Mon, Feb 06, 2006 - Page 20 News List

England tramples on Wales

AP , TWICKENHAM, ENGLAND

England beat defending Six Nations champion Wales 47-13 in its opening game of this year's championship, continuing its 18-year winning streak against the Welsh at Twickenham.

Marc Cueto, Lewis Moody, Mike Tindall, Lawrence Dallaglio, Matt Dawson and Tom Voyce scored tries for England, while Wales' lone touchdown was by Martyn Williams.

Charlie Hodgson kicked 13 points in an accomplished performance at flyhalf and England piled on 32 second-half points to avenge last year's defeat.

Missing as many as eight regular starters, including British and Irish Lions players Gavin Henson, Ryan Jones and Tom Fhanklin, Wales struggled to contain England's powerful backs and rarely breached their defensive line.

Wales, which last year won the Grand Slam for the first time in 27 years, started the brighter of the two teams. Winger Mark Jones made a 40m run down the right flank that ended just short of the tryline in the third minute.

Wales center Mathew Watkins and England No. 6 Joe Worsley spent time in the blood bin after an early clash of heads, bringing former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio onto the field in his first test since rescinding his retirement of 17 months ago.

Cueto opened the scoring for England in the 13th minute when he touched down adjacent to the posts after center Jamie Noon had split the defense and found the winger with an inside pass.

Hodgson converted to make it 7-0, but Wales flyhalf Stephen Jones kicked a penalty seven minutes later. Wales winger Shane Williams' opportunistic kick for himself on England's 22m line almost brought a try but for opposite number Ben Cohen's in-goal intervention.

Wales had dominated a period of possession and territory but it was Hodgson who kicked a 48m penalty goal from the ensuing drop-out after an infringement for 10-3.

From the kickoff, England scrumhalf Harry Ellis made a 40m break and Wales was forced again to give away several penalties.

Moody scored a try in the 30th when England's rolling maul drove across the line for a 15-3 lead and, three minutes later, Williams touched down after scrumhalf Dwayne Peel sliced through from a lineout 20m out from the tryline. Jones converted and it was 15-10 at halftime.

England almost scored straight after the break when lock Danny Grewcock was tackled without the ball as Noon passed to him on Wales' tryline. Hodgson kicked his second penalty for 18-10 and then made a 30m break, linking well with captain Martin Corry as England's power game started to tell.

Tindall put the match beyond Wales in the 63rd when he scored out wide after good work by Hodgson and Noon. England was rampant and three minutes later Dallaglio drove over from the base of a scrum, brushing Jones aside. Hodgson converted for 33-13.

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