Player ratings: Pivac's power play
OPINION: Few would have called this setup going into Round Three of the Six Nations.
Wayne Pivac’s side coming in with two wins from two, with Eddie Jones’ England lot limping in, straddled with plenty of media pressure to boot.
But it’s the old cliche – momentum is everything in this tournament and Wales are well and truly back.
Ian Cameron rates theWales player!
1. WYN JONES – 5
It’s been a fine tournament so far for the loosehead but this was below his normal standard. A few penalties, missed tackles and a few handling blotted his copybook but a passable 63 minutes for Jones.
2. KEN OWENS – 6
A typically solid shift carrying around the park, although the odd scrappy lineout raised it’s head once again. Shaded his battle with Jamie George.
3. TOMAS FRANCIS – 7.5
Locked Wales scrum down at tighthead and tackled his heart in the loose. Looks at his fittest for some time and is getting better as the tournament wears on.
4. ADAM BEARD – 6
The set-piece specialist continues to prove his utility for Wayne Pivac and mucked in the loose where he could.
5. ALUN WYN JONES – 6
The England pack kept the veteran quiet but he won’t mind. This was a collective effort.
6. JOSH NAVIDI – 8
Brilliant strip on Tom Curry early doors. Wales look considerably meatier around the edges when Navidi is stalking the pitch and he was typically industrious around the park. The Welsh back row unit outplayed their over-eager England counterparts today.
7. JUSTIN TIPURIC – 6
Used heavily at the lineout as a quick lift option. Other than a late statement tackle on Farrell, it was a quiet shift for the Trebanos Terror.
8. TAULUPE FALETAU – 8.5
A big outing for Faletau, even if there wasn’t too much of your fancy stuff. In the mix in the tackle counts and 112 metres from 18 carries tell its own story.
9. KIERAN HARDY – 8
Can’t take all the blame for Itoje’s early charge down, with Wales’ pillar defenders – or absence thereof – leaving him exposed. England were clearly targeting the Scarlet and they got some change out of him in the first half. He didn’t let it rattle him and Wales started caterpillar rucking to protect him. His snip for his try was superb.
10. DAN BIGGAR – 8
An unbelievable kick and quick thinking for Josh Adams’ try. Off after 45 minutes but an excellent 45 minutes it was.
11. JOSH ADAMS – 6.5
Back in red after his indiscretion prior to the tournament and picked up where he left off – in attack at least. He fell off a few too many tackles.
12. JONATHAN DAVIES – 5
The game largely passed him by. The Lions centre continues his quest to find fitness and form.
13. GEORGE NORTH – 7
Well contained by England on his 100th cap, although he made plenty of hard yards in contact. He looks very much the Test centre now.
14. LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT – 8
Quite rightly had a tonne of hype behind coming into the match, including his face-off against Gloucester teammate Jonny May. Not quite the fireworks of the week before but he was a constant threat with ball in hand and defensively sound. Unlucky with his chase down.
15. LIAM WILLIAMS – 6
Looked sharp to cover Maro Itoje’s latest charge down and with his usual wide-ranging palette of skills were there be admired. One or two errors but Wales’ backline is a different beast with Williams playing. Won’t be happy with a poor effort for Ben Youngs’ try.
22. CALLUM SHEEDY – 8
Another excellent shift from the Bristol man. You can’t ask more from a sub.
23. UILISI HALAHOLO – 6.5
Another big outing from the bench for Halaholo. Brings aggression and explosive defensive plays, even if he made one poor defensive read for an England try.