England booked their place in the Autumn Nations Cup final with a 24-13 win over an improved Wales at Llanelli.
Wales opened the game with a runaway attempt from center Johnny Williams before a Henry Slade goal and two Owen Farrell penalties put the visitors 11-7 ahead.
It was a seventh loss in nine games for Welsh head coach Wayne Pivac, who at least showed a more encouraging performance.
However, Wales are still without solid foundations with a difficult scrum and faulty line-up that penalized England.
England’s tough victory predicted by many never materialized, but victory for Eddie Jones’ men led them to lead Group A..
This means that on 6. December in Twickenham will fight for the title of this new tournament against the winner of Group B.. France will emerge victorious in the other group if they beat Italy later on Saturday.
Wales, who lost to Ireland before beating Georgia, are currently in third place and are expected to face Italy next weekend. Ireland will face Georgia in their last pool game on Sunday.
The teams were Poles apart when England collapsed in second in the world and Wales in ninth.
Pivac’s first responsible game was almost exactly a year ago with a win in a game against Barbarians without a cap, but since then he has only had two wins against Georgia and Italy.
Following the departure of Warren Gatland, the decline in 2019 Grand Slam champions and World Cup semi-finalists was dramatic over the year.
Eddie Jones’ men won the 2020 Six Nations title in October and brought their formidable form to this first Autumn Nations Cup. They destroyed Georgia before they overwhelmed Ireland in Twickenham last weekend.
The game was played against the backdrop of the strange setting of a Parc y Scarlets, where Wales and England met without fans.
The Llanelli site has become Wales’ temporary home while the Principality Stadium in Cardiff has been shut down as a coronavirus field hospital.
One of the most explosive rivalries has been reduced to this raw rugby experience. It was hard to remember such a lack of hype around the game and the few expectations Wales could win.
In a pre-match verbal example, Jones warned Wales that England would bring an intensity they have never faced before.
A populated English team saw only one change in personnel, with the fly half George Ford returning to the home page with an injured center, Ollie Lawrence. Farrell moved to the center of the field, with Henry Slade in midfield.
Wales was more disrupted this fall and made eight changes, with Scrum half Lloyd Williams making its first international start in four years and helping Dan Biggar as a half-back partner.
Center Johnny Williams and flanker James Botham retained their places on the team after making their debut in the 18-0 win over Georgia and giving youth wing Louis Rees-Zammit a second start.
It was an unfamiliar cast with seasoned activists like Jonathan Davies, Liam Williams, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty.
Wales supporter Samson Lee received an early scrum penalty which Farrell missed before Wales took the lead against the game after the hosts showed early defensive resilience.
Biggar kicked Slade before chopping the ball for former England U20 center Johnny Williams to score a goal.
The result was reviewed by the TV game officer and umpire Romain Poite maintained his decision on a legal Biggar attack. Halfpenny converted.
England immediately hit back with a good job from Maro Itoje, Sam Underhill and Kyle Sinckler before Slade sauntered over while Referee Poite ignored claims that Biggar was thrown into the air despite protests from Wales under construction and reminded of the incident through the TMO.
The English captain stood up to his first successful kick to give his team the lead before Elliot Daly launched a heated legal battle with Josh Adams to epitomize the ferocity of the first half.
Wales support Lee was on the wrong side of Poite and Farrell gave England an 11-7 half-time advantage after another penalty.
The poor standard Wales game, with a crooked line-out throw from Ryan Elias and a creaky scrum, gave England an early advantage when Lee was replaced by Tomas Francis.
The hosts were under constant pressure and Taulupe Faletau was carried across the Wales line by English flankers Underhill and Tom Curry.
This laid the foundation for the almost inevitable second attempt with an attrition game ended by Mako Vunipola and converted by Farrell.
The quick Rees-Zammit showed how dangerous he is with infrequent possession, and Biggar defied two penalties when Wales threatened a revival.
England substitutes’ bench, including six strikers, made a noticeable difference in the final quarter when Wales eventually suffocated.
The English flanker was involved in both attempts with his dynamic defense and is a key man in a very competitive back row.
Wales: halfpenny; Adams, Tompkins, J.. Williams, Rees-Zammit; Biggar, L.. Williams; W Jones, Elias, Lee, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (Capt. ), Lewis-Hughes, Botham, Faletau.
Substitutions: Dee for Elias (48), Carre for W Jones (70), Francis for Lee (43), Rowlands for Ball (49), Wainwright for Lewis-Hughes (52), Webb for L Williams (49) , Sheedy for Halfpenny (67), Watkin for Tompkins (74).
England: Daly; Joseph, Slade, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Launchbury, Curry, Underhill, Vunipola.
Substitutions: Cowan-Dickie for George (67), Genge for M Vunipola (67), Stuart for Sinckler (72), Hill for Launchbury (67), Earl for Underhill (74), J Willis for Curry (61) , Robson for Youngs (76), Watson for Joseph (52).
BBC Sport has had some of the most memorable Premier League matches between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in recent years.
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