Five takeaways from England v Wales

Date published: February 10 2018

Following a hard-fought 12-6 victory for England over Wales in the Six Nations, here are five takeaways from the game at Twickenham.

TMO had a shocker: In our eyes it was a try all day for Wales. Rhys Patchell's cross-kick that ricocheted off Steff Evans' knee and then was grounded by full-back Gareth Anscombe went to the TMO. The replays appeared to show that Anscombe dotted the ball down before England wing Anthony Watson yet TMO Glenn Newman believed it hadn't clearly been grounded. Many were baffled by the call in a game that ended 12-6.

One step closer to Six Nations decider on March 17: Both Ireland and England have now won their opening two games, which shines a light on their meeting at Twickenham in Round Five. It is never wise to look so far ahead but these two sides seem like the teams to catch in this year's Six Nations and few neutrals would now begrudge a winner-takes-all Grand Slam decider on the final day. It would be some showdown.

What a tackle: Scott Williams must be wondering how his name is not on the scoreboard this evening after he was denied just after the hour mark by a brilliant Sam Underhill tackle. The replacement back-row threw himself past the centre into touch and then dragged him out, showing his strength to throw Williams over the touchline. While Wales will rue the TMO call, they must surely appreciate that effort from Underhill.

Hats off to Joe Launchbury: He got through a mountain of work as usual with a team high 17 tackles. He also made an impressive 13 carries but his performance will be remembered for a lovely offload out of contact that saw Jonny May go over for his second try. A serious shift.

Mike Brown silenced doubters: On wet weather days such as these your full-back's performance comes into focus and Brown picking up the man-of-the-match award says it all. Barring one spillage, he was solid under the high ball, carried strongly for 116 metres and defended well, leaving his critics eating their words. This is why Eddie Jones picks Brown at number 15 and why he'll continue to do so. Solid as a rock.


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