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Gatland hails history-makers Wales


Julian Guyer

Wales players celebrate victory with the Triple Crown. Click for more photos

Wales claim Triple Crown

Wales claim the Triple Crown after downing England at Twickenham in a thriller. Photo: Getty Images

LONDON: Wales coach Warren Gatland praised a "potentially outstanding" side after seeing the World Cup semi-finalists come from behind to beat England 19-12 on Saturday and win the Triple Crown.


There were fewer than five minutes left on the clock when, with the score at 12-12, following four penalties apiece from England's Owen Farrell and Wales's Leigh Halfpenny, the Welsh scored the only try of the match.

Replacement back Scott Williams stripped the ball from Courtney Lawes and then regathered his own kick downfield.

But England, who arguably delivered their best performance of Stuart Lancaster's reign before losing for the first time in three matches under the interim coach, came again.

They almost had a try with the last move of an absorbing match when wing David Strettle went in at he corner while being challenged by Wales centre Jonathan Davies.

But after several minutes of nailbiting analysis, video referee Iain Ramage ruled 'no try' to the despair of the bulk of a Twickenham crowd of more than 81,000, although had the score been awarded England would still have needed a successful conversion to draw the game.

Referee Steve Walsh blew for time and Wales had won their first Triple Crown - when one of the four Home Unions beats all the others in a single Six Nations season - at Twickenham.

"I'm very proud," said Gatland. "This group of players have made a piece of history with the Triple Crown at Twickenham."

But the New Zealander had no problems in conceding his side had been pushed all the way by a youthful England team.

"England were very good with their blitz defence and their tackles.

"They didn't make it easy for us, but we scrummaged well and in the end I think we had just a little more firepower."

Victory was only Wales's second win at Twickenham since 1988, the last coming four years ago when Gatland's first game in charge yielded a 26-19 win that set up a Grand Slam.

Another Six Nations clean sweep is in Wales's sights as they look ahead to concluding matches at home to Italy and France -- the team that edged them out in a dramatic World Cup semi-final.

"This is a young group with a little bit of experience who potentially could be outstanding," said Gatland of his talented line-up.

"We have a bit of depth throughout the side and it is a team to get excited about. If we get a good win against Italy we can prepare with confidence for the game against France."

Wales had been 12-6 behind at one stage and were also a man down for 10 minutes early in the second half when Priestland was yellow-carded.

But, with captain Sam Warburton in outstanding form as exemplified by his try-saving tackle on Manu Tuilagi, Wales battled back to win without being at their best.

"We didn't play well at all today," man-of-the-match Warburton said.

"We knew it was going to be our toughest game so far, knew England are a quality outfit and that was one hell of a Test match," the openside flanker added.

"To get the Triple Crown is unbelievable. I'm not going to jinx myself, I'm not going to say it (Grand Slam)."

Lancaster, bidding to become the permanent successor to Martin Johnson in the face of competition from former South Africa and Italy supremo Nick Mallett, was proud of his inexperienced side.

"Wales are a team who have been together a long, long time and we are a team that has been together for three weeks. We should take great credit from that."


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Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 28vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
View all

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