7 Aug 2011

England hold off Wales in RWC warm-up

8:37 am on 7 August 2011

England held off a spirited Wales 23-19 to win what could prove to be a costly Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham.

Both sides suffered injuries just weeks before the showpiece tournament in New Zealand, Wales having Morgan Stoddart carried off on a stretcher while England captain Lewis Moody - who missed the Six Nations - suffering a recurrence of a knee injury.

Wales also suffered a setback shortly before kick-off when veteran fly-half Stephen Jones had to pull out through injury on the verge of winning what would have been a Welsh record 101st cap.

Wales outscored England three tries to two, coming from 20-7 behind to set up a grandstand finish when winger George North crossed for the second of his two scores with four minutes left.

But, not for the first time, England great Jonny Wilkinson's kicking proved the difference in the scores with the first five landing two conversions, a penalty and two drop-goals in front of a crowd of more than 80,000.

In another World Cup warm-up game at Murrayfield, Scotland beat Ireland 10-6 thanks to a late try to centre Joe Ansbro.

In yet another friendly, Argentina thrashed a South American XV 78-15 in San Juan.