Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | International Rugby

No fireworks this time as Eng beat Samoa



England finished strongly to beat a doughty Samoa 26-13 at Twickenham in London on Saturday.

Although they failed to scale the heights of last week against Australia they secured back-to-back November international wins for the first time in six years.

England led 6-3 at the break with two Toby Flood penalties but Samoa, as always, tackled like demons and the islanders then earned the lead within a minute of the restart when fullback Paul Williams scored their first-ever Twickenham try.

England struck back quickly through centre Matt Banahan with Flood converting and landing two penalties to earn some breathing space.

Replacement Tom Croft added a second try eight minutes from the end but Samoa had the last say when Fautua Otto crossed in the corner.

MANAGER'S WARNING

Whatever England did was likely to struggle to live up to last week's dynamic opening against Australia but manager Martin Johnson had warned all week that the base had to be established before the fireworks could begin.

In fact, England were on the defensive for much of the early exchanges and, just as a week ago, were grateful for some poor goalkicking by the visitors.

Williams missed two of his three straightforward penalties as England made sloppy errors.

England ground their way into control via their pack and the crash-ball running of their back row where captain Nick Easter was prominent.

They did cross the Samoa line on three occasions in the first half but each time they could not force the legal try.

Ben Foden had a foot in touch when he slid in the corner, Chris Ashton was ruled to have been the beneficiary of a forward pass and James Haskell was held up.

So England had only two penalties from Flood as they reached halftime 6-3 ahead but with the Samoans forced to make almost 80 tackles in the 40 minutes, a second-half swamping was always on the cards.

Samoa, though, had obviously not read the script as within 35 seconds of the restart they had scored.

FIRST TOUCH

Halftime replacement lock Joe Tekori forced a turnover with his first touch and Williams took advantage to run through some disorganised home defending to score in the corner.

England regrouped quickly though and regained the lead with their first try as sharp passing by Shontayne Hape and Ashton sent Banahan over.

He thought he had scored another on the hour only for it to be ruled out for a foot in touch by Mark Cueto in the build-up.

Struggling to break through, England settled for two more Flood penalties to make the game safe. Banahan opened the way for Croft, on for only five minutes as a replacement, to score under the posts before Otto had the last word for the visitors.

It made it six wins out of six for England against the Pacific islanders and maintained England's upward curve .

"We're not happy with the performance but we got the result," said Easter. "It took us until about the 70th minute to work out the breakdown."



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk



Brendan Venter
Game over without players
At all levels of the game, the players are supposed to be the chief protagonists. I fear that that...

Tony Johnson
Losing not an option for some
Four matches this weekend have the potential to whittle the chase for the playoffs down.

Gavin Rich
A case for change to Bok front row
The final league fixture of the Vodacom Super Rugby season could disappoint.

Brenden Nel
Where is the Blitz in these Boks?
The spectacular implosion by the Blitzboks to hand their World Series lead – and then the title –...

Kyle Brown
Bloodied but unbowed
It will take a bit of time for the pain to settle and for us to realise that the sun will rise...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 15, 2015
Like night and day. That is how much the rugby world’s two most rugby-mad countries differ.