17th October 2009, 21:40
2009 Wales 12 England 48
A year after their thrashing at the hands of England in Doncaster, Wales were still unable to put one over their old enemy but they showed considerable improvement and a lot more fight.
Wales had an excellent first set and while it was good fortune that gave them an early try, it gave them confidence unseen 12 months ago.
Paul Sykes knocked on from the kick in the fifth tackle of Wales' first set. From the scrum, Wales fought their way over with Craig Kopczak going over in the corner. Lloyd White missed the tricky conversion.
However it didn't take long for England to level things. Elliot Kear spilled the ball on his own 10 metre line, it was snapped up by Ben Westwood who fed Sam Tomkins to go over in the corner. Sykes missed the kick.
Tom Briscoe missed an opportunity to give England the lead on the quarter hour. Richie Myler's pass to him was a little high to say the least but the winger was unmarked in acres of space and had the long ball been more accurate then England would have been ahead.
England did go over on 19 minutes from a try out of nothing. Sam Burgess created it with a cheeky reverse offload and Tomkins showed skill by weaving through the Wales defence to score just right of the sticks. Sykes had no problems with the extras.
Wales were denied an equaliser as soon as they regained the ball. White's grubber aimed for Blackwood but he was beaten to the ball by Sykes.
But the visitors struck again on 28 minutes as Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, winning his second England cap, emulated his performance last year by going over under the sticks. Sykes' goal made the score 16-4.
They went in at half-time 20-6 up. Tomkins kick on the final tackle was spilled and Sam Burgess duly took advantage of the loose ball to ground in the corner. Wales managed a penalty goal on the hooter, White kicking well from 40 metres out.
England attempted to score a try in the first minute after the interval. Myler was given too much space and looked to have a clear run to the corner, but Kear once again showed his enthusiasm and speed to bundle the Salford man into touch.
Wales kept fighting and were awarded with a try as Ian Watson forced his way through the England backline. White converted.
However after that it was all England as their fitness showed, scoring five further tries to give the scoreline somewhat of an inbalance.
Briscoe got a try back for the visitors after going over on the left wing following a fine passing move.
Myler's grubber was picked up by Sean O'Loughlin for England's sixth try five minutes later which Sykes converted.
England were denied a further try soon after. Chris Bridge laid off to Peter Fox who attempted to score in the corner but Kear forced him into touch.
However there was no doubt about skipper Adrian Morley's try, forcing his way under the posts. Sykes had no problems with the extras.
Briscoe charged over for his second after being set up Scott Moore's run from dummy half. Sykes' kick made the score 12-42 with eight minutes to go.
They weren't finished yet. Tomkins outpaced his markers to go over for his hat-trick with Sykes converting.
For Wales it was a good warm-up before they face Serbia in their opening rugbyleague.com European Cup game next Sunday. England will face sterner opposition in the shape of France, Australia and New Zealand in the forthcoming weeks and will look forward to the return of their St Helens and Leeds players to bolster their ranks.
WALES: Elliot Kear (Celtic Crusaders), Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves), Rhys Griffiths (Warrington Wolves), Anthony Blackwood (Celtic Crusaders), Ashley Bateman (Celtic Crusaders), Lloyd White (Celtic Crusaders), Ian Webster (Central Comets), Jordan James (Celtic Crusaders), Neil Budworth (Celtic Crusaders), Gil Dudson (Celtic Crusaders), Craig Kopzcak (Bradford Bulls), Ben Flower (Celtic Crusaders), Geraint Davies (Celtic Crusaders). Subs: Ian Watson (Leigh Centurions), Lee Williams (Celtic Crusaders), Ross Divorty (Featherstone Rovers), Matt Barron (Gateshead Thunder).
Tries: Kopczak (3), Watson (49)
Goals: White 2/3
ENGLAND: Paul Sykes (Bradford Bulls); Tom Briscoe (Hull FC), Michael Shenton (Castleford Tigers), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan Warriors), Peter Fox (Hull Kingston Rovers), Sam Tomkins (Wigan Warriors), Richie Myler (Salford City Reds); Adrian Morley (Warrington Wolves, capt), Scott Moore (Huddersfield Giants), Garreth Carvell (Warrington Wolves), Gareth Ellis (West Tigers), Ben Westwood (Warrington Wolves), Sam Burgess (Bradford Bulls). Subs: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (Harlequins), Mickey Higham (Warrington Wolves), Danny Tickle (Hull FC), Chris Bridge (Warrington Wolves).
Tries: Tomkins (7, 19, 76), McCarthy-Scarsbrook (28), Burgess (35), Briscoe (57, 71), O'Loughlin (62), Morley (68)
Goals: Sykes 6/9
Referee: T.Alibert (France)
article by Ian Golden
17 October 2009