WALES claimed the Triple Crown with a stunning 40-24 triumph over England, in a match that will be remembered as much for two controversial tries as George North’s 100th international match.

North, 28, led the sides out at an empty Principality Stadium, to become the youngest player to win a century of senior caps, in one of five changes from the side that beat Scotland a fortnight ago.

Despite there being no crowd, a third successive Six Nations win should have been a fitting occasion for North’s landmark game - but it was French referee Pascal Gauzere who got the headlines.

Dan Biggar's quickly taken tap penalty put in Josh Adams to score in the corner, before England had a chance to reset, and Liam Williams went over, despite an apparent knock-on in the build-up.

England skipper Owen Farrell was left fuming at both tries, but in the final analysis, he had to accept that his side had themselves to blame, as the penalty count took its toll on the last 20 minutes.

Scrum-half Kieran Hardy had scored with a solo effort on his first Six Nations start, but the boot of replacement Callum Sheedy ultimately won the game, before Cory Hill went over for a late try.

In the early stages, the visitors had set the tone by giving away three early penalties in the opening five minutes, with first choice No 10 Dan Biggar slotting over the first three points of the game.

Wales had a let-off as Marlo Itoje charged down scrum-half Keiran Hardy’s kick, but full-back Liam Williams benefitted from the bounce to beat his former Saracens team-mate to the touchdown.

Breaks by Elliot Daly and Ben Youngs allowed Farrell to level the scores, but the first controversy came after Farrell had been instructed to speak to his players about their indisciplined start.

Wing Adams caught the neat cross kick from a Biggar to go over in the corner for the first try, despite Farrell arguing that there were water carriers on the field, and his side had no chance to reset.

Farrell was further incensed as Liam Williams crossed the line, after Louis Rees-Zammit had fumbled possession from Adams’ chip - and after a discussion with the TMO the try was awarded.

Biggar, having majored Adams’ try, also converted the second try off the post, but in-between Farrell slotted his second penalty, and a try from winger Anthony Watson finally lifted England’s spirits.

Farrell missed the conversion attempt, but he then slotted over a penalty to reduce the deficit to 17-14 at half-time - and England were very much in the game in a tense start to the second period.

When Wales flanker Josh Navidi was penalised for an error, Farrell failed to level the scores, but with Callum Sheedy coming on for outside half Biggar, Wales lifted their tempo and got their reward.

Scrum-half Hardy took advantage of an off-guard England defence when he raced to the line from a quickly taken penalty, after a clumsy offence by lock Jonny Hill, and Sheedy added the extras.

Farrell put England back within a score with his third penalty, before some strong ball-carrying from the Vunipola brothers put the visitors back on front foot - only to concede another penalty.

Youngs did snipe over, with Farrell converting to level the scores - but then Sheedy’s incisive break and chip almost resulted in another try for Hardy, but he was denied, and damaged his hamstring.

England’s indiscipline ultimately proved decisive, as fly-half Sheedy coolly held his nerve to slot three late penalties to take charge, and the bounce of the ball denied Rees-Zammit running through.

In the final minute, from the resulting scrum, replacement lock Hill drove over to complete a bonus-point victory, with Sheedy converting to complete his personal 13-point match winning effort.

Wales had recorded their highest points tally against England, to follow up victories against 14-man Ireland and 14-man Scotland - and fortune, it seems, favours both the brave and the disciplined.

WALES: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, J Davies, Adams; Biggar, Hardy; W Jones, Owens, Tomas Francis, Beard, AW Jones (capt), Navidi, Tipuric, Faletau. Replacements: Sheedy for Biggar (45), Halaholo for J Davies (50), Hill for Beard (54), Dee for Owens (63), R Jones for W Jones (63), G Davies for Hardy (65), Brown for Francis (67), Botham for Navidi (70).

ENGLAND Daly; Watson, Slade, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola. Replacements: Ewels for Hill (58), Cowan-Dickie for George (60), Genge for M Vunipola (67), Robson for B Youngs (70), Earl for Wilson (70).

OFFICIALS: Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France). Touch judges: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Frank Murphy (Ireland). TMO: Alex Ruiz (France).