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Wales thrash England to win Six Nations

English campaign comes to dramatic an end at hands of rampant Welsh who take third Six Nations title in last six years.
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2013 21:38
Wales's victory over England was the biggest in 108 years [Reuters]

Wales have thrashed England by a record-breaking 30-3 on Saturday to retain the Six Nations title, denying the visitors a Grand Slam while Italy handed Ireland a 22-15 defeat as the championship enjoyed a frenetic finale.

Wales wing Alex Cuthbert's two second-half tries at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on Saturday proved decisive in a match they had to win by seven points to retain the title for the first time since 1979, provided they maintained their superior try-count.

As it was, the defending Grand Slam champions beat a 108-year-old record to clinch their biggest win over England, surpassing a 25-0 win back in 1905.

"We were outstanding. This is better than the Grand Slam last year. We outclassed them," said Wales interim coach Rob Howley.

"This is a unique place in world rugby. With the crowd behind us, we needed to start well."

England coach Stuart Lancaster admitted Wales had been the better side.

"We are gutted. We didn't get the execution right and didn't turn up," he said.

"We just weren't good enough. We have no complaints, we couldn't match their physicality."

After building a 12-3 lead early in the second half, through four penalties by full-back Leigh Halfpenny to one from England fly-half Owen Farrell, Wales surged ahead through a try by Cuthbert.

That put them 17-3 in front and minutes later Farrell missed his second penalty in three attempts.

Dan Biggar added a drop-goal before Cuthbert stormed in for another try, with fly-half Biggar completing the rout with a penalty.

Italy vs Ireland

Meanwhile, at Rome's Olympic Stadium, Irish superstar Brian O'Driscoll, in what could have been the 125th and final appearance for his country, saw his team slump to a 22-15 loss to Italy.

It was the Italians' first Six Nations win over Ireland, who had started the tournament with a 30-22 win over Wales at Cardiff.

Winger Giovanbattista Venditti scored the only try in the 49th minute while O'Driscoll's afternoon was further clouded when he was sin-binned in the first half for stamping on the stomach of Simone Favaro.

"We're improving. We play France and Ireland in the group stage of the 2015 World Cup and we have sent a strong message to them," said Italy skipper Sergio Parisse whose side had also beaten the struggling French in this year's
championship.

"There were a lot of positives in this game from a psychological point of view."

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip insisted his team would learn from their three defeats.

"Going forward, the experience will be good for the squad. It's been a very frustrating tournament, just one or two scores in it," said the back-row forward.

Later Saturday, France, who only scraped their first point of the Championship in a 13-13 draw with Ireland last week, will be desperate to avoid finishing bottom of the table for the first time since 1999 when they face Scotland, who have already won twice under interim Australian coach Scott Johnson, in Paris.

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Source:
Agencies
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