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Rugby News

Youngs-led fightback falls short in Wales

A late try to Leicester's Ben Youngs wasn't enough to see England record a come-from-behind win over Wales in Cardiff, with the home side running away late in the game to record a 40-24 victory in Round 3 of the 2021 Six Nations.

The Tigers scrum-half ducked and weaved his way through the Welsh defence just after the hour mark at Principality Stadium to level the scores at 24-all with less than 20 minutes remaining on the clock. 

However, it was the Welsh side buoyed by the try to Youngs as they regathered themselves and went on to add 16 points in the final 13 minutes. 

A penalty goal in the opening minutes, followed by two converted tries, took Wales to a 17-6 lead after half an hour with Owen Farrell adding the visitors only points from the kicking tee. 

Antony Watson crossed for the first English try of the match soon after, before Farrell added another penalty goal before the break to see the visitors trail by just three at half-time. 

A try early in the second half saw the Welsh extend their lead, before Farrell cut the deficit by three and Youngs levelled the scores in the 63rd minute.

Three successful penalty goal attempts added nine points in only eight minutes for the Welsh, before a last-minute try extend the lead to 16 points, where it would remain at full-time.

Youngs' Tigers team-mate George Ford was in the thick of the action throughout the match at fly-half for England, while Ellis Genge played a late cameo from the bench after coming on late in the game. 

There was no international debut for George Martin, who was an unused replacement on the English bench. 

Despite controversy surrounding one of the home side's tries, England head coach Eddie Jones admitted his side "weren't good enough on the day" speaking post-match about the loss.

“We’re pleased with the effort of the team. No one can say we’re not a hardworking, honest group and we’ll learn from this, it’s a great lesson for us," said Jones.

“We can’t argue with the referee, the result is there in stone and we’ve got to accept it. Maybe they were tough calls but we weren’t good enough to overcome that. 

“We’ve got to accept that we weren’t good enough on the day. We might’ve had some tough calls but we’ve got to be able to adapt to the game, adapt to the referee - if the referee is going to referee like that, we’ve got to be able to adapt to it.”