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PLAYER REVIEWS: Wales Secures Triple Crown As Taulupe Faletau Shows Man Of The Match Display

Wales’ Grand Slam dreams are still alive after a 40-24 win over England in Cardiff, securing the Triple Crown.

Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Kieran Hardy and Cory Hill scored tries for the hosts, while Anthony Watson and Ben Youngs went over for the visitors.

Sportsmail gives the player ratings for both sides after a hectic and fiery encounter.

Wales celebrates winning the Triple Crown after beating Ireland, Scotland and now England

Wales

Liam Williams – 7.5

Saved Kieran Hardy’s bacon early on and crossed for an opportunistic second score when he beat Owen Farrell to the ball. A great turnover for the rest.

Liam Williams was everywhere and made crucial contributions to both ends of the field

Louis Rees-Zammit – 6.5

He didn’t get the ball leading up to Williams’s attempt and whether he was knocked or not, at least he was alive for the chance. Apart from that not much influence but never stopped working.

George North – 7

Made rugby history by becoming the youngest player to win 100 caps for his country. Bad defensive reading just before half time but very physical and did a lot of ass work.

Jonathan Davies – 5.5

His future appears to be within, instead of outside the center. Solid enough but didn’t have much room to attack. Replaced early in the second half by Willis Halaholo.

Josh Adams – 7.5

Back in the side after a two-game ban for breaking lockdown rules and got right on the scoresheet with yet another attempt he did well to claim.

Josh Adams avoided George Ford’s attention to win Wales’ opening attempt

Dan Biggar – 6

Was targeted by England early on for being a volatile character, but he did it brilliantly to take a quick penalty and kick to Adams for his attempt. Replaced early in the second half and looked injured.

Kieran Hardy – 7.5

Only his fourth cap and he fell down early. He was clearly a target for Maro Itoje, but did a brilliant job tapping fast and scoring his try.

Wyn Jones – 5.5

Gave a free kick at scrum time in the first half and was also penalized for offside. Ben Youngs couldn’t stop for England’s second try.

Ken Owens – 7

He wishes the lineout would be better than it is, but his return to the side has helped in that area and he has been working hard all the time. His leadership is also vital to the Wales side. Replaced by Elliot Dee.

Tomas Francis – 6.5

Strong scrum skinny but had a good old wrestle with Mako Vunipola that probably ended about a moment. Worked hard for 67 minutes before Leon Brown came on.

Adam Beard – 6

Mixed first half from a stolen lineout, a few penalties and a decent involvement in the loose. Overall, his return to the Wales side has been positive. Replaced by Cory Hill who took match-winning try.

Alun-Wyn Jones – 7.5

Remarkably, this was his 23rd consecutive test against England. Managed the referee much better than his counterpart Owen Farrell and worked like a hero to lift Triple Crown.

Josh Navidi – 7

Has really had issues with an injury, including a nasty concussion, but his ability to get back and go straight to Test rugby is remarkable. Will only improve the more he plays.

Justin Tipuric – 7.5

He is the complete rugby player, but he has shown in this Six Nations that he can also do all the dirty work. So far he has tackled himself in the ground in three games. A crucial figure.

Taulupe Faletau – 8.5

He is a sight to behold in the wide channels and his footwork is impressive. He’s in shape and surpassed Billy Vunipola. Man of the match.

Taulupe Faletau was relentless as he surpassed Billy Vunipola in a man-of-the-match display

Substitutions: W Halaholo (for Davies 50) 7, C Sheedy (for Biggar 45) 8, G Davies (for Hardy 65) 6, R Jones (for W Jones 63) 6, E Dee (for Owens 63) 6.5, L Brown (for Francis 67) 6, C Hill (for Beard 56) 7, J Botham (for Navidi 70) 6.

England

Elliot Daly – 6

Won his 50th cap and reminded us of what brought him to that landmark after an indifferent series of games. The second half of the knock ruined it.

Anthony Watson – 7

Well defended and excellent finish for England’s first attempt in the 36th minute and no fault of his own, he was out of position for Wales’ first score. Pin that on the ref.

Anthony Watson was one of England’s fierce sparks as he scored the visitors’ opening shot

Henry Slade – 6

Great to see he finally hit an outside line for England in the first half, as he does every week for Exeter. Hardly defended.

Owen Farrell – 6

Rightly furious with Wales’ first score, but much better from the English skipper and got 1,000 points for his country.

Jonny May – 6

Took his time to get in as the match passed him for the first 40, but got in in the second half as England tried to push through.

George Ford – 6

Some bad kicks as England chased the game, quite apart from that, making a save attempt in the first half.

Ben Youngs – 7

Much more of a run from the experienced scrum half and his attempt in the second half caused a bounce back to take shape.

Ben Youngs returned to something nearing his best form after a shaky last few games

Mako Vunipola – 6

Steady as you go, from the father of the English platoon. He did his job in scrum-time and got through the park well and a dozen tackles.

Jamie George – 6

Hit his jumpers in the lineout and was released well in free time after being benched for the game in Italy.

Kyle Sinckler – 6

Put in decent service again, well behaved and scrummed. Clearly picking up tips from the Welsh guru Adam Jones at Harlequins.

Maro Itoje – 5

Typical early attack, but again penalty kicks against him. Plays on the edge but currently crosses it too often.

Jonny Hill – 4

Clumsy elimination in ruck led to a penalty that opened the door for Wales’ third score. Replaced in the 58th minute.

Mark Wilson – 6

Put in his carry and England didn’t lose anything as he was promoted to the starting line-up. Like a poor man’s Richard Hill and that’s not bad.

Tom Curry – 7

One of Eddie Jones’s Kamikaze kids turned herself up and made some cracking hits. A British and Irish lion wherever that happens.

Billy Vunipola – 8

Admittedly he had played nonsense in the past games prior to this game, but he came on the front foot. Welcome back Billy, we’re almost there.

Vunipola was England’s best player, but he faced an even better opponent in Faletau

Substitutions: M Malins (for Daly 75) 4, D Robson (for Youngs 70) 4, E Genge (for M Vunipola 67) 4, L Cowan-Dickie (for George 61) 4, C Ewels (for Hill 58) 3, B Earl (for Wilson 70) 4.

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