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England And Scotland Win Warm-Ups
Tight matches at both Twickenham and Murrayfield
Posted Aug 09, 2011 by Chris White
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England may have come out on top at Twickenham, but they were certainly made to work very hard by Wales, who, despite a spirited second half fight back, couldn’t quite catch their hosts in the first World Cup warm-up. While it was a similar story at Murrayfield as Scotland just edged out Ireland.
With many players lacking match fitness and the sharpness that comes with being out on the pitch, it was England who started the brighter with Jonny Wilkinson putting an early penalty between the posts before George North crossed for the Welsh, with his try converted by Rhys Priestland to put them 7-3 ahead.
It was England who went in ahead at the break though, with James Haskell going over to regain the lead for the home side, Wilkinson converted and then nailed a drop-goal off his right foot to put England 13-7 ahead at the break.
When the teams came back out, it was England debutant Manu Tuilagi who got the first points of the half to extend England’s lead, powering between two defenders and holding off the attention of Morgan Stoddart to touch down for his first international points. Another Wilkinson conversion made the score 20-7.
Wales were back in the match thanks to a 54th try for record try-scorer Shane Williams, who touched down in the corner to bring them back into the match, with Priestland adding the extras. Another try from North gave England some nervy moments at the end but Martin Johnson’s side held out to win 23-19.
At Murrayfield, a late try from Joe Ansbro gave Scotland a narrow victory against Ireland, crossing with just two minutes left on the clock. The centre picked up Nick De Luca’s outstanding pass to race clear and score in the corner for the only try of the match.
In a poor game, Ireland’s defence looked solid until the closing minutes but failed to make anything of the time they had of the ball, with Scotland dominating in terms of possession. Ireland were restricted to just two penalties from Jonathan Sexton, while Chris Paterson had made the scores 3-3 before Sexton’s second kick, and Ansbro’s late try, which was converted by Ruaridh Jackson.