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Saturday, 23 March, 2002, 20:39 GMT
England thrash weary Wales
Wales' centre Gareth Thomas drives into a tackle on England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson
Wales rarely managed to get to grips with Wilkinson
England 50-10 Wales

England earned some Triple Crown consolation for missing out on another Grand Slam by thrashing an outclassed, but plucky, Wales at Twickenham.

England's first sweep of the home nations since 1998 came courtesy of consumate displays from Jonny Wilkinson and Will Greenwood.

Wilkinson scored 30 points to climb over the 500-point milestone in international rugby.

Scoring details:
England:
Tries: Luger (2), Greenwood, Wilkinson, Stimpson
Cons: Wilkinson (5)
Pens: Wilkinson (4)
DG: Wilkinson
Wales:
Try: Harris
Con: Harris
Pen: Harris

For Greenwood it was another man-of-the-match display, as the outside centre was at the heart of England's most creative play.

In fact, it was Wilkinson and Greenwood who combined for England's first try after 10 minutes.

The Newcastle outside-half chipped through for the Harlequins man to gather and touch down - but only just - between the posts.

The score came at a crucial time for the home side, as Wales had made a barnstorming start - stretching England's vaunted drift defence to its limit.

Wilkinson had already kicked a dropped goal after just three minutes, and soon added a penalty to make it a lop-sided 13-0 after just 20 minutes.

Greenwood gathered Wilkinson's chip for the first try
Greenwood scored England's first try
Wales fly-half Iestyn Harris hit back with a penalty of his own 10 minutes later, but two more Wilkinson penalties made it 19-3 at the break.

The second half started in the worst possible fashion for the Welsh, as England poured forward in search of the killer blow.

They did not have to wait long. Wilkinson skipped over for a try and from then on it was about damage limitation for the tiring visitors.

To their credit, they limited England to just three more tries - two for Dan Luger, and one for second-half substitute Tim Stimpson - while claiming a consolation score of their own through Harris.

The former rugby league star has not made the best of starts to his Six Nations career - and he is still too lateral in his movement - but this performance should silence some of his critics.

Luger scored twice in three minutes
Luger scored twice in three minutes
Not only did he score all of Wales' points, he, and the rest of his team, stuck to the task and tackled manfully.

But the result was never in any real doubt from the moment England weathered that early Welsh storm.

The home side monopolised the ball for large parts of the game, leaving the Welsh only scraps of possession to build their plays from.

The defeat in Paris three weeks ago will still rankle, but England coach Clive Woodward can be pleased with this professional display and direction his side is going in.


England: Austin Healey (Leicester); Dan Luger (Harlequins), Will Greenwood (Harlequins), Mike Tindall (Bath), Ben Cohen (Northampton); Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle), Kyran Bracken (Saracens); Richard Hill (Saracens), Neil Back (Leicester, capt), Lewis Moody (Leicester); Ben Kay (Leicester), Danny Grewcock (Bath); Julian White (Bristol), Steve Thompson (Northampton), Graham Rowntree (Leicester)
Replacements used: Martin Corry (Leicester), Joe Worsley (Wasps), Matt Dawson (Northampton), Tim Stimpson (Leicester), Dorian West (Leicester)
Replacements not used: Jason Leonard (Harlequins), Iain Balshaw (Bath)

Wales: Kevin Morgan (Swansea); Dafydd James (Bridgend), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend), Andy Marinos (Newport), Craig Morgan (Cardiff); Iestyn Harris (Cardiff), Robert Howley (Cardiff); Scott Quinnell (Llanelli, capt), Martyn Williams (Cardiff), Nathan Budgett (Bridgend); Chris Wyatt (Llanelli), Andy Moore (Swansea); Craig Anthony (Newport), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Iestyn Thomas (Ebbw Vale)
Replacements used: Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Colin Charvis (Swansea), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli), Barry Williams (Neath)
Replacements not used: Spencer John (Cardiff), Nicky Robinson (Cardiff)

Referee: Andrew Cole (Aus)

Att: 75,000

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Ian Robertson
"England are back on song"
England coach Clive Woodward
"We're delighted with our tries"
England's Dan Luger
"Scoring tries is always a bonus"
Wales coach Steve Hansen
"I appreciate the players' effort"

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