Wales 16-21 England: Late Elliot Daly try extends England's winning run
By Keith Moore
Last Updated: 12/02/17 7:32am
A 76th-minute Elliot Daly try handed England a 21-16 win over Wales to extend their winning run to 16 consecutive games.
Leigh Halfpenny opened the scoring for Wales with a penalty early on, but his effort was matched by Owen Farrell in the 12th minute.
Ben Youngs then scored a try in the 19th minute on the back of sustained pressure when he darted over from the base of the ruck, but Farrell missed the conversion and Halfpenny made it a two-point game at the start of the second quarter with another shot at goal.
It looked like the teams would go into the break with England ahead, but a Welsh scrum on the English line saw a planned move send Liam Williams over untouched to give the home side a 13-8 half-time advantage.
Farrell and Halfpenny traded penalties in the third quarter before Farrell cut the deficit to two points with his third penalty with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Wales were almost able to hold out before Daly won it for the visitors when he was given space on the left wing and crossed in the corner to bring down the curtain on a classic Six Nations encounter.
Wales will rue their inability to close the game out. When the home side turned the ball over in the 75th minute they only had to kick for touch to settle things down, but the clearance kick found George Ford who spun the ball left and when Daly found himself in space, he beat Alex Cuthbert on the touchline to cross for the winning score.
For England, the same self-belief that has taken them to 15 consecutive victories under Eddie Jones once again surfaced at just the right time.
Jones said after the win over France last week that he never doubted the result, and skipper Dylan Hartley said the same thing after beating Wales on Saturday. The defending Six Nations champions have found a way to ensure they win games, even when they are staring down the barrel of defeat.
For Wales, the performance of Ross Moriarty was outstanding. The No 8 has emerged as a superb forward for Rob Howley's side, and will give Taulupe Faletau a serious run for a starting berth next time out.
For Wales, closing the game out. It was there for the taking and they will be devastated that they weren't the ones to hand Eddie Jones his first taste of defeat as England coach.
Both sides fluffed chances to put themselves ahead, with Wales turning down the opportunity to kick for goal when they were 8-6 down in the first half, and England butchered an enormous overlap in the 65th minute that could have secured the win in much more timely fashion when Ben Youngs' pass on the tryline was intercepted by Dan Biggar.
England coach Eddie Jones was full of praise for Wales: "I think we've used up all our get-out-of-jail cards. Against Italy we don't want to be in that situation that we were today.
"I thought it was a great game of Test rugby. A lot of credit's got to go to Wales. They hit hard and hit often, and worked hard off the ball."
Wales coach Rob Howley said his side were unable to get a foothold late in the game. "International games are won in the last 10 minutes where composure, execution and discipline come under pressure.
"We just couldn't get a foothold in the last ten minutes, and when we did we probably didn't execute as effectively as we would want to."
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