England muscle through timid Wales to end Gatland’s rampant run with World Cup warm-up victory at Twickenham


ENGLAND drew first blood in their World Cup double-header with bitter rivals Wales.

And in ending their winning run of 14 Test matches Eddie Jones also killed their dreams of being named the no.1 team in the world where the rankings are updated tomorrow.

England raced into a strong early lead
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James Bond star Daniel Craig was in attendance

It might only be a warm-up, but the Six Nations Grand Slam champs rocked up with their strongest side to face a chaotic England XV put together at the last minute.

Warren Gatland labelled England bottle-jobs after turning them over in February, but the joke’s on his mob now.

But Cardiff is the battleground for next week’s Anglo-Welsh dust up and then begins a nine week Cold War ahead of the possibility of a World Cup quarter-final between the best of enemies in Japan.

Wales didn’t turn up in London, but you would think there wouldn’t be this kind of let-down in front of a sold-out Principality Stadium.

Four minutes was all it took for England to strike the first blow as Billy Vunipola bundled over the line with brute force.

An unstoppable crash-ball from drifting winger Joe Cokanasiga had Wales scrambling and Saracens star Vunipola was never going to be stopped from close range.

Cokanasiga ran in his third try for England
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Gareth Davies produced a sensational solo try in the first-half
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Bath’s giant winger Cokanasiga then did his best Big Billy impression when he smashed his way over for the second.

Pouncing from the back of a ruck after mini skirmishes from half-backs George Ford and Willi Heinz the Fijian-born flyer made it three tries in just five caps.

Wales won the Six Nations thanks to their red wall of defence – but clearly left that at home when they came to Twickenham.

Their attack started just as bad too as Josh Adams fumbled a decent chance and it wasn’t until the 22nd minute that Gareth Davies brilliant dart from the base of a scrum had Kiwi Gatland’s side off the mark.

Gareth Anscombe converted but the fly-half was off the pitch with a knee injury and replaced by Dan Biggar.

Worryingly for Wales their playmaker was then seen leaving the stadium with the help of a pair of crutches and is a doubt for the return leg.

George Ford kicked three conversions and three penalties
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Curry’s injury comes with the World Cup beckoning
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The ever reliable Ken Owens to AWJ domination at the line out then creaked and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was there to mop up the loose ball and add another try.

Ford’s conversion made it 21-7 at the break.

Though on his record-breaking 135th Test match Jones made amends for his earlier mistake as he started the fightback.

Biggar converted by Ford stretched England’s lead out again after Hadleigh Parkes caught him high and the Leicester no.10 added three more from the boot.

After a muddled week and fights in Italy between Ben Te’o and Mike Brown, England showed they were up for it on the pitch too.

Ford ended the day with 15 points with his third penalty before Elliot Daly’s brilliant invention to whack over a drop-goal as he spun and booted a loose ball through the sticks.

All in all, it left Wales heading back to Cardiff thinking they missed a real trick at Twickers.



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