29th October 2011, 14:11
2011 England 42 Wales 4 VIDEO
England secured victory in their first game of the Gillette Four Natio
England secured victory in their first game of the Gillette Four Nations, but it wasn't in style. Wales fought all the way, were rewarded finally with a second half try and showed a lot of promise.
While the away side were always regarded as the underdogs for this game, England showed little that would worry Australia or New Zealand and, unless they can pull something drastic out of the hat, both antipodean sides will surely cruise into the Elland Road final in three weeks time.
England took the lead from their first set of six, but the try came after a lengthy delay.
Jordan James was flattened after just 10 seconds by Ben Westwood causing a worry, was taken off and Craig Kopzcak replaced him. Thankfully the big prop made his return on 57 minutes.
From the restart, Sam Tomkins went over. Sinfield missed the tricky conversion.
Lee Briers kicked a 40-20 giving Wales crucial possession on England's 10 metre line but a low pass causing a knock-on scuppered the try-scoring opportunity.
England attempted a second try from the re-start scrum but good defence, led by stalwart Neil Budworth, kept the home side out.
Wales almost got a try back. Kopzcak went through the defence like a knife through butter. Briers' cross-field set up a chance for Elliot Kear but he was tackled short of the line.
But from England's next attack, Tomkins scored his second, reaching out for the line despite pressure from the Welsh back-line. Sinfield converted and England were 10-0 up.
Wales had an immediate chance for a try back after Jamie Peacock dropped the ball from kick-off, Rhys Williams had the opportunity to capitalise from the scrum but was pushed into touch.
But England increased their lead again from the next attack when Kick Yeaman grounded in the corner. Sinfield's conversion sailed wide.
There was a chance for a fourth but an excellent Matt Seamark interception put a stop to the marauding white shirts.
Again Wales went for a try but two consecutive handling errors sent the ball into touch.
With the score at 14-0 at half-time, wonderkid Tomkins was first on the board after the interval, breaking through of the Wales back-line to ground under the sticks. Sinfield goaled to make the score 20-0.
England's fifth try came straight away. Westwood set up Jack Reed to go in at the corner.
Tomkins soon followed him over for his fourth of the game which Sinfield converted to make the score 30-0.
There was a loud and relieved cheer around the stadium when Wales got a try on the board on 66 minutes, Elliot Kear scoring in the corner, his eighth try in as many appearances, after excellent work from Danny Jones and Andy Bracek. Briers missed the tough kick.
However it was England who had the final say, to beat the popular 30-point spread bet that most bookies had predicted. Chris Heighington under the sticks and Sinfield easily converting.
Rangi Chase, who had a quiet game until, looked to have scored a further English try but it was ruled out by the video referee who judged the ball to have gone out play before the Kiwi born half-back slid in.
However, after Wales gave the ball away on the hooter, Gareth Widdop rubbed salt into the wounds and Sinfield converted.
Wales may have been defeated but will hold their heads up high going into their Wembley date against New Zealand next Saturday.
1 Sam Tomkins
2 Ryan Hall
3 Jack Reed
4 Kirk Yeaman
5 Tom Briscoe
6 Kevin Sinfield
7 Rangi Chase
8 James Graham
9 James Roby
10 Jamie Peacock
11 Gareth Ellis
12 Ben Westwood
13 Chris Heighington
14 Gareth Widdop
15 Adrian Morley
16 Jamie Jones-Buchanan
17 Jon Wilkin
Tries: Tomkins (1, 15, 49, 58), Yeaman (21), Reed (54), Heighington (75), Widdop (80)
Goals: Sinfield 5/7
1 Danny Jones
2 Elliot Kear
3 Ian Webster
4 Christiaan Roets
5 Rhys Williams
6 Lee Briers (C)
7 Matt Seamark
8 Jordan James
9 Neil Budworth
10 Gil Dudson
11 Tyson Frizell
12 Andy Bracek
13 Ben Flower
14 Ian Watson
15 Ross Divorty
16 Aled James
17 Craig Kopczak
Tries: Kear (66)
Goals: Briers 0/1
Referee: Henry Perenara (New Zealand)