AWS Game Notes

Key insights from England’s win over Wales

England clinched the Triple Crown in impressive fashion at Twickenham as they saw off Wales 33-30 to continue their 2020 Guinness Six Nations challenge.

England clinched the Triple Crown in impressive fashion at Twickenham as they saw off Wales 33-30 to continue their 2020 Guinness Six Nations challenge.

While two late Welsh tries made for a small margin of victory, it was a convincing win for England, who led by 17 points heading into the last five minutes.

And they achieved it with a suffocating defence, giving Wales no time whatsoever as they forced them back time and again, just as they had done to Ireland in Round 3.


The MatchStats Powered by AWS show just how aggressive England were in defence, with 15 percent of their tackles being dominant.

Coming into the game, England were already the team making the highest percentage of dominant tackles, with 14.8 percent. Only France on 13.7 percent were close and, at Twickenham, England were even more aggressive.

They finished with 33 dominant tackles in the match, to just eight from their opponents, and that paid off handsomely in helping set up the field position for their two first-half tries.

This defence has become increasingly influential as the Championship has gone on, and has become the foundation of England’s game.

Maro Itoje was once again at the heart of that effort with six dominant tackles, extending his lead in the competition in the category. He was matched by Tom Curry, while Manu Tuilagi (5) and Courtney Lawes (4) also made their presence felt.


Wales eventually finished with 30 points, but the last 14 of those came against 13 men. Of course, they still count just as much as those scored against 15, but it does demonstrate their struggles to break through against a full complement.

The MatchStats show that England made nearly twice as many tackles as their visitors, while Wales were able to make 855 metres to just 456 from the home side.

Despite that, the teams scored the same number of tries.

When it came to entries into the 22, England managed a remarkable 4.8 points per entry, effectively an unconverted try every time they got close to the Wales line.

Wayne Pivac’s side, by contrast, managed 2.5 points per visit. That is not a bad return, but nowhere near as efficient as England.

It was a problem for Wales against France as well, with those two long passages in the French 22 earning no points, and will clearly be an area that Pivac works on ahead of hosting Scotland in Round 5.


England’s first try was a brilliantly worked move off a lineout, with the video analysts clearly having spotted a weak point in the Wales defence.

And in general, England were able to exploit Wales’ wide defence, with four of their five 22 entries coming on the flank.

That narrow defence allowed Elliot Daly to get over for the second England try, and was reminiscent of Wales’ troubles in Dublin when Ireland were able to get Jacob Stockdale away out wide twice in the first 20 minutes.

The first try had also come from Anthony Watson breaking down the right, and what was particularly impressive about England was the way they then adapted as Wales tweaked their defence.

As the visitors spread a little wider to cut off the expansive tactic, Ben Youngs then started sniping around the ruck more regularly, with two such darts leading to Daly and Manu Tuilagi going over.

In a three-point game, those little attacking adjustments proved crucial.