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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 November, 2003, 12:03 GMT
Fans' early rising nearly rewarded
Wales fan
Can Wales pull off the shock victory of the cup?
Thousands of Welsh rugby fans got up early on Sunday to pack bars and clubs to see Wales come close to giving England the shock of their lives in the World Cup quarter-final.

The Welsh team had a 10-3 lead at half-time, raising hopes of repeating the result 16 years ago, when Wales beat England to go into the semi-finals of the inaugural World Cup.

Welsh optimism had been raised by the team's spirited performance last week against New Zealand, another favourite alongside England to lift the William Webb-Ellis championship trophy.

But the England side came back in the second half to win 28-17, despite only scoring one try to Wales' three.

Some pub landlords in Wales had granted licences to open from 0700 GMT, so fans could get warmed up with the France-Ireland quarter-final, which France won 43-21.

As many as half a million fans were expected to watch it on the television.


One Welsh woman ,may have found her loyalities to the team sorely tested.

Mair Lewsey, born in Cwmllynfell near Ystradgynlais, has always supported Wales, and was in the stadium in Brisbane for the quarter-final.

So was her son Josh Lewsey - the England back who scored five tries for his side in their pool game against Uruguay.

Lewsey picked up a hamstring injury in that match, which ruled him out of Sunday's contest.

It at least means his mother was not forced to decide whether or not to cheer at least one member of the England team.

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