Six Nations Diary - Round three

Posted 28th February 2019

Wales beat England hero.jpg

Our rugby experts look at how Wales extended their unbeaten run with victory over England 

Our editorial team are experts at creating stories from Opta's detailed rugby data. Throughout the Six Nations we’ll be taking a look at one of the key matches from each round and – from a statistical viewpoint – dissecting where the game was won and lost. Check out our Six Nations diary entries from round one and round two of the competition. Get in touch here to learn how we can help you bring your rugby coverage to life with quality data and insightful content.

Round three

The biggest clash of Round 3 was undoubtedly the meeting between Wales and England, as the only unbeaten sides in the tournament faced off in Cardiff. The match itself was very much a game of two halves, with England taking the lead into the halftime break before Wales hit back in the second half to claim victory and deny Eddie Jones’ side a losing bonus point in the process.

Slow starters

The nature of the victory has been a common theme for Wales so far in this Six Nations campaign, as they’ve got off to a slow start in each round before ramping up the intensity in the second half to secure the win.

Incredibly, Wales are yet to score a try in the first half of a match after three rounds, with all seven of their five-pointers coming in the final 40 minutes of games – in fact, Wales have scored the fewest first-half points of any side this year (15) but tallied the most second-half points (56).




Warren Gatland’s side have made over twice as many breaks in the second halves of games as they have in the first, gaining more metres in the process and ultimately helping them to get over the try line. They’ve also shown greater discipline conceding just seven second half penalties, as well as winning more turnovers too.

England's kicking game fails this time

Although Wales stifled England during their clash in Cardiff, Eddie Jones’ side will feel they didn’t help their own cause. Their kicking game failed to work as they put boot to ball on 33 occasions in open play, handing possession straight to Wales from 28 of those kicks, more than any other side in Round 3.

As a result, England put together 10+ phases on just one occasion, fewer than any other side, and their inability to build up meaningful passages of play meant they rarely troubled Wales as their Grand Slam hopes came to an end.



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