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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 August, 2003, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
England crush woeful Wales
Wales 9-43 England

England debutant Stuart Abbott is tackled by Wales flanker Martyn Williams
Abbott enjoyed a strong debut
England extended their record run of Test victories to 14 as a second-string side trounced Wales to launch their World Cup warm-up campaign in style.

A Lewis Moody try helped the visitors to a 16-9 half-time lead, and further scores from Dan Luger, Joe Worsley, Stuart Abbott and Dorian West sealed a record English win in Cardiff.

Alex King, who was full of invention, added 16 points with the boot, but a poor return of five-from-11 attempts at goal put a question mark over his World Cup place.

Scrum-half Andy Gomarsall laid down a marker with a strong display, while lock Simon Shaw, number eight Joe Worsley and debutant centre Abbott all did their claims no harm.

MATCH FACTS
Lewis Moody celebrates scoring the opening try for England
Moody scored the opening try
Wales 9 (9):
Pens: Jones 3
England 43 (16):
Tries: Moody, Luger, Worsley, Abbott, West
Cons: King 2, Walder
Pens: King 3
Drop: King

Dan Scarbrough's lack of composure in attack and defence may have seen his chance disappear, but Wales were left with far greater problems.

A 11th successive Test defeat heaped further pressure onto coach Steve Hansen with the World Cup only six weeks away.

The home side's handling too often let them down on the few occasions they were able to exert any pressure, while they tired visibly in the second half.

England dominated possession in the opening minutes, but King pushed an early penalty attempt narrowly wide.

The visitors then spurned a try-scoring chance when James Simpson-Daniel broke down the left touchline and fed Moody, but the flanker's pass failed to find Worsley.

Instead it was Wales who took the lead against the run of play after 11 minutes when Stephen Jones slotted a penalty after a break from full-back Rhys Williams.

But King swiftly replied with one of his own after Wales were penalised for collapsing a scrum, and nudged England ahead with a second before the end of the first quarter.

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With scrum-half Gomarsall marshalling operations, the visitors took command with a try from a line-out drive after opting to kick a penalty to touch.

Argentine referee Pablo De Luca decided Moody had grounded the ball despite protests from Martyn Williams, who appeared to get his body in between.

King converted for a 13-3 lead, and England might have had another try but for Mark Jones' tackle on Luger, after King's chip through.

Jones punished a mistake by Scarbrough with a second penalty, but King restored the 10-point cushion with a smart drop goal.

Alex King lines up a kick against Wales
King's poor kicking was in contrast to his general play
Hooker Mark Regan limped off, to be replaced by West, and Jones rewarded Wales' best spell just before the interval with a third penalty to reduce the deficit to 16-9.

England's dominant pack reasserted themselves on the resumption by pushing back a Welsh scrum, only for King to miss three relatively easy penalty attempts.

The visitors finally added to their tally when Luger took Gomarsall's pass and stretched over, although Jamie Noon appeared to knock-on in the build-up.

King converted and added a penalty before Worsley exposed poor blindside defence from Colin Charvis to make it 31-9 with the third try.

Further scores in the last 10 minutes from Abbott - finishing off an excellent move - and West added to Welsh misery.


Wales: R Williams; M Jones, M Taylor, S Parker, G Thomas; S Jones, G Cooper; I Thomas, R McBryde, G Jenkins, R Sidoli, C Wyatt, C Charvis, M Williams, D Jones.
Replacements: G Williams, A Jones, J Thomas, G Thomas, M Phillips, G Henson, T Shanklin.

England: D Scarbrough; J Simpson-Daniel, J Noon, S Abbott, D Luger; A King, A Gomarsall; J Leonard (capt), M Regan, J White, D Grewcock, S Shaw, M Corry, L Moody, J Worsley.
Replacements: D West, W Green, S Borthwick, A Sanderson, A Healey, D Walder, O Smith.

Referee: Pablo De Luca (Argentina)




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Ian Robertson
"A desperate day for Wales"



SEE ALSO
Luger aims for Wales lift
21 Aug 03  |  Rugby Union
Leonard faces Cup trial
20 Aug 03  |  Internationals
King targets World Cup spot
19 Aug 03  |  Rugby Union


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