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Monday, 21 February, 2000, 14:52 GMT
Intrigue at Twickenham
Wales
Wales must take a risk at Twickenham
Ex-Welsh international and respected rugby journalist Eddie Butler applauds a fine Welsh win and sets the scene for an almighty clash in Twickenham, against England.

The result on Saturday brought with it a sense of relief. No, more than that, encouragement even.

Six Nations Championship
At times, Wales were very good and Scott Quinnell had one of those games when the ball followed him all over the pitch.

The Italians, for their part, didn't help themselves. If you're going to kick to such a juggernaut, you have to make your first tackles count.

There was much more shape to the Welsh game.

At centre Alan Bateman proved typically exciting, varying his pace and lying both deep and flat. And Shane Williams showed glimpses that he undoubtedly has it, whatever 'it' is.

What a change it makes that the two most potent attacking players in the championship - Williams and France's Christophe Dominici - are both the smallest.

Welsh character

A lot has been said of Wales' apparent lack of fitness, and it is true that Saturday's performance was not sustained for a full 80 minutes.

But, I suspect Wales have always done that. It's more a reflection of the character of the people than anything else.
Williams
Shane Williams: What a find
What a game we have in store at Twickenham. Of course, Wales are massive underdogs, but that's just the way they like it.

After 10 consecutive wins last year, Wales flopped, somewhat, under the weight of expectation. This time, I think, Wales have a much more realistic idea of just how good they are.

To say they don't have a chance is preposterous. They're a side full of football, it's just a question of whether they can survive.

With the Quinnell brothers on form, neither is it a question of weight. The worry is whether they will be able to give the crucial pass while under pressure from the ferocious England defence.

It's encouraging for Wales that breaks are being made, but it's the ability to offload from the tackle that will decide he contest.

Tactical test

It's a huge test for both managers, and certainly Graham Henry's biggest tactical test since he arrived.
henry
Graham Henry now faces his biggest test as Welsh coach
He'll be asking himself: "Where don't England want to play?" The answer of course is they don't want to be running around like headless chickens, because they won't want to take any risks.

Wales, on the other hand, will want to unsettle England by doing exactly that.

While Wales have a game based on dexterity, England's is based on might. And though, in terms of footballing skills, there isn't as big a gulf between the sides as everyone imagines, Wales must use what they have to their advantage.

What will Henry do? You tell me. Will he use the Quinnell brothers as battering rams, or dummy runners? It's interesting for sure.

Last year, England reserved their most exciting play for Wembley. They lost. This game is full of intrigue.

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