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Page last updated at 17:46 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 18:46 UK

Johnson's Heroes win charity game

Captains for the Help the Heroes match Scott Gibbs (left) and Lawrence Dallaglio
Scott Gibbs and Lawrence Dallaglio led the two sides

England manager Martin Johnson made a triumphant return to Twickenham as the Help for Heroes XV claimed victory over Scott Gibbs's International XV.

The World Cup-winning captain was given a standing ovation from the 52,254 crowd when he appeared as a 47th-minute replacement in the fundraising match.

Lawrence Dallaglio captained a Heroes XV including seven World Cup winners, who scored four tries in a 29-10 win.

The game raised 1.1m for injured servicemen and women.

Watched by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, the game proved to be a hotly contested affair between two sides packed full of stars from the past and future, mixed with current servicemen.

The International XV opened the scoring after eight minutes when Gibbs made a sharp outside break before putting 18-year-old winger Kristian Phillips in for the try.

None of the bodies were moving as fast as they used to

Heroes captain Lawrence Dallaglio
Former Wales and Lions centre Gibbs was again involved on 28 minutes when a sweeping move by the International XV was foiled five metres short of the line by a last-gasp tackle from Mark Odejobi.

Fly-half Alex Goode got the Heroes on the scoreboard with a 31st-minute penalty before 2003 World Cup-winning flanker Richard Hill crashed over from short range five minutes later, Goode converting for a 10-5 lead.

The Heroes XV stretched their lead further when Bath prop Nathan Catt scored another try from close range on the stroke of half-time.

Former Scotland wing Kenny Logan brought the International XV back into it when he went over in the left corner following a scrum close to the line.

Johnson, playing his first game of rugby since May 2005, entered the contest to a standing ovation when he replaced Scott Hobson in the Heroes second row.

Replacement flanker Paul Volley was harshly sin-binned by referee Sean Davey for handling the ball on the floor on 52 minutes.

I'm a bit battered and bruised. That was the small sacrifice we made

International captain Scott Gibbs
The Heroes weathered a sustained spell of pressure and forced their way back up field before the impressive Will Greenwood gave a trademark dummy and slid over the line to make it 20-10.

Goode added his third kick of the day to extend the lead further.

Greenwood went close to scoring his second before Joe Simpson sealed the game with a try on the final whistle.

Dallaglio completed proceedings with the conversion.

"The response we have had this year has been magnificent," said Dallaglio, who retired from competitive rugby at the end of last season.

"We have met a lot of the guys who been involved in war and it is pretty emotional in the dressing room at the moment.

"Today the public showed what this cause means to them. It was a great day.

"None of the bodies were moving as fast as they used to out on the field but fortunately our armed forces are."

Gibbs added: "I'm a bit battered and bruised. That was the small sacrifice we made for today. We knew it wasn't going to easy but it was worth it.

"It was a spectacle that people can be proud of for an extremely worthy cause."


Help for Heroes XV: M Roberts (Army); M Odejobi (Wasps), W Greenwood (England), J Robinson (England), D Luger (England), A Goode (Saracens), J Simpson (Wasps); N Catt (Bath), M Regan (Bristol, England), T Mercey (Saracens), R Sugden (Army), S Hobson (Bath), M Cornish (Royal Air Force), R Hill (England), L Dallaglio (England, capt).
Replacements: M Johnson (England), T O'Keeffe (Royal Marines), R Matthews (Royal Air Force), P Volley (London Scottish), M Offiah (Wigan Warriors, Great Britain RL), D Pascoe (Royal Navy), D Shabbo (London Irish), G Leonard (Royal Air Force), H Barratt (London Wasps).

International XV J Bishop (Doncaster, Ireland); K Phillips (Ospreys), A Flammia (Royal Air Force), S Gibbs (Wales, capt), K Logan (Wasps, Scotland); R Priestland (Scarlets), G Easterby (Otley, Ireland); D Hilton (Bristol), G Bulloch (West of Scotland, Scotland), D Morris (Worcester, Wales), G Llewellyn (Wales), H Parr (Royal Air Force), D Jones (Scarlets, Wales), C Charvis (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales), J Kava (Army).
Replacements: S Byrne (Saracens, Ireland), S Ruwers (Worcester), M Cormack (Royal Navy), M Lee (Army), Z Feaunati (Bath, Samoa), M Young (Newcastle), M Rhodes (Royal Marines), D Hewitt (Cardiff Blues), M Stephenson (Bath, England).


see also
Johnson to play in charity match
08 Jul 08 |  English


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