Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Wales retain Six Nations title

Alex Cuthbert celebrates scoring his first try against England

Magnificent Wales retained the RBS 6 Nations title to leave outclassed England crestfallen in Cardiff after seeing another Grand Slam dream destroyed.

Wales, beaten at home by Ireland in their opening game six weeks ago, rose to the occasion majestically to claim a record 30-3 victory against their fiercest rivals.

Wing Alex Cuthbert's second-half try double shattered England, while full-back Leigh Halfpenny kicked four penalties and fly-half Dan Biggar landed a drop-goal, penalty and conversion.

England, smashed in the scrums and out-thought and outfought in every other key area, could only muster an Owen Farrell penalty as they crashed to the heaviest loss of head coach Stuart Lancaster's reign.

Wales needed a minimum seven-point win to deny England silverware but they went way beyond expectations, keeping their opponents scoreless during the second period.

The 2011 World Cup semi-finalists eclipsed their previous record score for the fixture of 25-0, 108 years ago, and England could not really have complained had it been even worse.

It was the first time since 1979 that Wales successfully defended a Five or Six Nations title after they delivered an unforgettable performance.

England, whose captain Chris Robshaw was a tower of strength in adversity, will bounce back from this mauling and they will be stronger for the experience, but Wales were in a different league, leaving their opponents to reflect on a 10-year gap since their last Grand Slam.

Wales had heroes everywhere but none more so than Cuthbert, who scored the game's only try in last season's Grand Slam clincher against France, workaholic flanker Justin Tipuric and scrum-half Mike Phillips.

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