Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


The Top 5 French Flair moments


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Catch up with Sam Warburton


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final

Monday, November 22, 2010

England come good over resolute Samoan side

England come good over resolute Samoan side

Samoa proved a decent challenge for England who, after beating Australia convincingly a week earlier, laboured to a 26-13 win over the Pacific Island visitors at Twickenham on Saturday.

While on a high after the great conquering of the Wallabies, the reality is that a week is a very long time in Test match rugby. Just ask Scotland. The England fans and media had expected the Samoa game to be a chance for the apparently new found flair of their team to let loose. That wasnt the case as they made hard work of the win.

"I got asked: ' Oh haven't you got to win in style? ' These people don't understand what you are dealing with. It's bloody competitive, bloody tough," said coach Martin Johnson.

"They were strong in the breakdown, a couple of times up the middle of the field I wasn't comfortable in my seat. These guys can play. How many times do they have to do what they can do before people understand that?"

Matt Banahan, playing at centre, came away with a try in the second half though. He then played provider as he linked with Danny Care and Tom Croft for another. Toby Flood did the rest with 16 points with the boot.

Flood has warned that they needed show complacency when facing a wounded Springbok side this coming weekend. "We wanted to really put down a marker his autumn," Flood said.

"That means beating the world champions. We can't look back and say 'you know what, we played really well against Australia'. It doesn't work like that, we've got to keep building.

"We need to win this last game. We need to finish it off. South Africa is huge for us in terms of how our autumn looks. If you set the bar as high as we did against Australia you have to continue that. You can't have ups and downs," he added.

RD will continue to bring you great quality highlights over the next few days, as well as clips of other incidents that you'd like featured. If there's anything in particular you'd like to see you can leave a comment on the Facebook page , fire off an email , or post a request .


Time: 06:04

Posted at 12:45 pm | 38 comments

Viewing 38 comments

Anonymous November 22, 2010 1:12 pm

Great effort by the Samoans. If these PI teams get their set pieces sorted out, they would create problems for some of these top 5 teams.

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 1:27 pm

First...!!

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 1:28 pm

Why are players stained with blue colour ink all over their body?

-B

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 1:29 pm

Because of pitch markings?..

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Von November 22, 2010 1:32 pm

Thoroughly entertaining match I thought. Samoa really kept England honest after all the hype of the last seven days. Really looking forward to seeing them and Fiji in the World Cup.

2:20 - bit embarrassing for England's new "enforcer" (although I'm sure he doesn't covet that monicker) to be wrestled to the ground by a scrum-half...

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 1:36 pm

england didnt really impress. not enough to justify the hype thats going on anyway, I still reckon that they need to get rid of M.Johnson.

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nick November 22, 2010 1:41 pm

I dont think England took a step back at all, samoa dont invite such open play as australia did last week.

Still a better england performance than we've seen for a while barring last week

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chris November 22, 2010 2:00 pm

england still running great lines and dominating up front. all good to see. Samoa played well, agressive defense against englands newfound running rugby.

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Ted November 22, 2010 2:06 pm

I felt pretty positive about this; Samoa are no mugs and England played some good stuff at times. Not a perfect performance by any means, probably 6/7 out of 10.

Thought we missed the back row and centre combinations of last week.

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NiWiTa November 22, 2010 2:12 pm

Felt Hape had a good game from the highlights i have seen. On a seperate note well done Samoa for providing tough, talented and uncompromising opposition for England.....

Still a long way for England to improve and the talent of Samoa in loose play is impressive...

With better set pieces as stated by a poster above they could challenge/beat many of the top 5 teams....

PS who is England's new enforcer here - do we mean Mr. "cheap shot" Hartley? he he

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falafel waffle November 22, 2010 2:18 pm

Von, are you talking about Courtney Lawes? If he's supposed to be England's "enforcer"...you guys are really stretching the meaning of the word.

I didn't see the match, but judging from the highlights, it doesn't look like England played poor or anything. They scored some good-looking tries. In the "home nations", where tries are sometimes...elusive...that's still a step in the right direction. I wish it weren't true, but England seem to be finding themselves at just the right time.

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tb November 22, 2010 2:26 pm

Danny Care pushing the Samoan #8 cracked me up. Scrumhalves have chips on their shoulders at every level!

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Tom November 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Without Banahan, England would have absolutely destroyed Samoa. He slowed down so much ball and was awful running dummy lines

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 3:13 pm

Okay I don't get all this talk about supposed hype about Courtney Lawes or as some people have been saying "The Enforcer". He is a new young talented player but by no one here calls him that.. However do watch out for him in the next few months he is has real potential!!

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vinniechan November 22, 2010 3:25 pm

People just expected England to roll over while the Samoans showed the Aussies that tackling in not an optional extra at Test even if you're a 10.
Overall, England should be pleased that they were faced with a much much tougher defence and came through and got to get a look at some players as well.
Credit to the Samoans, they didn't let England close it out. Otherwise I'de love to see make substitutions so that the following would get a 25-30 min run out:
17.) Wilson
2.) Hartley
3.) Cole
18.)Attwood
4.) Lawes
19.) Croft
7.) Fourie
6.) Haskell
9.) Youngs (20.Care)
11.) Cueto
21.) Hogson
10.)Flood
12.) Hape (13 Banahan)
14.) Ashton
15.) Foden
Noticed anything? Apart from Hogson, Cueto and Fourie, this team could well be playing in 2015!!

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vinniechan November 22, 2010 3:27 pm

The thing about Banahan is that we havn't had a balanced mid field.
Hape has done his gymnastic best to make it work.

