Daly at the double in England clean sweep

Sat, 25 Nov 2017 17:34
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MATCH REPORT: Elliot Daly scored two tries as a much-changed England ended the year with a comfortable if scrappy 48-14 win over Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday.

It means England sealed a clean sweep of victories in the their year-end Test matches.

England scored seven tries in total, with the remainder of their points kicked by George Ford.

Victory gave Eddie Jones his 22nd victory in 23 Tests as England coach but his new-look team were often bested at the breakdown.
Jones made nine changes following last week's 30-6 win over his native Australia in a bid to develop the squad's depth ahead of the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Inevitably, with so many alterations across the board, England struggled for fluency at times.

Having gone 22-7 up at the break, they had to wait until the hour-mark before Wasps wing Daly extended their lead against a Samoa side who've now lost all seven of their Tests this year.

The build-up to this match had seen England's Rugby Football Union pledge to give the cash-strapped Samoa Rugby Union £75,000 (US$99,767, €84,194) from the proceeds of Saturday's fixture, although England's players stopped short of donating part of their match fees.

Dylan Hartley, England's captain for all of their previous 22 Tests under Jones was benched with British and Irish Lions hooker Jamie George given a first Red Rose start in his place.

It took England, who've now won all eight of their Tests against Samoa, less than two minutes to score Saturday's first try after recalled flanker Maro Itoje made a blindside break before sending in returning fullback Mike Brown.

Ford, kicking in place of the rested Owen Farrell, added the conversion after officials checked for a knock-on in the lead-up to the try and England had a 7-0 lead.

Minutes later that became 12-0 as Alex Lozowski scored his first England try. Samoa failed to deal with a high kick, with Daly regathering the loose ball.

Daly found George who then produced an inside pass that allowed centre Lozowski, one of the 'new boys' looking to impress Jones, a clear run to the line for a try.

Samoa, however, responded soon afterwards with flanker Piula Faasalele burrowing over under the posts from close range for a 13th-minute try converted by Tim Nanai-Williams.

England were now 12-7 ahead and Ford extended their lead with a 19th-minute penalty.

England, having been sucked into playing the kind of open game that suited Samoa, then started to work the ball through their forwards.

This policy was rewarded when, after running a couple of penalties inside Samoa's 22, scrum-half Danny Care fed lock Charlie Ewels, who went over for a close-range try in the 29th minute which Ford converted.

Jones's men, having declined kickable penalties only to be denied further tries by some sloppy errors, led 22-7 at half-time.
England should have had another try early in the second half after a surging break by Brown into Samoa's 22.

Brown found Lozowski only for Care to knock on a poor ensuing pass from the centre.

Samoa, who've now lost all seven of their Tests this year, put in some typically thumping tackles without threatening a comeback.

And when England at last put a second-half handling movement together, Ford's flat pass found Daly for a try.

The final 10 minutes saw centre Henry Slade score England's fifth try after running a neat line onto a pass from Ben Youngs.

At the other end, Samoa captain Chris Vui scored his first Test try before Daly, scythed past four defenders for a fine score.

England replacement wing Semesa Rokoduguni then wrapped up the scoring after a precise pass from Slade.

The scorers:

For England:
Tries:
 Brown, Lozowski, Ewels, Daly 2, Slade, Rokoduguni
Cons: Ford 5
Pen: Ford

For Samoa:
Tries:
Faasalele, Vui
Con: Nanai-Williams 2

Yellow card: Piula Faasalele (Samoa, 68 - repeated infringements, illegal work at the breakdown)

Teams:

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Alex Lozowski, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford (co-captain), 9 Danny Care, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Chris Robshaw (co-captain), 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Nick Isiekwe, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.

Samoa: 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Paul Perez, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 David Lemi, 10 Tim Nanai-Williams, 9 Dwayne Polataivao, 8 Jack Lam, 7 Thomas Ioane, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Chris Vui (captain), 4 Josh Tyrell, 3 Donald Brighouse, 2 Motu Matu'u, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Manu Leiataua, 17 James Lay, 18 Hisa Sasagi, 19 Faatiga Lemalu, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Melani Matavao, 22 Rey Lee-Lo, 23 JJ Taulagi.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)