15 Feb 2009

Wales stay on course after win over battling England

9:18 am on 15 February 2009

Wales remain on course to retain their Six Nations rugby title after a 23-15 victory over England in Cardiff.

But they had to work desperately hard for it in a game of high tension and fluctuating fortunes.

Wales built healthy leads in each half but England, showing terrific spirit and some of the backline invention absent from their backs for so long, refused to buckle despite again having two players yellow carded.

It was 9-8 at halftime as a Paul Sackey try took the wind out of the home side's sales after Wales had dominated the opening 20 minutes and scored three penalties and, after a Leigh Halfpenny try, were ahead 20-8 early in the second half.

England got back to within five after a Delon Armitage try but Stephen Jones settled the home nerves, and the match, with his fifth penalty nine minutes from time.