Samoa U20s thrashed by England


Samoa hooker Noel Sanft is tackled during their opening round defeat by England. Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili/ World Rugby

Samoa have been thrashed 74-17 by title holders England in their first match at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Georgia.

It took England only three minutes to open the scoring with a try out wide to winger Ali Crossdale.

Samoa wing Losi Filipo was sent to the sin bin a minute later and England made full use of their extra man, with tries from captain Zach Mercer and fly-half Max Malins before and Alex Mitchell crossed to wrap up the bonus point in the 22nd minute.

Full-back Ricky Pauli Ene landed his second penalty attempt to get Samoa on the board after 25 minutes but tries from Dominic Morris, Mercer and Gabriel Ibitoye gave England a 43-3 lead at half-time.

The reigning champions extended their lead two minutes into the second spell, with prop Marcus Street scoring from a driving maul, before Crossdale bagged his second.

Lock Peato Toeafe became the second Samoan player to be yellow carded on the hour mark with England second-rower Ciaran Knight scoring moments later.

Losi Filipo went some way to redeeming his earlier transgression with a consolation try to cut the deficit to 60-10 before Dominic Morris and Gabriel Ibitoye crossed for their second five pointers while the Baby Manu were still short a man.

England’s Dominic Morris breaks clear to score his second try against Samoa. Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili/ World Rugby.

Samoa had the final say, with Filipo scoring his second try in the final minutes but head coach Mahonri Schwalger said there was a lot they needed to improve on.

“We have to look at our kicking game. Today we didn’t have enough ball to play with and we spent a lot of time trying to defend,” he said.

“Other than that when we had ball we looked pretty good but there were a lot of mistakes in decision-making. For the next game we have to improve our decision-making.”

Samoa’s next match is against Australia on Sunday.

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