Six Nations: Wales win Triple Crown with controversial victory over England

Wales defeated England on Saturday in Cardiff and secured the Triple Crown after previous wins against Ireland and Scotland. Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Revitalised Wales remained on course for the most unlikely of Six Nations Grand Slams after they beat an indisciplined England 40-24 in a controversial match in Cardiff on Saturday.

Josh Adams and Liam Williams scored hotly-disputed first-half tries for the hosts but the game was level going into the final quarter after tries for Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs for the defending champions.

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England's discipline, terrible from the first whistle, came back to haunt them, however, as Callum Sheedy landed three penalties.

Cory Hill finished things off with a late try as Wales secured a bonus point and the Triple Crown after earlier wins over Ireland and Scotland.

Having come into the Championship on the back of a very poor 2020, they top the standings on 14 points with games against France and Italy to come.

France, whose match against Scotland on Sunday has been postponed due to COVID-19, are second on nine points from their two wins. Ireland, who beat Italy earlier on Saturday, are third on seven points, with England trailing on six after two defeats.

Wales led 17-14 at half-time through two of the most controversial tries seen for many years in the championship.

The first came when England were breaking out of a huddle after the referee had instructed captain Owen Farrell to address his players, and they were unprepared for quick-thinking Dan Biggar's kick to the corner that Adams collected in acres of space.

Farrell's complaints were brushed away by French referee Pascal Gauzere and the captain was fuming again when Louis Rees-Zammit appeared to knock on -- he certainly thought he had -- before Williams scooped up the loose ball to score.

The TMO ruled that there was no knock-on due to the ball hitting the young winger's foot, though pundits, including former British and Irish Lions captains Martin Johnson and Sam Warburton, seemed split on the technicality of the offence.

Farrell's penalties kept England in touch and late in the half they built an attacking platform and moved the ball wide for Watson to deliver his trademark step to evade a clutch of defenders.

The Welsh lead was stretched to 10 points again soon after the restart when scrum-half Kieran Hardy caught the visitors napping again with a tap and go penalty.

England kept calm, however, and started to play their best rugby of the championship. They were rewarded when Wales' defence was stretched thin and it was Youngs' turn to play the sharp scrum-half, throwing a dummy to scamper over.

Farrell converted -- bringing him up to his 1,000th international point -- to level the scores. However, it was English indiscipline that settled the issue as they gave away three more penalties that replacement Sheedy gleefully converted into nine points, with Hill burrowing over for the fourth try at the death.

"We will take the win, it is a massive achievement for the group, we are really pleased with the result," Wales No.8 Taulupe Faletau said.

"We took our chances when they came about and we are pleased with that. The group were tighter than in the last Six Nations and that helps in the tough battles."

Farrell was asked about the refereeing decisions.

"There is no point in talking about it now. That is for everyone else to talk about. We will control what we can control," he said.

"I thought the intent was good today but we can't let teams off that many times like we did. We got our way back into it in that second half and didn't quite finish it off."