Welsh coach Warren Gatland praised his side's backs-to-the-wall defence after their 19-9 win over England in the World Cup warm-up match in Cardiff on Saturday.
Fullback James Hook landed a haul of 13 points including the game's only try in the 58th minute which punished the English who had enjoyed the majority of the possession but failed to make use of it.
Wales defended for the first 20 minutes of the second half, and hit England with Hook's try as the fullback stepped inside prop Dan Cole to score under the posts.
"It was a tribute to the work we have done defensively," said Gatland.
"We knew Toby Flood would pose a threat and Danny Care coming on made a couple of breaks but they did not throw anything at us we did not expect."
But England manager Martin Johnson was confused how his side could dominate a match so heavily for 60 minutes and still come out on the losing side.
"It was a bit of a mess out there," he said.
"No excuses - we have to sort it out. We lost a little bit of cohesion. We had a stranglehold on the game and we let it slip away. It's really disappointing.
"It's one of the strangest games I have seen but we will sort it out and get better. We need to get better pretty quickly," he added.
The win puts the Welsh in good heart ahead of next week's match against Argentina but England do not have another Test before they have to announce their World Cup squad on 22 August.
"It's always good to get a scalp like the English," beamed Wales captain and man of the match Sam Warburton.
"We couldn't go to the World Cup having been beaten by them three times this year. We scrapped really well and I am really proud of the guys."
England skipper Mike Tindall was disappointed by the performance.
"Obviously it's disappointing to lose like that after all the possession we enjoyed," said Tindall, who along with hooker Steve Thompspon were the two survivors in the starting XV from the 2003 World Cup triumph.
"We have to work on our skills. We spent a lot of time in their 22 and we failed to turn it into points. Instead we turned the ball over.
"We have to go back and work things out. We have to take this on the chin but we have to make sure we put things right."
It was not all good news for the Welsh however as Gavin Henson did not get the chance to press his World Cup claims.
The centre went off after 32 minutes with a wrist injury and was due to have a scan on Saturday.
England's build-up to the game was disrupted by the withdrawal of winger Chris Ashton, their most dangerous finisher, on the morning of the match.
The Northampton winger turned his ankle before training on Thursday and was replaced by Matt Banahan.
Banahan's first act was to give away a penalty converted by Rhys Priestland in the opening minute after being beaten to the ball by George North from the kick off.
Toby Flood levelled it almost immediately but Priestland restored the Welsh lead when Cole was penalised at a scrum.
England made the better chances once Care came on at scrum-half for Richard Wigglesworth after half an hour.
The Harlequins number nine breached the Wales defence twice but England could not capitalise and were denied a penalty try after five scrums on the Welsh line to the clear annoyance of Johnson.
The teams were level 6-6 at the break but with Jamie Roberts in the sin bin soon after the break and England enjoying most of the possession Wales had their backs to the wall.
But after 20 minutes absorbing everything that England could throw at them Wales hit the visitors with a sucker punch when Hook went over under the posts from short range.
Scrumhalf Mike Phillips enjoyed quick possession as Warburton and his back row got the better of the English breakaway unit and Hook extended the Welsh lead with his first penalty on 68 minutes.
England had no answers and when Hook added his second penalty from the half-way line the win was secured.
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