England beat Wales 30-17 at Twickenham on the opening day of the Six Nations tournament. Man of the match James Haskell scored two tries.
AFP - Man of the match James Haskell scored two tries as England opened their Six Nations campaign with a 30-17 win over Wales at Twickenham here on Saturday.
The match, which marked the centenary of the first Test ever played at Twickenham, turned with Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones's moment of madness in tripping England hooker Dylan Hartley six minutes before half-time.
That sparked a 17-point spree for England as they took the score from 3-3 to 20-3 in their favour.
Wales, trailing 20-10 with just nine minutes left, got back into the match with a try from centre James Hook that saw him ghost past England outside centre Mathew Tait, hand off a prop and leave Jonny Wilkinson flat-footed.
Stephen Jones converted and England's lead was down to 20-17.
But with just five minutes left England scored their third try and blindside flanker Haskell his second.
Delon Armitage's interception sparked a counter-attack that saw the full-back release centre Toby Flood.
He in turn found Tait, making only his second start since the 2007 World Cup final and celebrating his 24th birthday on Saturday.
Tait surged down the right and then kept his nerve to deliver a superb inside pass to Haskell.
There was still time for Wilkinson to kick his third penalty as England ended a run of three straight Six Nations defeats by Wales.
After Wyn Jones was sin-binned, Wilkinson added the penalty for the yellow card offence.
Then a rare break by left wing Ugo Monye took England to within sight of Wales's line.
After a couple of five metre scrums, recalled scrum-half Danny Care then took a quick tap penalty and England's driving play was rewarded when Haskell burrowed over.
Wilkinson converted to leave England 13-3 ahead at half-time.
And early in the second half, with Alun-Wyn Jones still off the field, England added a second try when, after captain Steve Borthwick had stripped the ball in the tackle, Monye fed Care, who went over for a converted score.
But then Alun-Wyn Jones returned and Wales hit back with a try of their own when prop Adam Jones made the most of an overlap.
Stephen Jones converted to reduce England's lead to 20-10.
And the fly-half might have cut the gap yet further when he missed moments later with a 35 metre penalty to set alongside two off-target shots at goal in the first half from Hook.
Wales, who in the opening period had looked more dangerous with ball in hand, then missed a great chance to score their second try when wing Tom James, released by Hook, knocked on just metres from England's line.
Both teams rarely threatened each other's try-line in a stop-start opening half hour marked by handling errors that gave little indication of the thrilling finale.
England next face Italy - who lost to champions Ireland earlier on Saturday 29-11 - in Rome on February 14 while Wales are at home to Scotland, who play France at Murrayfield on Sunday, on February 13.
Calendar and results
Date created : 2010-02-06