play will stay just as high for the rest of the Championship.
9.42pm: England now have three back-to-back games at Twickenham and will feel confident they can mount a serious challenge for this Championship. Wales on the other hand will have to pick themselves up ahead of next week’s away match to Scotland.
9.40pm: England were just far more clinical and deserved the win. Toby Flood describes the win as “huge” for England. It’s the first time they’ve won in Cardiff since 2003 and that year they went on to win the Grand Slam and the World Cup. Could history be repeating itself?
9.36pm: The 80 minutes are up. Wales cannot afford to lose possession now. They have it on the half-way line but a solid tackle from Tindall and England steal the ball. Danny Care kicks the ball into touch and that’s it. England win 19-26.
9.35pm: Toby Flood has been named man of the match and you can’t argue with that. He was so consistent and clinical.
9.34pm: A great tackle by Mike Tindall denies Shane Williams and Wales concede another penalty. I couldn’t see what for but the crowd seem so dejected.
9.32pm: The crowd has become somewhat subdued again as Wales have a line-out on the half-way line. And it’s a bad error by Wales but they manage to retain possession. and are now midway into England’s half.
9.30pm: And now Lee Byrne is penalised for not releasing in the ruck and England have a penalty just over 30 metres from the posts. Wilkinson is preparing with his trademark stance and he scores to put England seven points ahead with five minutes to play. Wales need a converted try to draw. Wales 19-26 England.
9.29pm: Wales have done really well and force England to give away a penalty with Steve Thompson holding on while on the ground. Wales now have the ball on the half-way line. Richard Hibbard has come on for Wales’ captain Matthew Rees.
9.27pm: England now have a rolling maul and march on. They’re just powering their way to the Wales’ line. They’re 1 metre short. Wilson tries to go over but is denied. England are trying to bulldozer their way through but Wales are holding firm.
9.25pm: England sub: Steve Thompson comes on for Hartley. Simon Shaw has also come on for Deacon. Dwayne Peel is on for Phillips.
9.24pm: After quite a long break James Hook prepares the kick and places it in the middle of the posts. Going into the final 10 minutes it’s Wales 19-23 England.
9.21pm: Wales are now coming forward ever so slowly but it just seems a little lateral. There’s no spark. England concede a penalty with Shontayne Hape interfering in the ruck. Another soft penalty and Wales have a chance to move to within four points of England,
9.18pm: England give away a penalty in the scrum and Wales kick for a line-out in England’s half. And now there are a lot of jeers around the stadium as Jonny Wilkinson comes on to the field to replace Toby Flood. And now there are cheers as Lee Byrne comes on and Stephen Jones goes off. James Hook moves into fly-half for Wales.
9.17pm: England are now five metres from the try line but good work from Wales means they get the ball back and clear. Mark Cueto now comes forward and England look threatening but Flood passes the ball forward to give away a cheap scrum.
9.15pm: Referee awards a penalty to England after Wales have another hand in the ruck. England have Toby Flood on the floor but he’s got back up and hits a great penalty into Wales’ 22.
9.13pm: This is one of the best games I have seen in a long time. This final 20 minutes are going to be fascinating.
9.12pm: That looked like a blatant pass forward by Chris Ashton but it’s not given. Wales get a scrum. Another sub and James Haskell is coming off for England and Joe Worsley comes on.
9.11pm: Great tackle by Tom Palmer on Dan Lydiate. The nerves are showing as Wales drop the ball again but they manage to clear the ball into the England half.
9.10pm: Craig Mitchell is back on the field for Wales. Andrew Sheridan has gone off for England and is replaced by Dave Wilson.
9.09pm: LIFELINE TO WALES. Great run from Jonathan Davies who sets up Morgan Stoddart to score a try. Stephen Jones gets the conversion. It’s now Wales 16-23 England
21.07pm: Fair point but still it had to be said…
9.04pm: England force Wales back on to their try line but they hold firm. England though continue to pressurise the Welsh defence and Chris Ashton pops up in the right corner to score his second try of the night. Martin Johnson looks far more relaxed now. That could bring an end to Wales’ chances tonight. Flood has a hard conversion out on the right side but he gets it to make five kicks out of five. Wales 6-23 England.
