England beats Samoa 48-14, completes November sweep of wins
LONDON (AP) — England completed a sweep of victories in the autumn rugby internationals by running in seven tries to beat Samoa 48-14 at Twickenham on Saturday.
After wins over Argentina and Australia, England coach Eddie Jones fielded a largely reserve team against the weakest of the opponents this month to assess the depth in his squad two years out from the Rugby World Cup.
He was treated to what he described as a "muddling" display, with tries in the first 29 minutes by fullback Mike Brown, center Alex Lozowksi and flanker Charlie Ewels followed by a barren, often error-strewn half-hour.
Samoa's tough-tackling defense was pierced at will in the last quarter, with left winger Elliot Daly scoring two of the four tries in that period — one a 50-meter dash after cutting inside four defenders off the touchline.
Flanker Piula Fa'asalele and captain Chris Vui scored tries either side of halftime for the Samoans, who shipped 44 points in defeat to Scotland in their other November test.
Fa'asalele was sin-binned for slowing the ball down in the 69th minute, after which England crossed for three of its tries.
"We started well but got seduced by the perceived easiness of the match and stopped doing the small things well and got pulled back before finishing it off," Jones said.
"It cost us a few points out there. ... It's a great learning experience for the new guys. They need to reflect on their performances now.
Of the month as a whole, which included beating Argentina 21-8 and Australia by a record 30-6, Jones said: "We've got a hell of a lot of work to do. We don't have the consistency yet but we've got two years to put that right."
Center Henry Slade and replacement wing Semesa Rokoduguni, on for the injured Jonny May, went over for England's other tries in the final 10 minutes either side of Daly's show-stopper.