Andrew Matthews

As it happened: England v Wales, Rugby World Cup

We went minute-by-minute for the biggest game of the Rugby World Cup so far… and it didn’t disappoint.

Here we go, the big one is almost here and we’re going to take you through every minute.

Be sure to let us know your pre-match predictions and your thoughts during the game. Comment below, join us on Facebook or tweet us @Rugby_ie.

This Welsh fan might be just a little bit glum at Adam Jones’ absence.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool A - England v Wales - Twickenham Stadium Yui Mok Yui Mok

Here are your teams that promise to bosh it up tonight


15. Mike Brown
14. Anthony Watson
13. Brad Barritt
12. Sam Burgess
11. Jonny May
10. Owen Farrell
9. Ben Youngs

1. Joe Marler
2. Tom Youngs
3. Dan Cole
4. Geoff Parling
5. Courtney Lawes
6. Tom Wood
7. Chris Robshaw (Captain)
8. Billy Vunipola


16. Rob Webber
17. Mako Vunipola
18. Kieran Brookes
19. Joe Launchbury
20. James Haskell
21. Richard Wigglesworth
22. George Ford
23. Alex Goode


15. Liam Williams
14. George North
13. Scott Williams
12. Jamie Roberts
11. Hallam Amos
10. Dan Biggar
9. Gareth Davies

1. Gethin Jenkins
2. Scott Baldwin
3. Tomas Francis
4. Bradley Davies
5. Alun Wyn Jones
6. Dan Lydiate
7. Sam Warburton (Captain)
8 Taulupe Faletau


16. Ken Owens
17. Aaron jarvis
18. Samson Lee
19. Luke Charteris
20. Justin Tipuric
21. Lloyd Williams
22. Rhys Priestland
23. Alex Cuthbert

When tickets are scarce, you can bet your ass that random celebrities will show up wondering what all the fuss is about. Tonight, ladies and gentleman, that random face on the field is Knight Rider.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool A - England v Wales - Twickenham Stadium PA Wire / PA Images PA Wire / PA Images / PA Images

Right, that’s the anthems over with. Let’s get it on!

Personally, my (imaginary) money is on England. Home advantage, conservative, but effective gameplan will shade it for them.


Tom Youngs pinged for not rolling away just inside Wales’ half. Biggar kicks the penalty to touch on the 22.

Wales maul off the line-out and Lawes concedes a penalty for entering from the side. Nice handy kick to start with for Biggar,

PENALTY!  England 0 Wales 3 (Biggar 3)

Sam Burgess shows his kicking ‘skill’ after Wales hammer the ball in behind a fractured England line.

The connection isn’t clean, but it does the job and pushes play to halfway.

After the line-out, Wales have the upper hand in the contact zones, terrific rucking kills English ball and forces a scrum just outside the 22.

England hit back with a win on the scrum penalty.

Once they’re set up in midfield an excellent weighted pass from Lawes creates a gap for Mike Brown and he puts Watson down the touchline.

He chips, Wales clear, England line-out.

9 mins: Interesting, Burgess as first receiver off that line-out and he attempts to crash through a tiny gap. The angle is tight and he’s not moving at pace.

A phase later Joe Marler is pinged for holding on and Wales can relieve the pressure.

They’re going toe-to-toe. The second you think one behemoth is gaining momentum, the other hits right back. This time the scrum penalty is within 45 metres and Owen Farrell will have a shot…

PENALTY! England 3 Wales 3 (Farrell ’12)

That’s why he’s in the team. A terrific long-range strike from the Saracens man.

13 mins: Wales show some ambition, going wide when they retake possession and then their back-row saves a possible turnover. Biggar uses the red wall to snap a drop-goal, but it’s wide.

PENALTY England 3 Wales 6 (Biggar ’16)

Wales edge back in front with a breakdown penalty. This game is TENSE, man.

DROP-GOAL: England 6 Wales 6 (Farrell ’17)

England don’t wait until penalties, a lovely strike from Farrell just moments after Warburton and Faletau came very, very close to a steal inside their own 22.

There’s the lads. Hedging their bets clearly.

Britain Rugby WCup England Wales Kirsty Wigglesworth Kirsty Wigglesworth

20 mins: Here we go. A schemozzle breaks out and the referee has a call to make after Lydiate appeared to tip tackle Tom Wood.

21mins: Lydiate gets the benefit of the doubt as the ref decides he did try to use his arm in the tackle. Scrum England and a warning to all players to keep their fists and jersey grabs to themselves.

The scrum is absolutely obliterated and the penalty comes for England. Straightforward for Farrell.

PENALTY! England 9 Wales 6 (Farrell ’23)

TRY! England 14 Wales 6 (May ’26)

Terrific try fro England, a sweeping move from right to left across the 22. It looked like it was breaking down, but Mike Brown’s football skills allowed him trap a ground pass pick up and keep the move going.

Wales were slow to get numbers across behind the left side and Youngs was able to time his pass to May who darted in behind the try-line to help Farrell convert.

England 16 Wales 6

What’s Owen Farrell doing with his hands? Whatever it is, we’re struggling to find someone who likes it.

34 mins: Big Bradley Davies goes galloping down the left wing and lays a shoulder in to Anthony Watson. Wales’ breakdown effort is being overrun now though and England slow it right town before Biggar is done (harshly in his eyes and on the replay) for a knock-one.

