Palmer injury caps night of misery

England A 21 Wales A 29
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The Independent Online

England A suffered a narrow defeat by their Welsh counterparts on a disastrous night for Tom Palmer at Ashton Gate.

The England lock was taken off with a suspected broken leg giving the Leeds Tykes' hopes of avoiding relegation from the Zurich Premiership a severe blow. Both sides fielded seven players with full international experience but it was Wales who kept alive their hopes of taking the championship.

Wales took an early lead through the Neath fly-half Lee Jarvis with a 30-metre drop goal before Palmer had to be helped from the field.

The home side responded quickly as the Bath hooker Mark Regan scored England A's first try in this season's Six Nations competition.

But Wales restored their advantage when the Neath openside flanker Brett Sinkinson was driven over the line. Bridgend's Ceri Sweeney – on while Jarvis was having treatment – added the conversion.

Jarvis missed two penalty attempts before landing his third but England kept battling away with Regan peeling off the side of a ruck to score his second try. The Orrell fly-half Phil Jones, who played for Wales in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, added the extra two points as the visitors led 13-12 at the interval.

England were briefly in front through a Jones penalty but Wales came storming back as Jarvis broke down the left touchline for the Newport winger Matthew Watkins to score.

Jarvis converted from the touchline before landing a 50-metre penalty from in front of the posts. Jones, the former Wigan rugby league player, reduced the arrears with a penalty only for Jarvis to neatly slot a 30-metre drop goal to restore the visitors' advantage.

He added another penalty before England were reduced to 14 men when the Gloucester prop Trevor Woodman was given a yellow card in the final minutes of the game.

England A – Tries Regan 2. Cons Jones. Pens Jones 3. Wales A – Tries Watkins, Sinkinson. Cons Jarvis, Sweeney. Pens Jarvis 3. Drop Goals Jarvis 2. Att: 9,750

ENGLAND A: P Sampson; (Wasps) M Cueto (Sale), F Waters (Wasps), B Johnston (Saracens), D Scarbrough (Leeds); P Jones (Orrell), N Duncombe (Harlequins); T Woodman (Gloucester), M Regan (Bath), R Nebbett (Leicester), T Palmer (Leeds), S Borthwick (Bath, capt), W Johnson (Leicester), J Forrester (Gloucester), A Balding (Leicester). Replacements: N Walshe (Saracens), A Goode (Leicester), P Christophers (Bristol), S Booth (Leicester), C Fortey (Gloucester), M Cornwell (Gloucester), P Gustard (London Irish).

WALES A: A Durston (Bridgend); G Wyatt (Pontypridd), M Taylor (Swansea), J Bryant (Pontypridd), M Watkins (Newport); L Jarvis (Neath), A Moore (Neath); D Jones (Neath), M Davies (Pontypridd), A Millward (Neath), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), N Edwards (Ebbw Vale), M Owen (Pontypridd), B Sinkinson (Neath), N Bonner Evans (Neath) Replacements: G Williams (Bridgend), M Madden (Llanelli), V Cooper (Llanelli), G Thomas (Bath), R Powell (Cardiff), C Warlow (Bridgend) C Sweeney (Pontypridd), W Davies (Orrell).

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