England gives its best to beat Wales and claim top spot
LLANELLI (UK) – England did just about enough to subdue a spirited but limited Wales with a 24-13 victory in Llanelli on Saturday to secure top spot in Autumn Nations Cup Group A and set up a probable title decider against France at Twickenham next week.
An experimental Wales, who broke a run of six successive defeats with a victory over Georgia last week, struck first with a chargedown try finished by former England Under-20 centre Johnny Williams, but Henry Slade went over in the corner for England, who reached halftime deservedly 11-7 ahead.
A Mako Vunipola try stretched the lead and though the Welsh got back within five after two Dan Biggar penalties, England’s powerful bench injected momentum and their relentless pressure was turned into penalties and points via Owen Farrell’s boot to take them clear.
England topped the group with 13 points from their three wins. Ireland, who play Georgia on Sunday, are on four points and are likely to finish second, with Wales third, also on four.
England’s opponents in the final at Twickenham next Sunday will be decided later on Saturday when France host Italy, with the home side expected to win and secure top spot. Scotland, whose game against Fiji was called off due to COVID issues, are likely to finish second, ahead of Italy.