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vBookie Event: England v Wales (Six Nations)
This event is over.
vBookie Event
England v Wales (Six Nations)

This event is over.

Outcome Odds Total Bets Total Staked
England 6/5 (1.20) 1 50000  
Draw 20/1 (20.00) 0 0  
Wales 4/6 F (0.67) 2 10232000 WIN!

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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RU: England v Wales

Leigh Halfpenny has underlined Wales' principal objective for this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship - to win the Grand Slam.

Stage three of that masterplan will be completed at Twickenham next Saturday if Wales defeat unbeaten Six Nations title rivals England.

It would also give Wales their 20th championship Triple Crown and leave them requiring home victories over Italy and France to complete a second tournament clean sweep of coach Warren Gatland's four-year reign.

Rarely, if ever, in Six Nations history have Wales headed to Twickenham as favourites, but the World Cup semi-finalists are on a roll and hungry for further success.

"At the end of the day we want to be the best," Wales full-back Halfpenny said.

"That means winning every single game and achieving the Grand Slam. That is the objective in this tournament - nothing less.

"We are preparing for this tournament as we did the World Cup, which was another tournament we set out to win. We want to be the best, and we set high goals to bring the best out of us.

"We train as hard as possible, and nothing less than our best will do. Everyone is ambitious, from the coaches to the players.

"Winning trophies is our goal, and we believe we can achieve that."

Halfpenny led from the front during Wales' opening two victories over Ireland and Scotland, kicking a match-winning penalty in Dublin under intense pressure and then amassing 22 points - including two tries - when the Scots succumbed in Cardiff.

And the 23-year-old, who is poised to win his 30th cap next weekend, puts much of Wales' current success down to the punishing, spartan training camp they endured in freezing Poland last month.

"We were pushed to the limits of our endurance - and beyond - out there," he said.

"Your mind is drained, and you need the support of your team-mates to lift you and pull you through, making sure we all get to the finishing line.

"That is what it was like in Dublin during the final five minutes when we were six points behind. Every single player contributed to winning the match.

"It was a really hard game, and 75 minutes in you felt as you had felt in Poland. You had to look deep inside yourself to be able to get the result, and we knew, because of what we had been through together, that we had the character to do it.

"Ireland kicked off after we had scored a try to reduce the deficit to a point, and we had the skill to take the ball up the field in a series of drives.

"We had focused on the basics in training because at such a high-pressure moment in the game you do not want to knock the ball on or anything. Our skills were up there at that point in the game."

Gatland also took his squad to Poland before the World Cup campaign in New Zealand last autumn, when they proved to be arguably the tournament's fittest team.

"There were no home comforts during our time in Poland," Halfpenny said.

"The rooms were basic, no nice beds, and the food was not to our taste. It was egg with everything.

"No-one there spoke our language. It was just us, and when we were there last month, it was freezing cold. We trained on the beach, and it was covered in snow.

"It was a harsh environment, testing you mentally. It was like a military camp, pushing you to breaking point, but you made sure that you did not give in and you pulled others through.

"There were times when you felt like giving up. You thought you had no more to offer and then, from somewhere, you find an extra bit.

"It was like the training in Rocky IV, except for the cutting down of trees."

Halfpenny suffered World Cup pain more than most, agonisingly missing a long-range penalty that could easily have booked Wales a place in the final against New Zealand.

But the way they have bounced back since that deflating experience in Auckland speaks volumes for a squad that continues to excite with its thrilling brand of attacking rugby.

"The loss against France in the World Cup semi-final has made us stronger," Halfpenny added.

"It made you go back and work harder - it gave you the drive to do better.

"When I missed the kick in that match, I said that the next time I had an opportunity I would nail it.

"I was not expecting it to come as soon as Ireland, but I was chuffed to have taken that kick at the end.

"My heart was racing, and you could not help but feel the pressure, but as soon as (referee) Wayne Barnes' arm went up for the penalty I knew it was my moment."

England centre Brad Barritt admits that it has been a "dream come true" to play in the Six Nations but is fully aware of the threats posed by Wales ahead of next week's clash at Twickenham.

The 25-year-old made his long-awaited debut for England against Scotland in the opening match of this year's Six Nations and retained his spot in the side a week later against the Azzurri. And Barritt - born in Durban - now faces the threat of a resurgent Manu Tuilagi to his spot in the side, but with two wins from two, the Saracens centre has made a firm call to retain the outside centre berth for when Wales travel to HQ next week.

"There's a huge amount of emotion and pride at having made my debut for England," Barritt told ESPNscrum. "It's a dream come true for me to play international rugby and it's been a desire of mine since I was a young boy and to pull the jersey on and have two wins on the back of it has been an amazing experience."

Barritt's transition into the England side has been aided by the strong Sarries presence in the backline. With David Strettle, Charlie Hodgson and Owen Farrell - along with soon-to-be Saracens winger Chris Ashton - all starting in the first two matches of this campaign, Barritt has experienced a home from home when pulling on the red rose jersey - something he sees as proud moment for the Aviva Premiership champions.

"It's been a blessing with the whole team and everyone has come together really well," Barritt said. "There's been a great camaraderie among the players with everyone getting on really well together. And it has helped to have a couple of Sarries mates alongside me - it's been immensely enjoyable and a proud moment for the club."

And the Sarries familiarity does not end on the pitch with Andy Farrell marshalling the backs during the Six Nations. The Saracens coach has received widespread praise for his mentoring role, and Barritt is quick to add his weight behind the tributes.

"He's [Andy Farrell] been brilliant both for Saracens and for England," Barritt said. "He brings a wealth of experience both at league and at union and he's very technically astute. He knows what is required to win big games and he brings a huge amount of confidence to the guys. He's a very passionate man and speaks well to the players and produces a big buzz around the team."

But Barritt - if he retains his spot in the side - now faces his biggest task yet in an England shirt with Wales around the corner. With two wins to their name, one of the two side's 100% record in this Six Nations will have to give at Twickenham, and the Saracens centre is relishing the chance to test his metal against the likes of Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies.

"As a rugby player you afford each opposition player with equal respect. Obviously Wales have had two positive results so we are relishing and looking forward to the challenge."

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 01:04 PM
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England 12 - Wales 19 after a bloody exciting back and forth game.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Gabba Gabba Hey

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Fun to watch , congrats, guess this guy saved the day:

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