England 48-14 Samoa

In the end, the scoreline reflected the massive gulf in resources. England completed their autumn clean sweep and Samoa were undone by the strength of Eddie Jones' finishing power.

England was 200-1 on for the victory but the Pacific Islanders mounted a 60-minute challenge that defied their financial strife and political uncertainty which threatens their future.

Predictably, the first half produced a highlight reel of blockbuster Samoan hits.

Imprints of their shoulders were left in the ribs of Mike Brown and Alex Lozowski. The sound echoed around the stadium and the hosts were forced into handling errors at the gain line.

It seemed like they could clock up a record scoreline by halftime after Brown scored inside two minutes, but England struggled to find the right areas and met their match at the set piece.

They attacked the Pacific Islanders tight around the breakdown, with Maro Itoje's pick and go setting up Brown for the opening score.

To counter Samoa's hard hits, George Ford landed a high ball on Tim Nanai-Williams after 10 minutes and, when the No 10 fumbled, Elliot Daly was on hand to steal the bouncing ball.

Jamie George arrived in support, who fed the ball to Lozowski to run under the posts.

But the tourists were undeterred.  

They threatened on every visit to English territory and, after 13 minutes, turned on their power game for Piula Faasalele to roll over Joe Launchbury for a soft try from the base of the scrum.

Winger Jonny May produced the moment of the half when he jinked around defenders from a quick lineout, before Charlie Ewels scored from close range as England tried to up the tempo.

His second-row partner, Joe Launchbury, left with a shoulder injury and England struggled to find fluency. They were disrupted at the breakdown and counterpunched by TJ Ioane and Chris Vui.

England's ruck retention was poor and, between the 29th and 60th minute, they did not score a point.

Eddie Jones unloaded Piers Francis, Ben Youngs and Semesa Rokoduguni from the bench and, after 12 phases of attack from the fresh faces, Daly finally breached the try line on the left wing.

Samoa's bench, meanwhile, included scrum-half Melani Matavao, who earns 45-pence per week, and lock Faatiga Lemalu, who in unemployed after allegedly being misadvised by an agent. 

 

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