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VIDEO – Banahan scores as England defeat Samoa

20 November 2010

  • Tries from Banahan and Croft send England to a 26-13 victory
  • Flood adds 16 points with the boot as Samoa score their first ever tries at Twickenham

England 26 Samoa 13

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England built on last week's comprehensive defeat of Australia with a composed 26-13 victory over Samoa at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Pacific islanders put up a spirited performance though and England were forced to work hard to break down a resolute and tenacious defence.

But class shone through in the end and the pack's dominance coupled with England's confidence in the threequarters proved too much for the gutsy Samoans.

They left Twickenham however, proud in the knowledge that they scored their first ever tries at the ground, courtesy of full-back Paul Williams and replacement Fatua Otto.

Scores at the other end came from Matt Banahan and Tom Croft, while Toby Flood added 16 points from the boot.

The result sets Martin Johnson's men up for the next weekend's clash with world champions South Africa, who suffered a defeat at the hands of Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Building the pressure

Samoa began brightly and in the third minute Williams put the visitors into the lead with a penalty from the right touchline.

Three minutes later a mistake by England handed Samoa an opportunity to extend their lead but the Sale full-back hooked his kick wide of the posts.

But England shrugged off their scrappy start and a fantastic break by Chris Ashton on 11 minutes looked to have put Ben Foden over in the left corner.

After a lengthy deliberation by the third match official however, it was decided that the full-back's foot was in touch before he grounded the ball.

Toby Flood levelled the scores with a straightforward penalty on 17 minutes as England looked build pressure on their opponents.

Williams missed his second from long range five minutes later after Mark Cueto was penalise after being caught isolated with the ball.

Denied tries

Shontayne Hape of England breaks through the Samoan defense

Photo: Getty Images

Ashton appeared to have scored on the 23 minute mark when a surging run followed by a neat offload from Shontayne Hape looked to have put him in under the posts.

But again the third official denied England the try after calling Hape's pass forward.

Errors began to creep into Samoa's game as the hosts continued to turn the screw and four minutes later Flood kicked his side into the lead for the first time.

The teams closed out a low-scoring first half but Samoa were not to be intimidated by their surroundings and within a minute of the restart they rocked England with their first ever try at Twickenham.

Williams was the scorer after the visitors forced turnover ball and caught England's defence napping to exploit the overlap on the left, although he was unable to add the extras.

The hosts' reply came on 47 minutes after they spun the ball wide to Ashton on the wing. Last week's two-try hero turned provider this time feeding Banahan inside for the Bath centre to cruise in for the score.

Determined finishing

Flood added the extras to make it 13-8 and six minutes later slotted three more after Samoa infringed right under the posts.

The fly-half could not find the target on the hour mark however when handed a chance to put the game out of reach, missing his only kick of the game.

Two minutes later, England were denied for a third time after a great move down the left looked to have handed Banahan his second try. But Cueto was adjudged to have put his foot in touch during the offload.

Flood was back on target as the game entered the final ten minutes with a simple effort to take the score to 19-8 after their opponents were caught offside.

And two minutes later the men in white had their second try after the 6ft 7in centre Banahan used his height to pluck an interception from the air and flick a pass back inside to Danny Care.

The replacement scrum-half drew his man and affloaded to Croft for the Leicester flanker to go in for the try.

Flood struck the conversion to make it 26-8 and end any hopes the visitors may have harboured of causing an upset.

But Samoa were far from ready to give up and with just seconds left on the clock their determination paid off with a late try by Williams to close the game.