9.03pm: Wales actually did well in that scrum and manage to clear their lines and get a light reprieve.
9.02pm: Dan Lydiate has come off and is replaced by John Yapp so Wales have three front rowers for the scrum.
9.01pm: A knock-on by an England forward (I couldn’t see who) gives Wales a scrum on their 5m line.
8.59pm: A poor kick by Ben Youngs is followed by another from Morgan Stoddart. Wales line-out, which England win and now go on the offensive. England have the ball in Wales’ 22. Flood spots another miss-match but is stopped. The ball finds its way to Nick Easter who’s eventually stopped but it took three players to do so.
8.58pm: This is really patient build-up play by Wales now. They’ve had possession for the last couple of minutes and they now pass the ball out to the left but another loose off load sees England regain the ball.
8.56pm: Wales have the ball but another loose ball from Mike Phillips makes it difficult for his team to keep possession but somehow they do.
8.55pm: Alistair Cook, England cricketer, has just been spotted in the crowd. All the big names in sport are here tonight it seems.
8.53pm: This time England give it to their backs and they try to stretch the play. Wales have been forced on to the back foot and Craig Mitchell has given away a penalty. And it’s got worse for Wales as Mitchell has been sin-binned for the foul. Flood takes the penalty and he is on target for the fourth time this evening. Wales 9-16 England
8.52pm: England now have a line-out in their own 22. Dylan Hartley again finds his man. The pace has slowed right down again and England have another line-out.
8.51pm: A beautiful kick by Stephen Jones sees the ball sail over the posts. It’s now Wales 9-13 England. The mood has instantly picked up.
8.50pm: Wales are being patient with the ball, quite happy to hold on to it and to keep recycling. And the pressure has told as England have given away a penalty. Quite stupid really by Chris Ashton. Shows you what happens when wingers go into rucks.
8.48pm: Toby Flood restarts the game and Ryan Jones catches the ball. Wales carry the ball and clear it down field. Foden then goes on one of his dazzling runs but passes it straight to Jamie Roberts.
8.47pm: The teams are back out on the pitch. It turns out Andy Powell has a shoulder injury so Ryan Jones will be on the pitch for the rest of the game.
8.44pm: Ever so slightly jealous of this. Our Swansea reporter Dean Thomas has a great view at the match.
8.41pm: England are winning the battle in the scrum and are patient when they have the ball. They’ve been incredibly calculated. Wales need to up their game if they want to get anything from this.
8.39pm: You can’t really argue with this. Wales have failed to take all of their chances.
8.38pm: Half-time – Wales 6-13 England
8.35pm: And Deacon is back on the pitch. Wales really didn’t make much of having an extra man. We’re now into stoppage time. Shane Williams has the ball and kicks into the corner but it just runs into the dead zone and Alain Rolland blows for half-time.
8.33pm: Ben Foden has a rare chance to run at Wales but he is stopped. England just punt the ball deep into Wales’ 22. And the home team now have an overlap. Jonathan Davies puts a boot to it and Shane Williams tries to reach it but it’s a great block by Foden who knocks the ball on to concede a scrum.
8.31pm: Another scrum and England are awarded another free-kick and they opt for another scrum. Quite incredible seeing England only have seven men in the pack. England win the scrum and Wales give away another penalty for failing to let go of the ball on the floor. England clear into Wales’ half and will try to wind the clock down until the half-time whistle.
8.30pm: Wales had a real chance and were so close to get in for the try. Jones kicks the ball cross field and Morgan Stoddart nearly claims it but he fumbles and it goes into touch. Had he claimed the ball Stoddart could have been clear in. You just have no idea what’s going to happen next.