Wales take the penalty off this scrum and they’re up to a line-out on 22.

37 mins: Wales really need a score before the end of this half and a big break from Scott Williams into the 22 gets them close. He’s chopped down though and England do well to scramble and frustrate the Welsh attack again. They have managed to take a penalty as consolation prize.

PENALTY England 16 Wales 9 (Biggar ’38)

That takes us up to the half-way point then and Jonny May’s try is the difference between the sides.

Wales haven’t really looked like creating a try in this half and Owen Farrell’s drop-goal and long-range penalties are an extremely useful extra weapon in the English locker.

HALF-TIME: England 16 Wales 9

HERE WE GO. The second half is with us.

We were expecting changes from Wales, but Stuart Lancaster has sent Joe Launchbury out for the second half. Courtney Lawes appears to be nursing a knock on the sidelines.

A solid start from England to this second half and they will open the period’s scoring too after forcing a penalty in the Welsh 22.

PENALTY! England 19 Wales 9 (Farrell ’43)

The gap is 10 points. Is there any way back for Warren Gatland’s boys?

Good stuff from Gareth Williams, taking the game to England by quick-tapping a penalty. The red jerseys swarm forward with a good set of phases with quick ball, but Burgess kills it by not rolling away.

PENALTY! England 19 Wales 12 (Biggar ’47)

49 mins: England see a chink of light after a midfield turnover. They go for George North, who tries to step before bulldozing in to the closest defcnder. Unfortunately for North that happens to be Big Sam Burgess and he wrestles North in to touch.

PENALTY! England 22 Wales 12 (Farrell ’51)

It’s a war of attrition out there. Ice baths and ibuprofen all round tomorrow.

Wales hit back and are given a penalty off the restart. England will be happy enough to trade blows.

PENALTY! England 22 Wales 15 (Biggar ’53)

PENALTY! England 22 Wales 18 (Biggar ‘ 58)

Warburton takes the gap in play after the penalty to have a word with Garces. His captaincy shines through in moments like this, still very positive.

59 mins Wow. Off the restart George North bursts out of his 22 and helps Wales get back in the English half.

Scratch that, the England 22 now after Amos dinks a kick in behind.

Huge line-out coming.

60 mins: Wales go hammer and tongs at defending the maul and give England a real hard time of it before Youngs’ box kick takes play up to the 22.

60 mins It looked bleak at times though this game for Wales, but now with their maul in fierce mood they might just be the fitter team coming in to this final quarter.

62 mins: Slick line-out and Wales sweep across the park. North runs in to a tackle and they go back wide left.

OH. But Jamie Roberts has dropped it and Watson hammers the ball upfield.

Scott Williams taking some long treatment after getting smashed b Brad Barritt when Wales were moving through first phase.

The medical team are still with him. It looks bad for the centre, another back who Wales really can’t afford to lose. They are down to the bare bones, but still clinging on to England in this game.

George North will move in to the centre with Williams off. Alex Cuthbert is on to fill the right wing slot. Hopefully that will get North’s hand on the ball a little more often.

England aren’t just hanging on, you know! They flow forward on the left flankwith May offloading inside to Robshaw. He shovels a loose pass and desperate Welsh tackling does the job to dull the English attack.

Most painful of all looks to be Hallam Amos’ knock. He may have popped his shoulder slightly when trying to hand off Owen Farrell.

Liam Willams is on a stretcher apparently after getting a boot. Wales need a win to take any positives from tonight.

Williams is gone down the tunnel. Lloyd Williams and Rhys Priestland are off for the latest wounded backs.

67 mins England will surely sense blood, they get another powerful shove on in the scrum with Mako Vunipola in excellent form.

PENALTY! England 25 Wales 18 (Farrell ’69)

George Ford is in the game now. England clearly hoping his creativity can make hay in this makeshift Welsh back-line.

We don’t usually feel sorry for Warren Gatland on these shores, but SHEEESH, this is hard to watch. And they have to suit up and go out to take on Fiji on Thursday.


TRY! England 25 Wales 23 (G Davies ‘ 70)

Extraordinary. Out of nothing Wales have a try under the posts. A beautiful, football-style kick in from Lloyd Williams on the in to space and Davies is first on to it. He picks up just 10 metres from the line.


England 25 Wales 25

Eight minutes to go.

Mike Brown is held on halfway and Garces says he is not releasing. Huge chance for Biggar.


PENALTY! England 25 Wales 28 (Biggar ’74)


With all the pressure on him, that was an enormous kick in every respect for Biggar. And he stroked it 50 metres straight down the middle of the posts.

Now, it’s England’s time to show what they’re made of.

THey trundle back into the Welsh 22 and win a penalty.

That is extremely harsh on Sam Warburton.

Stop everything and get to a TV. England shun the posts and go for a line-out.

Unreal. Wales sensational maul defnce continues to shine and they force England in to touch. Welsh hearts, how are you coping with this?

40 seconds to go. Scrum to Wales.

FULL-TIME: England 25 Wales 28

How about that? Incredible.

I was wrong, incredibly wrong in the final 20 minutes. An absolute astonishing turnaround from Wales.

They looked dead and buried, they were losing backs to injury at a rate of knots. Yet they pulled it out of the bag.

We need a lie down, but don’t worry. We’ll have more reaction, opinion and highlights from Twickenham before the night is out.

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