It may have been Gavin Henson's last gasp penalty that got Wales's noses back in front, but the fact the red defensive line remained unbroken for the first time in twenty-six Championship matches was even more critical. You had to go back five years and twenty-four Championship matches to find the last time an English side failed to score a try in an Six Nations encounter and they even won that game against the French in Paris. It was England's second game in the newly formed Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship at Stade de France in 2000 when five Jonny Wilkinson penalties beat three from the boot of Richard Dourthe to give the visitors a 15-9 triumph.
Since Italy were introduced to the world's greatest annual rugby tournament in 2000, England had scored 107 tries in their 25 matches up to last weekend at an average of four tries per game. With a try count of 21-5 over Wales in the five previous RBS Six Nations games before last weekend and 8-2 in two visits to the Millennium Stadium, their average try return against the Welsh had also been four per game.
Contrast that to Wales's rather meagre 53 tries in their 25 Championship outings since 2000, at an average of two tries per game, and you can see how important it was that the Welsh defence stood firm. While tries had proved hard to come by in the five previous seasons, they had flowed quite freely through the Welsh defence. Wales had conceded 71 tries in the Six Nations, 21 to England, 18 to Ireland, 13 to France, 11 to Scotland and 8 to Italy, before this season at an average of 2.8 per game.
Those 71 tries represented the second highest total conceded in the first five championships, with only the Italians coming off worse with 109 tries. England had conceded only 25, France 38, Ireland 59 and Scotland 68.
It was the first time since 1993 that England had failed to score a try against Wales and the first time in 48 Five and Six Nations championship fixtures that Wales had held out the opposition for the full 80 minutes. The last time was in 1994. The obvious goal now is to maintain that form and, if there is another win in Italy this weekend, it would be the first time since 1994 that Wales had won their opening two fixtures.
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.