8.27pm: Wales, though, mess up the scrum and England get possession. Flood kicks the ball into Wales’ 22. England are just keeping the pressure on and winding the clock down until Deacon comes back from his sin bin which has just two minutes left.
8.26pm: Warren Gatland’s comments about Dylan Hartley come back to slap him in the face as Wales’ latest line-out is messed up and Wales have a scrum down after England knock-on. Andy Powell is going off with a blood injury and Ryan Jones comes on to a massive cheer from the fans. They just love the guy.
8.24pm: The game has slowed down a bit which favours England and Andy Powell is penalised for doing the same as Louis Deacon but is not shown a yellow card. It looks like it’s Wales’ last warning. Flood now has a penalty opportunity and this man just doesn’t miss. Wales 6-13 England
8.23pm: This is a fantastic match. Both teams know how important it is and they’re giving everything they’ve got.
8.18pm: Wales are in the ascendancy now and Bradley Davies surges into England’s 22. Louis Deacon has been penalised and it’s a penalty to Wales. Deacon is sin-binned for coming right over the ruck. England can’t say they weren’t warned. Jones has an easy penalty from 10 yards out. It’s Wales 6-10 England.
8.16pm: England are threatening again and the ball comes out to Mark Cueto on the left wing. England are on the edge of Wales’ 22. Tindall nearly breaks through but is stopped and England work it across the back line again. This has been a good spell of possession by England. But Wales have turned it over and Morgan Stoddart breaks down the right wing and gets just outside England’s 22 before he is tackled into touch. Exciting stuff this. Wales showing they are not going to roll over.
8.13pm: Getting replays of England’s try and it was just a mess from Wales’ point of view. Flood breaks through Rees and Craig Mitchell (Wales’ hooker and prop). That’s not how you defend; such a mismatch.
8.11pm: Wales step up the pace a bit but nobody seems to hold on to the ball and it’s now a scrum to Wales. The scrum is once again moving but Mike Phillips gets the ball out and Wales attack. There are a wave of red shirts going forward and James Haskell gives away a penalty for kicking the ball out of the ruck. Haskell knew what he was doing there. Chance for Wales to get on the scoreboard and Jones does. Wales 3-10 England.
8.10pm: It’s feeling like the same old story. Wales show promise but England are proving to be far more clinical.
8.08pm: We have another scrum and both sides seem to be struggling. Well actually Wales’ Paul James is struggling as the ref has to have word with him. This time the scrum does stand-up but Andy Powell has given a penalty away for holding on and Flood has a straight forward opportunity. And he finishes with aplomb. England are into double figures; it’s Wales 0-10 England.
8.07pm: Wales must now be regretting those two early missed penalties. Goes without saying but 7-6 would look much better than what it actually is.
8.06pm: The crowd has suddenly gone very quiet. This has been an amazing game so far. England continue to attack with a line-out in Wales’ 22.
8.04pm: But England now seem to have found some confidence and are keeping possession well and Toby Flood breaks through Wales’ defence and gives the ball to Chris Ashton who goes over under the posts to score. The gap in the Welsh defence was a mile wide! Flood then adds the conversion. It’s Wales 0-7 England.
8.02pm: England’s Tom Palmer gets the ball in the line-out and England now create a rolling maul as they move closer to the try line. But a loose pass from Tindall goes straight out of play as Chris Ashton falls over. It’s all a bit scrappy at the moment.
8pm: This time England get the advantage in the scrum and win a penalty. Flood kicks into Wales’ 22. Their first real attacking chance.
7.59pm: So this is the first time we will get to see how Dylan Hartley will do at the line-out. Will Gatland’s words have had an effect? Well, no. England win their line-out and it’s now a scrum to England.
7.58pm: Where’s this come from Ben Foden goes on a great run down the right wing but he fails to release the ball at the breakdown and England give away another penalty. Wales clear the ball and it’s now a line-out to the away team in their own 22. Martin Johnson won’t be happy.
