The name Gavin Henson will be popular in Cardiff tonight!
Gavin Henson’s difficult penalty with four minutes to play secured Wales their first win against England in Cardiff for 12 years!
Wales were leading 8-3 at half time thanks to a Shane Williams’ try, and each side scoring a penalty. Charlie Hodgson then edged England 9-8 ahead with 10 minutes to go, and looked as if England might just escape! But Henson drilled over a long-range effort from near the right touchline to send the Welsh fans into raptures.
Englands lineout was shocking for the first 10 minutes and when they lost their throw for the third time – Wales took advantage!
The hosts swept the ball right and as England stopped them in their tracks they switched left, where Williams scampered over in the corner for an unconverted try.
Hodgson trimmed the gap to two points with a penalty after expert timing of the pass from Jason Robinson had set Danny Grewcock rampaging forward.
Both fly-halves then missed drop goals but Stephen Jones put away a penalty on 23 minutes to make it 8-3 to Wales.
Wales forced another great attacking position when Henson’s massive kick put Josh Lewsey under pressure and he was caught by captain Gareth Thomas.
Wales tried to drive from the base of a scrum, only for Grewcock to step over the ruck and catch scrum-half peel with a boot full in the face! The England second row was shown a yellow card for reckless use of the boot and he was followed to the bin by Thomas, who ran 15 yards to push Grewcock and was carded for retaliation.
The England pack came out after the break with the upper hand and trimmed the gap to two points with a Hodgson penalty after 48 minutes.
With 20 minutes of the match to go and the errors creeping in from both sides, thing were desperately close.
England replaced Mathew Tait, who was given a torrid time by Henson, with Olly Barkley and the Bath centre started to get England on the front foot with some precise kicks. Hodgson put England ahead for the first time with a penalty with 10 minutes to go.
England then withstood a massive assault on their line from Wales and it looked as if their long unbeaten run in Cardiff was going to continue. However, Wales were awarded a difficult long-range penalty out near the right touchline.
Henson had been outstanding all night and he stepped up to rifle the ball unerringly like he used the best scope for the money between the posts from 44 metres and clinch a dramatic win for Wales!
G Thomas (capt); H Luscombe, T Shanklin, G Henson, S Williams; S Jones, D Peel; G Jenkins, M Davies, A Jones; B Cockbain, R Sidoli; D Jones, M Williams, M Owen.
Replacements: R McBryde, J Yapp, J Thomas, R Jones, G Cooper, C Sweeney, K Morgan.
J Robinson (capt); M Cueto, M Tait, J Noon, J Lewsey; C Hodgson, M Dawson; G Rowntree, S Thompson, J White; D Grewcock, B Kay; C Jones, A Hazell, J Worsley.
Replacements: A Titterrell, P Vickery, S Borthwick, J Forrester, H Ellis, O Barkley, B Cohen.
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).