England had captain Owen Farrell sent off and was reduced to 12 men at one point in the second half before rallying to beat Wales 19-17 in a Rugby World Cup warmup match at Twickenham on Saturday.
Freddie Steward and Ellis Genge had already been sin-binned when Farrell was handed a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Taine Basham that was soon upgraded to a red.
England’s reckless final quarter saw a 9-3 lead wiped out by a penalty try and Tomos Williams’ try as a lifeless encounter exploded into life the moment Steward took Josh Adams out in the air in the 60th minute.
A fourth straight loss and dropping to ninth in the world rankings beckoned, but the English rallied bravely and even with three players off the pitch, they claimed a maul try scored by Maro Itoje before George Ford landed the winning penalty with three minutes left.
Farrell now faces a ban that could see him miss the World Cup opener against Argentina on Sept. 9, with his recent three-match suspension for the same offense in January sure to count against him.
Scrumhalf Jack Van Poortvliet sustained an ankle injury to leave England sweating on his fitness, while Dewi Lake, Taine Plumtree and Basham are now injury concerns for Wales, which ultimately ran out of steam.