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RBS Six Nations – England Edge Out Brave Welsh.

RBS Six Nations – England Edge Out Brave Welsh.

With nearly 67 minutes played at Twickenham, Wales led the world champions 21-16, but then a Ben Cohen try, converted by Olly Barkley turned the tie in England’s favour.

Wing Ben Cohen scored two tries as
England returned to winning ways with a 31-21 RBS Six Nations victory against Wales
at Twickenham on Saturday.

Replacement flanker Joe Worsley sealed England’s victory two
minutes from
time with their third try as the world and Six Nations champions
bounced back
from their Twickenham defeat last time out against Ireland.

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Fly-half Olly Barkley landed six goalkicks out of seven on his
full England
debut to help restore his side’s RBS Six Nations title hopes.

Wales managed two tries through Gareth Thomas and Mark Taylor with
other points coming from the boot of Stephen Jones but defeat meant
third loss in four Six Nations games this season.
“It has been hard week. In the first half we played well but
made a couple
of mistakes,” said Cohen.

“The key to it was keeping the ball and that was what we
didn’t do in the
first half. It was good persistence and it paid off.

“I think everyone had something to prove. We all took the
blame last week
(after the defeat to Ireland) as it was not quite right.
This week we trained hard and had a good look at

After an early break by Wales centre Tom Shanklin, a late call-up
in place
of the injured Iestyn Harris, England took the lead in the sixth

England full-back Jason Robinson’s clearance kick set up a Wales
inside their own 22.
But they failed to win clean possession and England scrum-half
Matt Dawson
launched an attack. The move was carried on by fit-again lock Danny

in one of several barnstorming first-half runs.

He fed centre Will Greenwood whose pass came to left wing Cohen
who held
off full-back Gareth Thomas and flanker Jonathan Thomas to just score
in the
corner having been narrowly denied a similar try against Ireland last
time out.

Fly-half Barkley, making his first England start following Paul
calf injury, nailed the tricky conversion on a windswept afternoon
and England
were 7-0 up.

Their lead was soon reduced when Stephen Jones, from just inside
his own
half, landed a magnificent penalty – the first of three in the
opening 40

England, in marked contrast to the Ireland game, were winning
their lineout
ball while recalled flanker Chris Jones was putting in some crunching

Jones got Wales to within four points of England with his third
before Barkley, whose left-footed kicking style was reminiscent of
World Cup hero Jonny Wilkinson, landed his fourth goal-kick out of
four from
47 metres on the stroke of half-time to give England a 16-9 interval

England lost Jones at half-time and soon saw their advantage
reduced as
well when two minutes into the period Wales exploited a three-man
overlap with
prop Duncan Jones sending in Gareth Thomas in at the right corner for
a try
which tied Ieuan Evans’s Welsh record of 33.

Jones nailed the tough conversion and the game was level at 16-16.
But soon
afterwards he missed his first goalkick of the day when a penalty
narrowly wide.

But Wales, as they had done in their World Cup quarter-final
defeat by
England, were excelling in broken play with England’s pack not
possession and setting up drive after drive.

And it was from just such a fragmented situation that Wales took
the lead.
England hooker Steve Thompson’s sliced clearance kick set up a Welsh
with wing Shane Williams bursting through the English cover before
sending in
centre Mark Taylor for a try.

Jones was again off target but at 21-16 Wales were ahead for the
first time
in the game.

England eventually regained their composure, as they had done
Brisbane, and started to build some pressure with Cohen denied a try
from the line by desperate Welsh defence.

Wing Josh Lewsey went close with a scything run before he was
hauled down
but England’s pressure told when Cohen got his second try from barely
a foot
out following a ruck in the 65th minute.
Barkley converted and England were 23-21 up.

Entering the final 10 minutes England were encamped in Wales’s 22
and the
visitors defence cracked in the 72nd minute to give Barkley a simple
10 metres out which made it 26-21 to the hosts.

Robinson’s mesmeric run from deep inside his own half following
re-start took England into the Welsh 22
And then Worsley nailed England’s victory with a close-range try.
missed his first goalkick of the match but it made no difference.

Jason Robinson (Sale); Josh Lewsey (Wasps), Will Greenwood
Mike Tindall (Bath), Ben Cohen (Northampton); Olly Barkley (Bath),
Matt Dawson
(Northampton); Lawrence Dallaglio capt (Wasps), Richard Hill
Chris Jones (Sale); Ben Kay (Leicester), Danny Grewcock (Bath); Phil
(Gloucester), Steve Thompson (Northampton), Trevor Woodman

Replacements: Joe Worsley (Wasps) for Jones 41min; Julian White (Leicester) for Vickery 73 min;
Mike Catt (Bath) for Greenwood 78 min.

Gareth Thomas (Celtic Warriors); Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Mark
(Llanelli), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff), Shane Williams (Neath-Swansea);
Jones (Llanelli), Gareth Cooper (Celtic Warriors); Dafydd Jones
Colin Charvis capt (Tarbes), Jonathan Thomas (Neath-Swansea);
Owen (Dragons), Brent Cockbain (Celtic Warriors); Gethin Jenkins
Warriors), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Duncan Jones (Neath-Swansea).
Replacements: Gareth Llewellyn (Neath-Swansea) for Cockbain 28 min: Dwayne Peel
(Llanelli) for Cooper 61 min; Ben Evans (Cardiff) for Jenkins 65 min;, Martyn Williams (Cardiff) for J Thomas 68 min; Ceri
(Celtic Warriors) for 69 min.

Referee: Andrew Cole (AUS).

AFP – 2004.