7.57pm: England are lucky the scores are still level as they have looked rather lacklustre. And as I say that Sam Warburton puts a strong tackle in on Toby Flood just to emphasise Wales’ dominance.
7.55pm: Wales continue to pressure England and they win another penalty as Andrew Sheridan comes in from the side. You just can’t do that. This is now a far easier chance for Wales. 42m out and Stephen Jones steps up. But he misses! And that is a woeful attempt which just goes well wide of the posts
7.54pm: So Wales have won the first scrum and they look far the brighter. There’s a lot of movement in their backline as they continue to test England’s defence.
7.53pm: James Hook is taking the penalty from some distance and it goes just wide. The crowd were ready to celebrate but there was a funny gasp of disappointment. The score remains 0-0.
7.52pm: The first scrum of the match and England win a free-kick as Wales were pushing before the put-in. England choose to retake scrum and Wales steel the ball. The referee has given a penalty to the home team. And it’s all kicking off. Matthew Rees and Dan Cole come head to head but that’s all there is.
7.51pm: You’re not the only one Sam…
7.49pm: Stephen Jones kicks the game off and it’s a good take by England’s Mike Tindall. England start to move forward and the first big tackle of the match sees Stephen Jones stays on the ground and the referee stops play.
7.47pm: Today’s referee is Alain Rolland from Ireland and the two touch judges, also from the Emerald isle, are Alan Lewis and Simon McDowell.
The TV judge is none other than Scotland’s Jim Yuile.
7.44pm: And the roof feels like it’s just come off! The two teams are out on the pitch and you can’t hear anything over the crowd or see much because of the smoke. Roll on the National Anthems.
7.43pm: Let’s boil this down to the absolute simplest idea. It’s a battle between the two team’s front fives. Whoever gets the upper hand in that will come out on top.
7.40pm: This game isn’t very popular for being on a Friday evening. Hotel owners say they’re losing up to 50% of their revenue and traders in the capital say their takings could also be halved because fewer vistors will choose to stay for the whole weekend . This fixture has also caused problems for many fans who were hoping to travel to Cardiff to see the game. Tonight, there’ve been 25-mile tailbacks on the M4 coming into Newport. The Severn Bridge has been closed due to high winds has caused massive delays.
7.38pm: Both Gatland and Martin Johnson brush aside pre-match comments as a bit of banter and part of the game. Let’s just see if that’s the case.
7.36pm: Warren Gatland says that tonight’s match is massive and whoever wins will kickstart their Championship. Gatland quashes ideas of apologising to Dylan Hartley; why is that not a surprise?
7.33pm: Don’t know how I missed this from earlier. England’s Ben Foden was quoted in the newspapers this morning saying “England are the big country. Let’s go to Wales and put them in their place”. Why do players say this? It only makes them look stupid when it invariably transpires to be wrong.
7.30pm: There’s semi drunk renditions of swing low sweet chariot echoing down the river taff. Silent anticipation from Welsh fans. Less than 15 minutes to go! It’s starting to get a little tense!
7.27pm: I just overheard somebody say the Millennium Stadium isn’t hostile. That may be so but that doesn’t mean it gives Wales an advantage.
7.25pm: This is from ITV’s very own Lee Smith
7.14pm: Legs Allen on Twitter thinks it will finish 22-13 to Wales. What do you think? Try and decide with your head rather than your heart, if you can!
7.10pm: There’s a massive rendition of Delilah being sung in the stadium. Doesn’t matter who you are the shivers still go down your spine. The atmosphere in the Millennium Stadium is second to none.
7.05pm: I am a minority in ITV Wales as I am English (pause for boo and hiss) and some of the banter I’ve had today is unrepeatable. Everybody’s telling me Wales will win and I now just might believe them especially seeing England haven’t won in Cardiff for eight years. I was doing GCSEs back then!
7pm: Former England international Richard Hill who knows what it takes to beat Wales in Cardiff gives some advice to the the Red Roses.
