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The Old Enemy
We Look Back At Some England v Wales Classics
Posted Feb 02, 2011 by Shaun Edwards
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With the greatest of yearly rugby tournaments once again up for grabs, we here at Imagine are chronically excited by the prospect of the upcoming six nations. Can Les Bleus be stopped? Can England finally get their hands on the trophy? Will Scotland up their game? Who knows, but we are sure of one thing: we’ll be glued to the screen.
With the opening game being between the old enemies, England and Wales, we decided it was time to look back at the five greatest fixtures these two nations have ever had. Enjoy our list, and feel free to view footage of these great matches by clicking the links attached:
Wales 32 – 31 England, 1999. With England well on their way to both the grand slam and the five nations trophy, Wembley stadium was primed for a party of epic proportions. However, Wales, Scott Gibbs and Neil Jenkins had other ideas. Tries from Gibbs and six penalties led Wales to a one point victory that gifted the Scots the trophy. Watch more of the epic victory here.
Wales 11 – 9 England. 2005. Before the days of Charlotte Church and Strictly, the young Gavin Henson was an absolute machine throughout this whole match, absolutely obliterating the England debutant Matthew Tait (who was subsequently gifted the less than-flattering nickname of ‘Henson’s Handbag), Henson then kicked the winning points with four minutes to go. Forget about ballroom dancing and remember the rugby player here.
England 46-12 Wales. 2000. Following on from England’s abysmal showing at the 1999 Rugby World cup and the Welsh victory in the previous six nations, much had been expected from the Welsh side in the lead up to this match. No-one told England, though. Clive Woodward’s team absolutely crushed their opponents showing no mercy on their way to a dominant score-line, including Lawrence Dallaglio’s incredible drive from the scrum. Watch it here.
England 28 – 27 Wales. 2003. In their victory year, England had been considered the favourites all the way through the tournament and were expected to over-run a Welsh side a long way from their glory days. However, Wales came into the quarter final tie with nothing to lose and performed as such. Stephen Jones’ try was one of the finest scored at the tournament and left a lot of England fans wiping sweat from their forehead by the match’s conclusion. Watch the highlights here.
Wales 23-15 England. 2009. Contests between the two nations are rarely less than strong-armed, but few matches were quite as hard-hitting as the Six Nations triumph. Wales were searching for their second successive 6N success, with England simply looking to improve on their dismal form since Martin Johnson had taken over as coach. Booting 18 points, Stephen Jones ensured his side’s victory as England’s disciplinary woes continued. Tense, atmospheric stuff that you can view here.