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Wales v England Rugby World Cup warm-up exact scoreline predicted: Here's what we think will happen

Wales Online logo Wales Online 16/08/2019 Ben James
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Warren Gatland's Wales will look to avenge last weekend's 33-19 defeat to England as they welcome them to Cardiff this Saturday.

After last Sunday's defeat at Twickenham caught out all of our writers with their predictions, will they get this weekend's call correct?

Here's how they see Saturday's clash going...

ANDY HOWELL – Wales to avenge Twickenham defeat

Well, I admit I got it hopelessly wrong last weekend because I expected Wales to win comfortably against an experimental England team.

I’m certainly not as confident and gung-ho for this Saturday’s reverse fixture because England coach Eddie Jones may have stumbled on something exciting ahead of the World Cup.

After watching it tail off during the Six Nations, he has freshened up his team and it’s been bolstered by the return of some big-hitters from long-term injuries.

Jones has strengthened it for part two against Wales with one of the world’s leading forwards, Maro Itoje, and another Lions star in Courtney Lawes both starting in a juggernaut pack.

a group of football players on a field: England's Courtney Lawes © Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency England's Courtney Lawes

He’s also got a crack substitutes bench so it will again be a real test for a Wales side reeling from its record winning streak of 14 coming to an unwanted end.

Wales started slowly at Twickenham, losing the match in the opening quarter, and you can be assured heads will be focused entirely on the job this Saturday.

Coach Warren Gatland has kept changes to a minimum – the three are injury-induced – and warned players they have to perform to book World Cup places.

So you can expect a reaction from his squad and I’m tipping it – not without enormous conviction I may add – to pip England by the 2015 World Cup winning score.

Wales 28-25 England

MATTHEW SOUTHCOMBE -  Time to bounce back from sobering loss

It was a fairly sobering scoreline for Warren Gatland’s men at Twickenham. The way things transpired will have hurt them.

The good news is, if you look closely, Wales weren’t as far off the pace as some would have you believe.

Three tries went begging and at least two of them can be chalked up to a bit of pre-season rust.

The hit-out will have done them the world of good and I’d expect a far more accurate performance this week.

Much will hinge on how the scrum is refereed this week and what sort of mood Dan Biggar is in.

The devastating news regarding Gareth Anscombe means the No.10 jersey is Biggar’s once again.

This is his team now and how he runs it will have a huge bearing on the result of this game.

That said, England remain a dangerous outfit and if that bench is in the mood for it, Saturday could turn into a difficult evening.

Wales 27-19 England

MARK ORDERS — Cardiff factor can help hosts edge it

Wales are on their longest winning run at home under Warren Gatland, spanning 10 games, but if they play as they did in London a week ago they will be pushed to extend it.

The 33-19 defeat would have been a reality check for many people.

But Warren Gatland’s side are traditionally slow starters and the assumption is they will be better for their Twickenham hit-out.

England have brought in Maro Itoje but Tom Curry is absent at openside and he will be a big miss, with the Sale man a strong carrier who is adept at winning turnovers. Itoje is also good at ball pilfering, but so is James Davies. Indeed, on his game, the Scarlets flanker has few peers when it comes to effecting possession switches.

But Wales also need to stiffen their defence, having missed 31 tackles last weekend.

a group of football players on a field: The dejected Welsh players after their World Cup warm-up defeat to England at Twickenham © Huw Evans Picture Agency The dejected Welsh players after their World Cup warm-up defeat to England at Twickenham

There’s a case for believing they needed a Dan Lydiate-type figure on the pitch, chopping down the big English ball carriers. But the man himself isn’t in Warren Gatland’s squad.

The Cardiff factor should be worth six to nine points to Wales, but they can’t over-rely on it.

They need to generate more fire up front and they will look to Jake Ball to help on that front. The incentive of a World Cup place should focus his mind and sharpen his efforts.

England didn’t score a try in the second half last Sunday and Warren Gatland will be heartened by that, while Dan Biggar’s introduction will hardly weaken the team’s collective will to win.

Maybe the hosts will just edge it.

But it probably won’t be pretty.

Wales 24-18 England

BEN JAMES - Benches will settle this one

Let's get this out of the way now. I was wrong with my call last week. Emphatically so.

It wasn't that I underestimated that England side, but more the fact that I didn't take into account how each side would play.

Both coaches admitted to not spending any time analysing the other prior - a marked contrast to how Wales out-thought Eddie Jones' men with their tactics in the Six Nations.

Gatland's charges focused on themselves and their attack last Sunday and, while the result didn't show it, they will be better for it.

The attack looked fluid and dangerous at times, baring the final pass, and the problems that arose were fixable.

Again, I expect Wales to make progress this week - both in terms of their fitness levels and paterns of play - but that might not see them come out on the right side of the result.

England are similar to last week and have a strong bench.

Yet there's more intrigue in Wales' bench for me - with Saturday now being a chance to see how Jarrod Evans pushes his World Cup credentials in the aftermath of Gareth Anscombe's victory.

If the young Cardiff Blues playmaker impresses off the bench - and Wales avoid any more serious injuries - then win, lose or draw, there's your result.

Wales 24-26 England

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