ENGLAND is one loss away from an early exit from the World Cup after a 28-25 loss to an injury-ravaged but desperate Wales at Twickenham.
A penalty from just inside half-way by Welsh flyhalf Dan Bigger in the 75th minute - his seventh from seven attempts - put the men in red ahead after England had led 16-9 at half-time.
The hosts then had the opportunity to try to level things up with two minutes on the clock after being awarded a penalty well within range - especially for Owen Farrell whose radar had been faultless all night - but captain Chris Robshaw elected to kick for touch, only to lose possession after winning the subsequent lineout.
The victory was a triumph for Wales who were without injured backs Jonathan Davies, Rhys Webb, Leigh Halfpenny and Eli Walker, and dropped prop Adam Jones.
To compound matters, it lost Scott Williams and Liam Williams in the second half, both to what looked like serious injuries.
Provided Wales beats Fiji on Friday morning, England faces the prospect of having to beat Australia on Sunday morning to avoid being eliminated after the pool games.
Meanwhile, Italy kept its hopes of making the quarter-finals alive after coming from 10 points down to beat Canada 23-18.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.