Saturday, October 16

Joe Cokanasiga and Marcus Smith help England win, but USA fight to the end | Rugby union


There were passing marks for England’s brilliant youth in a seven-shot win against the United States, but not much more than that. Joe Cokanasiga marked his first appearance since the World Cup with two attempts and there were some impressive individual displays between the new faces, but there were also four attempts against and ultimately the feeling that there is a lot of room for improvement.

Just at a glance it threatened to be the kind of brilliant on-court performance the 10,000 attendees had wanted to see, and while England’s team was raw, the USA haven’t played since the World Cup, only joined the start of the World Cup. week and they missed their best player due to injury. Seen in that context, this performance by England was more acceptable than exceptional.

Jones selected eight rookies in his starting XV and four more on the bench, meaning that England had the most caps in a single match since 1947. He urged everyone to seize their opportunity, make the jersey their own, and While it would be hard to say that any of them have accomplished that, Freddie Steward looked particularly confident on the sideline, every time Marcus Smith was on the ball there was a crunch of anticipation and Harry Randall looked sharp in the scrum half to times. There was a lot of grunting up front and the hope must be that there will be a more fluid look to the side next week against Canada.

Marcus Smith lunges to score England's sixth try
Marcus Smith lunges for England’s sixth try. Photograph: David Davies / PA

England had four attempts at halftime, including early test-level scores for Sam Underhill and Ollie Lawrence. The Cokanasiga two were important too, in their first appearance for England since these two teams met at the 2019 World Cup. But there was a lingering degree of rust in England – at one point, players could be heard lamenting. due to the fact that they had confused the preset movements.

The United States opened the scoring with a Luke Carty penalty at the midline, but straight from Smith’s restart, England had their first try. Max Malins fielded the ball down the left and ran to the corner. He didn’t have the pace to get to the line, but he had the wherewithal to find Underhill for support. The wide end was arguably England’s hardest-working player at all times, reminding Jones of what his team missed during the Six Nations.

Malins injured his arm in preparation for that attempt and was forced to retire a few minutes later. With Jones opting for a 6-2 split on the bench, it forced a considerable shakeup, with Lawrence moving to the left wing and Jacob Umaga entering inside center. He denied Jones the chance to get a closer look at Lawrence and Henry Slade together in midfield, that was his preferred pairing at the start of the Six Nations, but the Worcester man was available to finish on the left after a good play. . from right to left.

Cam Dolan scores for the USA after charging off a kick from England's Harry Randall
Cam Dolan scores for the USA after charging off a kick from England’s Harry Randall. Photograph: Simon West / Action Plus / Shutterstock

The first from Cokanasiga came from a trademark quickly penalized by Randall, the second from a delicious late pass from Smith, albeit against a defense that, by now, was creaking. England then lost Lawrence before the break after a nasty head butt with US winger Marcel Brache, forcing Jones to make another change, with Dan Robson the next to be deployed out of position at the to.

The United States started brighter in the second half and Jones will not be satisfied with how easily England’s opponents maul over the line: Jamason Fa’anana-Shultz conceded the visitors’ first down. A flurry of replacements from both sides inevitably interrupted the flow of the match, but one of them, Newcastle hooker Jamie Blamire, had his first attempt for England on his debut, just a minute after entering. He charged into American scrum half Ruben de Haas and stretched upwards.

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To their credit, the United States stood their ground and responded in kind when Cam Dolan attacked Randall and threw the ball for second on his side before Smith’s attempt, from all over the yard, caused the biggest joy of the day. . Then Randall scored a delightful individual try with a mannequin to open the gap, but two quick attempts at the end of the US, one with a maul with Hanco Germishuys and the other with a counterattack finished by Christian Dyer, left Jones behind. with much to ponder.


www.theguardian.com

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