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 3:30 pm

After the scrap, did anyone else see the cheeky punch on Lawes at about 2.32 while he was on his knees? That was very funny

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ciaran November 22, 2010 3:45 pm

yea i saw the cheeky punch while lawes was trying to get back u at about 2.34! trust the pacific islanders to try something like that!

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ciaran November 22, 2010 4:00 pm

and trust some idiot on this site to make some comment generalizing islanders (and that idiot is me)!

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jay November 22, 2010 4:43 pm

number 9 samoan wrestling down Lawes who's only 6.7 and 17st ^^

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 4:45 pm

How forward was that Ashton pass? 5 meters? At least they didn't score a try from it.

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heinz November 22, 2010 5:54 pm

At least these commenatators can get Kahn Fotuali'i's name correct. Those damn retarded irish commentators kept saying "Fat-two-alley", ugh. Looks like a gg from Samoa, give them a bit more prep time with their starting XV and they can punish any side in any game. Same with Tonga and Fiji (see RWC07)

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Von November 22, 2010 6:07 pm

@falafel waffle; @NiWiTa; @Anonymous...

I was referring to Courtney Lawes. Like I said, I'm sure he doesn't see himself as an "enforcer" either: he actually seems pretty modest and sensible.
but I have read plenty of dopey pundits in the press hyping him as such. Quality player in my opinion.

@tb - that was young Ben Youngs pushing the Samoan #8 (Stowers). But yeah, seems being a chippy gobshite is part of the scrum-half
job description.

@Tom - I totally disagree, Banahan more than justified his place. Someone else posting on the Guardian website summed up his performance perfectly:
He missed one early tackle, but looked very solid, made a couple of the offloads we are looking for (against some of the most ferocious tackling in world rugby), scored a try, nearly got a second & made a try. On his first start in the position.

And he was playing against who.... Mapasua, the outstanding centre in the AP by a massive, massive distance. London Pacific Irish Islanders go-to man. The man you have to stop to stop irish, the team who have been leading the league.


@Anonymous - that Ashton pass was hilariously forward, nearly passed it into another postcode. But a great long pass nonetheless. He did a couple of other long-distance bullets during the game too, (not forward). A nice weapon to have in the armoury!

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Max November 22, 2010 6:47 pm

Must have been a tough choice for Kahn Fotuali'i to tour with Samoa this year. He's an Aucklander and it seemed recently like he was not too far away from an AB's call up. some people were wondering if he would be in the tri-nations squad. Good to see that sort of talent in the Samoa squad anyway. Much respect for his decision when he could easily have been an AB in the coming years.

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Fatow November 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Interesting to watch Sheridan during the 'brawl' after England 9 pushes Samoa 8. He does not move an inch.

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Maverick November 22, 2010 8:58 pm

Samoa look a great side when they are allowed all their players playing abroad. Really looked organised, and very determined.

Though despite this England dominated up front and created plenty of chances. Could have had another 2 or 3 with a bit more luck.

A tough, gritty game, but still a good performance from England. They will be better for it.

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 9:14 pm

Good performance, not a step back but then not a leap forward.

Reality, NH teams don't normally smash Islander sides. Plus they don't get the credit they deserve, only three (think I am correct) of their starting line up don't play top level rugby in super 14 or English Prem. Thats without mentioning their sevens team.

And to the 6th post, Martin Johnson should still go, really on what grounds or you know that little about rugby or do you watch football and bringing that to this blog.

Here is an idea, next time you think you have an idea, stop write it down, read it, sleep on it read it again, then open your mouth and stop wasting our time

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 9:33 pm

yeah my thoughts aswell, after kahns itm cup i thought we was online for he was inline for a call up to the ab's, hes a excellent half back and a decent 10 when needed.

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martin-offload November 22, 2010 10:03 pm

England looked good a lot of the time. The highlights didn't show two more disallowed England tries from well worked back plays. Banahan has the key to breaking down international defences with his offloading ability. Tindall isn't a world class 13

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 10:34 pm

I know i am going to get some grief about this. But if/when Willko is fit. would like to see him go in at 12 and Hape move to 13.

Think it would be a great attacking side.

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Anonymous November 22, 2010 11:18 pm

Englands backline moves are very similar to the All Blacks...hmmm

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Jono November 23, 2010 12:03 am

Wow, Fiji and Samoa have really stood up this November.
Bodes well for them at world cup time. They'll basically be playing at home in NZ, the corwd will be behind them, the conditiosn should suit their game and I predict some big upsets.

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islandstylin' November 23, 2010 1:21 am

If only we had a decent kicker.. lol!! We missed three penalities(9 points) and both conversions(4points). That's 13 points just from missed kicks!!

Good game Manu!!

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 1:43 am

Samoan scrumhalf look like Dagg . Are they related?

-B

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 6:24 am

Samoa had some bad luck... that forward pass at the start and at 3:25 on this video there is a clear shepherd. Hopeless ref/touch judges.

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Sam November 23, 2010 11:52 am

@Tom
Banahan set up 1 try, scored 1 and had 1 disallowed and tindall would have done better? Wow tindall must be some player then!
You say he ran poor lines but it was the line he chose that set up his try. He holds the SH who was going to tackle Hape which let Hapt get on the outside and create the overlap. The same line banahan took also led him to be in perfect support for ashton. He started of shakey but grew more and more into the game.
A fairly decent intro into a new position against solid opponents

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Anonymous November 23, 2010 1:33 pm

Look at: 2:34

Cheap shot.
It all got out of hand but this was not required.

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EARugbyFan November 23, 2010 7:50 pm

Apart from the adventurous back line moves which I am delighted to see England play, I would say what made England win that game was Fitness.

From the highlights you could almost see the Samoans fading and their open tackles becoming more half hearted.

The Samoans got stretched.
There was also an England forward pass that was absolutely criminal. Good thing it did not result in a try.

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