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Wales 12-48 England

Wales (6) 12
Tries: Kopczak, Watson Goals: White (2)

England (20) 48
Tries: Tomkins (3), McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Burgess, Briscoe (2), O'Loughlin, Morley Goals: Sykes (6)


Sam Tomkins
Tomkins showed why he was named Super League Young Player of the Year

Sam Tomkins' hat-trick on his debut was the stand-out performance as England made hard work of beating Wales in their Four Nations warm-up match.

Bradford's Craig Kopzcak gave Wales a short-lived lead before Tomkins (2), Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Sam Burgess all scored before half-time.

Ian Watson scored Wales' second before Tom Briscoe (2), Sean O'Loughlin and Adrian Morley touched down.

Tomkins bagged his third in the closing minutes to round off a fine debut.

Wales came into the match desperate to avoid a repeat of the teams' last meeting, when England won 74-0, and they could hardly have scripted a better opening.

Kopczak capitalised on Paul Sykes failing to deal with a high ball and went over in the left-hand corner to give Wales a surprise lead.

But it was an error by Sykes' opposite number which led to England drawing level.

Wales full-back Elliot Kear lost the ball in the tackle and Ben Westwood scooped it up to set up Tomkins for a short run-in to score.

With many players not having played since the end of the regular season, there was plenty of ring-rustiness on display but no lack of creativity.

Briscoe almost rounded off a fine cross-field passing move with England's second try but Richie Myler's over-ambitious pass just eluded his grasp with the line beckoning.

606: DEBATE
HailthePocketRocket

The pass was a sign of England's positivity and willingness to take chances, though, and that ambition was soon rewarded with Tomkins again the man to benefit.

England gained possession after Kopzcak conceded a penalty, Burgess offloaded to Scott Moore whose reverse pass found Tomkins, and the Wigan youngster sidestepped his way through the Wales defence.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook's physical presence earned him a try under the posts shortly after he came on, as for all Wales's attacking ambition - Anthony Blackwood and Jordan James being particularly involved - they struggled to contain England in defence.

Most of those Welsh attacking ambitions involved Kopczak at some point and once he limped off with a medial ligament injury, they were a seriously depleted side.

England promptly took advantage of that weakness with their fourth try.

With two tries to his name already, Tomkins turned provider, his deftly-placed grubber kick being scooped up by Burgess to touch down.

Having taken the lead in the first half, Wales then caught England napping by doing the same in the second period.

Veteran Watson took a quick tap as England were caught offside and darted over the line while they were still lining up to defend the penalty.

Briscoe went over in the corner to restore England's advantage and O'Loughlin stretched the lead when he touched down after another good kick through by Tomkins.

England captain Morley then got on the score sheet, bulldozing over under the posts, with the most notable thing about the try being the involvement of Burgess in the build-up, after he had earlier seemed to suffer a knee injury.

As time began to run out, so did Wales's energy.

Myler set up Briscoe to dance over for his second try and Tomkins went over in the corner to seal a man-of-the-match performance.


Wales: Kear, R. Williams, Griffiths, Blackwood, White, Bateman, Webster, J. James, Budworth, Dudson, Kopczak, Flower, Davies. Replacements: Watson, L. Williams, Divorty, Barron.

England: Sykes, T. Briscoe, Shenton, O'Loughlin, Fox, Tomkins, Myler, Morley, Moore, Carvell, Ellis, Westwood, Burgess. Replacements: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Higham, Tickle, Bridge.



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see also
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Wales look to restore lost pride
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Senior ponders England comeback
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BBC to show England v Australia
06 Aug 09 |  Rugby League
Tomkins targets Cup glory
04 Aug 09 |  Wigan


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