6.40pm: If Wales do win tonight then then there should be a lot of praise for the WRU’s National Centre of Excellence. It’s a world leader in the science of rugby – using the very latest innovations to give elite players at every level, including the national squad, the backup they need. And last week Frances Donovan was shown around the centre by Mark Taylor, the former Wales international and team manager for the Under 20’s squad.
6.30pm: This is a killer fact:
What’s more England have not won in Cardiff since 2003. The signs are all good for Wales at this point.
6.25pm: Are you on Twitter? Give me a tweet and join the conversation or you can always follow ITV Wales
6.20pm: The Wales coach has just arrived. Everyone’s got their game faces on apart from Gatland who had a massive smile on his face. Looks like he is going to try and enjoy this evening. At least that makes one of us. Starting to get nervous now.
6.14pm: I know a few people who would disagree with this
6.08pm: The roof might be shut at the Millennium Stadium but the high winds are still causing havoc. They have hit the M4 and there are now 15-mile queues stretching back to the Severn Bridge. I’ve been told the police could potentially delay kick-off if the disruption continues.
6pm: There are rumours Warren Gatland could be making a pre-match apology to England’s Dylan Hartley. Gatland had picked out Hartley as England’s weak point last week. It would be quite a turn up for the books if he does!
Interesting fact is England have only won one of their last six away games in the Six Nations. So maybe James Hook saying Wales will be a handful might be right.
Ospreys’ Cai Griffiths is certainly getting into the spirit of tonight’s match judging by this.
5.15pm: And of course the roof is going to be shut tonight! That will make things a little but warmer and hopefully the wind won’t find a way in to the ground. I was nearly blown off my feet earlier!
5.11pm: Wales’ very own Jamie Roberts also told us earlier this week that this game could make or break the Nation’s campaign.
5.10pm: Former England captain Will Carling thinks tonight’s game is going to be crucial and Stephen Jones kicking could be key…
5.03pm: Indeed the Welsh pack has not been the only cause for concern what with James Hook being drafted into full-back because Lee Byrne is only fit enough for the bench. And our Sport Correspondent Richard Morgan heard from Wales backs coach Rob Howley the thinking behind the team selection.
5.02pm: Robin McBryde, Wales forward coach has said:
“We have worked as hard as we possibly can, and the back five in our pack are aware of the support they need to give to our front row.I would imagine they will target us there and we will need to be up for it, but the work we have done should give us the confidence for tomorrow night’s battle.”
5pm: With the likes of Adam Jones, George North and Tom Shanklin missing for Wales they have had to shuffle the pack but they remain confident ahead of the match.
Wales: 15-James Hook, 14-Morgan Stoddart, 13-Jamie Roberts, 12-Jonathan Davies, 11-Shane Williams, 10-Stephen Jones, 9-Michael Phillips; 1-Paul James, 2-Matthew Rees (captain), 3-Craig Mitchell, 4-Bradley Davies, 5-Alun-Wyn Jones, 6-Dan Lydiate, 7-Sam Warburton, 8-Andy Powell
Replacements: 16-Richard Hibbard, 17-John Yapp, 18-Ryan Jones, 19-Jonathan Thomas, 20-Dwayne Peel, 21-Rhys Priestland, 22-Lee Byrne
England: 15-Ben Foden, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Mike Tindall (captain), 12-Shontayne Hape, 11-Mark Cueto, 10-Toby Flood, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Andrew Sheridan, 2-Dylan Hartley, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Louis Deacon, 5-Tom Palmer, 6-Tom Wood, 7-James Haskell, 8-Nick Easter
Replacements: 16-Steve Thompson, 17-David Wilson, 18-Simon Shaw, 19-Joe Worsley, 20-Danny Care, 21-Jonny Wilkinson, 22-Matt Banahan
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Touch judges: Alan Lewis (Ireland) & Simon McDowell (Ireland)
TV: Jim Yuile (Scotland)