Manu Tuilagi sees red as England clinch Triple Crown 4 months ago

Manu Tuilagi sees red as England clinch Triple Crown

ENGLAND 33-30 WALES

England are 2020 Triple Crown champions. For the first time since 2007, Wales have lost three Six Nations games on the spin.

Those are two of the main takeaways from an absorbing, bruising encounter at Twickenham but a lot of talk, over the coming days, will be about citings and ill discipline.

England found themselves 33-16 ahead of the 2019 Grand Slam champions with a quarter of the game to play. However, as it was against Ireland, the hosts fell away in the closing stages and the final scoreline reads closer than the contest ever was.

Wales battled gamely but found themselves 20-9 down at half-time after English tries from Anthony Watson and Elliot Daly. There was a dust-up, midway through the half, when Owen Farrell got into it with George North.

Joe Marler couldn't help getting involved (below) and although many will see his interaction with Alun Wyn Jones amusing, he could be facing a ban for interfering with the genitals of an opponent [Law 9.12]. Even at the low-end of the scale, Marler may be out for 12 weeks.

Wales opened up the second half with one hell of a try and it was a case of game on.

Nick Tompkins received the kick-off and wales streamed up the left, with Justin Tipuric finishing off a stunning move under the posts. England responded with a scrum penalty that Owen Farrell lapped over and momentum was stung.

The clincher arrived when George Ford's nifty pass teed up Manu Tuilagi for England's third try. It should have been game over but England eased off the gas.

Wales pressed for consolation scores and English discipline slipped off. Referee Ben O'Keeffe warned player after player, in white, before he eventually sin-binned Ellis Genge. Moments later, with another penalty coming, Manu Tuilagi went in hard on George North with a shoulder-led, no-arm tackle.

North, who has a worrying concussion history, was fortunate that Tuilagi's shoulder did not make a clean connection with his head but the tackle smarted, all the same. O'Keeffe reviewed the footage with the TMO and it was agreed that red was the only option.

While Alan Quinlan, commentating on Virgin Media, agreed with the red card call, former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio was slightly more rose-tinted with his appraisal over on ITV.

"I just wonder whether they'll have another look at this tackle. I don't think there was any intent there...

"You can see what Tuilagi's trying to do there. He uses his arms; he just doesn't wrap them. It's no more than a penalty."

O'Keeffe, his officials, Quinlan and the majority of those watching disagreed with Dallaglio and Tuilagi himself had no complaints when the red card was flashed his way. Ronan O'Gara, speaking post-match on Virgin Media, said the incident was 'so close to being a horror show' for North and that the red car was warranted.

The Leicester Tigers centre even sought out North and apologised to him, with both men sharing a hug.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Wales finished the game with a Dan Biggar try and another for Justin Tipuric. England still need France to slip up but they will hope their late lapses do not cost them the 2020 Guinness Six Nations trophy when the final tallies are being totted up.

OUR MAN OF THE MATCH:ย Maro Itoje (England)


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