TWENTY years after Scott Gibbs ended England's Grand Slam hopes at Wembley, Cory Hill crashed over in Cardiff to put Wales within tantalising reach of one.

Photos capturing the Dragons captain's try probably won't be hung on too many pub walls – well, outside the lock's hometown of Pontypridd anyway – but his place in Six Nations folklore has been secured.

For 34 phases Wales hammered away at the English defence, staying calm, running hard, not tempted into a miracle pass.

Then Hill checked his run before hitting acting scrum-half Dan Biggar's pass at pace to hammer through the tackles of two hefty lumps in Billy Vunipola and Harry Williams.

"That will go down as one of the greatest Six Nations tries of all time," said World Cup-winning scrum-half Matt Dawson after Hill crossed on the 35th phase.

A touch of hyperbole perhaps, but it was a remarkable score and one that deserved to win a bruising Test between two genuine Japan 2019.

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Not only did it turn a 13-9 deficit into a lead that Wales would not let slip, with the boot of Biggar and wing Josh Adams finishing the job, but it provided yet more evidence of Hill's value to Warren Gatland.

Rodney Parade regulars have long lauded his qualities but Hill, while established in the Test squad, still had his doubters with question marks about whether he has the physical attributes to mix it with the big beasts.

He may not be as ripped as some and he may be built like a loose forward but the Dragons captain went toe-to-toe with a hefty English pack featuring Lions George Kruis and Courtney Lawes in the second row.

Hill has shone when charged with providing oomph as a replacement yet this was a message to Gatland that he's best in the 4 jersey rather than heading to the bench after the anthems.

Of course, the lock with a large engine merely provided the finish for a marvellous team try, and it was very much a squad effort in getting the victory that set a record 12th Test win.

Wales hung in there when England bossed the first half – a key moment came when, trailing 10-3, they denied the visitors any points from the final play in their 22 – and grew in stature while Eddie Jones' men flagged.

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"We finished incredibly strongly," said Gatland. "We went through some pain last week in terms of how hard we trained, the message to the players was that there was no way anyone else was training that hard."

It was fitness and physicality that won the day, but also mental strength.

As the head coach has said a number of times, they have forgotten how to lose and it will be a surprise if they don't make it 13 victories on the spin against injury-hit Scotland at Murrayfield.

Then it will be a clash against champions Ireland in Cardiff, a tough task but one that they will fancy overcoming after showing they could cope with the emotion and hard hits against a resurgent England.

Gatland's men were slight underdogs for a home fixture but showed their World Cup credentials.

With Liam Williams' positioning superb at full-back, they negated England's kicking game and although they still miss the wow factor of Taulupe Faletau in the back row, they stop firm against the heavy units.

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It was brutal from the off with kicks galore and a high ball-in-play time because of the staggering line speed.

Fly-halves Owen Farrell and Gareth Anscombe traded penalties before England moved seven points clear approaching the half hour.

Lawes got his mitts into the middle of a lineout drive to turn the ball over and centre Henry Slade ran into the 22.

Then, through a mixture of sleepy ruck defence and Justin Tipuric being cunningly pinned to the ground, impressive Sale flanker Tom Curry sneaked over for a try that Farrell converted.

A Jonny May kick-chase, and bizarre pumped-up celebration, set up a final chance for England in the 22 but they had to be content with a 10-3 lead at the break.

The English started the second half stronger but Wales grew and grew with the home crowd getting louder and louder.

Anscombe chipped away from the tee on 53 minutes and England's penalty count was rising, which led to storming tighthead Kyle Sinckler being replaced after his high tackle allowed it to become 10-9.

A Curry jackal gave England a bit more breathing space but then came Hill's moment.

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Biggar converted superbly from the right touchline for a three-point lead and Wales didn't give the English a sniff of a draw that would have kept them in the box seat for the title.

Not only that, Wales took away their bonus point; a huge Welsh scrum earned penalty advantage, Biggar boomed the ball into the air and Worcester wing Josh Adams claimed it ahead of Daly to reach over, sparking bedlam.

Gatland may well have one last Welsh Grand Slam.

Wales: L Williams, G North, J Davies, H Parkes (O Watkin 79), J Adams, G Anscombe (D Biggar 60), G Davies (A Davies 76), R Evans (N Smith 60), K Owens (E Dee 76), T Francis (D Lewis 60), C Hill (A Beard 70), AW Jones, J Navidi, J Tipuric, R Moriarty (A Wainwright 76).

Scorers: tries – C Hill, J Adams; conversion – D Biggar; penalties – G Anscombe (3)

England: E Daly, J Nowell, H Slade, M Tuilagi, J May (J Cokanasiga 69), O Farrell, B Youngs, B Moon (E Genge 76), J George, K Sinckler (H Williams 57), C Lawes (B Shields 75), G Kruis (J Launchbury 63), M Wilson, T Curry, B Vunipola.

Scorers: tries – T Curry; conversion – O Farrell; penalties – O Farrell (2)

Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)