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International Round-Up: Cardiff Blues trio contribute as Grand Slam hopes continue

25th February 2019

Wales welcomed fierce rivals, England, over the border for a trio of Six Nations clashes, while 'Captain America' returned to international duty in Austin, Texas.

Wales 21 England 13

Gareth Anscombe and Josh Navidi were in the starting line-up as Wales produced a stunning comeback to seal a crucial victory over their arch-rivals, England, in the third round of Guinness Six Nations action.

Warren Gatland’s side kept their Grand Slam challenge on track in dramatic fashion, as they made it a record-breaking 12 consecutive victories in front of a packed-out Principality Stadium.

It was a tight and tense first half in the Welsh capital, with both sides patiently awaiting an opening, but it was England who led 10-3 at the break, thanks to an opportunistic effort from young back row, Tom Curry.

Anscombe kept the scoreboard ticking for the hosts, racking up a personal tally of nine points from the boot, while Navidi was once again colossal in the hosts’ heroic defence effort.

Dillon Lewis made impact from the bench, gaining an upper-hand on his opposite number, Ellis Genge, in the scrum.

With 13 minutes remaining, Wales finally made a breakthrough as a perfectly timed run from lock Cory Hill saw him power over the English try-line, following 35 phases of play. 

In the final moments, the win was put beyond doubt, as Josh Adams expertly collected a Dan Biggar cross-field to beat Elliot Daly and crawl over in the corner.

Wales are now tasked with a tough trip to take on Scotland at BT Murrayfield, before welcoming Ireland to the Welsh capital on the final weekend of the Championship.

USA 33 Brazil 28

Blaine Scully returned to international duties to captain USA as they continued their Americas Rugby Championship campaign against a Brazil side that had beaten Canada in the second round of action.

Gary Gold’s side were looking to bounce back from their defeat to Argentina XV, and got off to a strong start, with Will Magie converting a pair of penalties.

Brazil did add three points of their own from the tee, but the Eagles finally clicked to claim three quick-fire tries in the first half, with Paul Lasike, Hanco Germishuys and Mike Te’o all crossing the whitewash.

The Brazilians arrived in Austin with a well-renowned strong set piece, and used this weapon to fight their way back into proceedings.

While John Quill’s try seemed to have put the results beyond doubt at 30-16, once again the Brazilian worked their way back within five points thanks to a dominant scrum display.

The visitors had one final opportunity to attack, but Eagles managed to hold out for the win, as they prepare to take on Uruguay in Seattle on Saturday.

Wales under-20 11 England under-20 10

Four Cardiff Blues youngsters featured for Wales under-20 in their first home game of the Six Nations campaign.

Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf products Ioan Davies, Teddy Williams and Max Llewellyn were joined by prop Ben Warren in the side, as scrum half Jamie Hill missed out through injury which will keep him out of the tournament.

The early stages became a battle of nerves between Cai Evans and Kieran Wilkinson, as they exchanged penalties.

A try from Exeter Chiefs’ Rusiate Tuima looked to have sealed the win for the visitors, however, Gareth Williams’ side had other ideas.

Replacement playmaker Sam Costello opened up the space for Deon Smith to power over in the corner and seal a dramatic victory for the Welsh youngsters.

Wales Women 12 England Women 51

After back-to-back away games, Wales Women returned to the Cardiff Arms Park for the first time during their Six Nations to host a formidable England side who were still in the hunt for a Grand Slam.

Hannah Bluck and Robyn Wilkins were the Cardiff Blues representatives in Rowland Phillips’ side, but the hosts got off to a tough start against the only fully professional side in the Championship. 

Sarah Bern and Jessica Breach both crossed for a brace of tries, joining Marlie Packer on the scoresheet, to secure the bonus point after only 26 minutes of action.

Jess Kavanagh replied for the hosts after a fine looped pass from outside centre Hannah Jones.

England crossed for a further four tries, before Wales replied late on through replacement Carys Hale, with Wilkins converting.