England win battle of attrition against Wales

England vs. Wales is a 'class struggle' says Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones

Jonathan Joseph and Danny Care handed England starts

Wales coach Warren Gatland could welcome back some of his injured British and Irish Lions stars for a must-win Six Nations match against Joe Schmidt's Ireland.

Wales are without Lions captain Sam Warburton, centre Jonathan Davies, flanker Dan Lydiate, star halfback Rhys Webb and lock Jake Ball for the entire Six Nations series due to injuries. It looked a 50-50 call, one which is given as often as it is refused, and Wales had to be content with a Patchell penalty from under the posts as the referee Jérôme Garcès had been playing advantage. It meant a potential loss of four points and England defeated them by six.

There was no shortage of controversy throughout the game, most notably the try which was disallowed when it looked like Gareth Anscombe had beaten Anthony Watson to touching the ball down in the goal area, ultimately, the TMO ruled that Watson had, in fact, touched the ball down first despite footage to the contrary. "It was disappointing because it could have changed the momentum, but it was early in the game and we had chances to fix it".

"Guys have got to get these decisions right". I saw that completely different. Not to be given what we thought was a legitimate try was a massive moment.

"In the first half, we probably tried to shift the ball on too many occasions when it was too hard to do that, and made it a little bit easier for them to defend", Gatland said.

"That's why he is one of the world's best players - not just the effect he has on the game as an individual, but the effect he has the people around him".

Gatland, though, was left frustrated by the interpretation of the television match official.

It was England's fifth successive victory against Wales in the tournament, equalling their record, but while the visitors camouflaged their injury problems against Scotland, the loss of their fullback Leigh Halfpenny before the kick-off with a foot infection forced them to replace him with an outhalf in Gareth Anscombe and left them without an established worldwide goal-kicker.

'If I scrum against Jamie George, Alec Hepburn and Harry Williams, they know what we are trying to do, we know what they are trying to do and we end up negating each other. It was nerve-racking in the sense that I had not prepared for it, but I sat down with Leigh and knew what was expected. It was a rollercoaster 24 hours but it was good to get out there and try and have an impact on the game. "We are disappointed not to have won, but we can be proud of the way we played in the second half".

Jonny May crossed twice in the first half to help sweep the champions 12-0 ahead in the 20th minute, but Warren Gatland's men bravely clawed their way back into a captivating Test played in treacherous conditions.

"We were pleased with how strong we finished the game", he said.

"Players at this level have got to be prepared for that sort of stuff". It was a good experience for them.

"He will probably need a run out for Bath before we consider him so whether he will be right for a week or two, it will probably be a bit short".

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