THAT Wales were disappointed with a consolation bonus point at Twickenham shows how well the 'fringe' players have fared in the Six Nations.

That Wales headed back over the Severn Bridge with the frustration of a TMO shocker and a try-saving wonder tackle shows how close they came to upsetting the odds against the champions. Those moments didn't decide the game but they shaped the ending.

The championship fallow weeks give time for reflection and recuperation and the Vale Resort should be a pretty content place this week, although the management will ensure the pats on backs are kept to a minimum ahead of Dublin in round three.

Warren Gatland headed into the tournament hindered by a lengthy list of absentees that had some tipping Scotland in Cardiff and a romp by an England side who haven't lost on English soil under Eddie Jones.

Instead Wales are sat on six points and if they can produce a third strong performance on the spin then it's possible that they can upset Ireland and stay right in the mix for the cup, ready to pounce should England slip up.

The head coach has learnt a great deal about some unfancied players with flankers Aaron Shingler and Josh Navidi standing tall in the absence of the injured Sam Warburton, Taulupe Faletau and Dan Lydiate and justifying the decision to leave Justin Tipuric on the bench.

Cory Hill has grown on the Test stage as Alun Wyn Jones' second row partner and crucially backed up a big display against the Scots in arguably the toughest place for an international second row.

The Dragons skipper was up against Maro Itoje and Joe Launchbury with Courtney Lawes in the back row and George Kruis on the bench yet the lineout caller ensured the set piece went pretty well while he grafted incredibly hard around the pitch to be second only to Navidi in the tackle charts.

Rhys Patchell didn't quite fare so well at fly-half under the heat of England in London but Gareth Anscombe, a Friday call-up for Leigh Halfpenny, was good at full-back and even better when he moved to 10. Perhaps the Cardiff Blues man will be the playmaker in Ireland.

Wingers Steff Evans and Josh Adams have been exposed to more intense Test rugby and will be better for the experience even if Liam Williams and George North come back for Dublin.

But more importantly the evolution of Wales' style of rugby has continued in rounds one and two despite the glut of injuries; it needs to be the same at the Aviva Stadium and in Cardiff against Italy and France.

Grim conditions meant there were too many inaccuracies at Twickenham but there was the intent to stretch their hosts, who tired after a six-day turnaround.

That was especially the case in the closing stages when Shingler and Anscombe became more prominent, perhaps little busts would have been finished had the ball not been so greasy.

What hurt Wales was their failure to do the basics as well as England – the side that used to rule the skies with Dan Biggar, Jamie Roberts and Halfpenny prominent lost the aerial battle.

The English found grass too easily with their kicking game and it was a bomb that helped give them a lead to hang on to.

An early Garryowen was slapped back by wing Anthony Watson and worked to centre Owen Farrell, whose kick through was perfect for speedster Jonny May to slide, gather and dot down.

A 5-0 lead became 12-0 then they combined power, big units making big charges off 9 in the 22, with wonderful dexterity from mightily impressive lock Launchbury, who powered into Patchell and Adams before conjuring an offload for May's brace.

After 21 minutes that was the end of the English scoring, but it would prove to be enough in a breathless Test.

The first flashpoint came swiftly with the hosts conceding a penalty from the restart that Alun Wyn Jones ordered to be put in the corner.

The drive was stopped, then there was penalty advantage that saw Patchell kick to the left. The ball bounced off Steff Evans' knee and Anscombe won the race with Watson to the loose ball.

Crucially TMO Glenn Jackson saw things differently: "No try". Wales settled for a penalty and it was 12-3 rather than 12-5 or 12-7 at the break.

Canny England stayed on top after the restart but Gatland's men dug deep, combining a big work rate with remarkable discipline to keep the gap manageable.

The hope was that their fitness would tell and things may have been different were it not for former Ospreys flanker Sam Underhill denying what would have been a cracking try.

A slick move ended with Scott Williams wisely sliding towards the line only for the replacement back rower to somehow roll him into touch.

That gave England breathing space until a late Anscombe penalty but the restart after he made it 12-6 meant they were always pinned back in terrible conditions.

They tried manfully but had to settle for the bonus, left to lament a TMO who didn't deny them victory but who changed the course of the game.

England: M Brown; A Watson (J Nowell 44), J Joseph, A Farrell, J May; G Ford (B Te’o 67), D Care (R Wigglesworth 64); M Vunipola (A Hepburn 76), D Hartley (captain, J George 1-10, 51), D Cole (H Williams 64), J Launchbury (G Kruis 67), M Itoje, C Lawes, C Robshaw, S Simmonds (S Underhill 40).

Scorers: tries – J May (2); conversion – O Farrell

Wales: G Anscombe; J Adams, S Williams, H Parkes, S Evans; R Patchell (G North 55), G Davies (A Davies 65); R Evans (W Jones 57), K Owens (E Dee 64), S Lee (T Francis 57), C Hill (B Davies 73), AW Jones (captain), A Shingler, J Navidi, R Moriarty (J Tipuric 64).

Scorers: penalties – R Patchell, G Anscombe

Referee: Jerome Garces (France)