Freddie Steward made the most of his opportunity
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
England scored seven tries – but conceded a four – as a virtual reserve team beat a spirited United States 43-29 in an entertaining though ragged Twickenham clash on Saturday.
The second half was an end-to-end affair with some loose England defending allowing Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz, Cam Dolan, Hanco Germishuys and Christian Dyer all to score for a battling American team playing their first match since the 2019 World Cup.
Debutant trio Jamie Blamire, Marcus Smith and scrum-half Harry Randall all scored for England as they did enough to send the 10,000 crowd home happy.
15 Freddie Steward – 8
Well-timed pass to put Lawrence away and so assured under the high ball. Good grubber to set up Cokanasiga, powerful carrier – the most-likely new cap to be part of the next World Cup squad.
14 Joe Cokanasiga – 8
England have hinted he’s back to his best and the big wing had some nice touches in the air. Scored one of the easier tries of his career and then another sensational finish. Terrifying in full flow.
13 Henry Slade – 6
Good link play ahead of the Lawrence try and key in getting England’s back-three into those wider channels. His experience was useful in an otherwise raw backline.
12 Ollie Lawrence – 7
Floated a nice pass out to Malins early on before moving to the wing, and he pumped the legs to break out of a tackle for a *cheeky* finish in the corner. Clash of heads cut his afternoon short.
Ollie Lawrence impressed before his injury
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
11 Max Malins – 6
Excellent take from a restart before setting up Underhill for a try. Sadly his last involvement after injuring his shoulder setting up that score, replaced by Umaga after 10 minutes.
10 Marcus Smith – 6
Crowd pleaser, stepping one USA defender with plenty of flair. Nice delayed pass for Cokanasiga’s second. Not as authoritative as we’ve seen for Harlequins but did score.
9 Harry Randall – 7
Sharp with a quick penalty leading up to Cokanasiga’s try. Occasionally looked a bit harried, charged down for a try, but did set up Smith and scored a fine solo try with a dummy. Finished the game well.
That dummy. That step. That finish.
Absolutely fantastic @hazrandall9 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MnYPjorAZG
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 4, 2021
1 Ellis Genge – 6
Couple of sloppy errors in the first half which will have annoyed him, and England’s scrum seemed out of sync early on. Responded by leading some punishing scrums and was captain after Ludlow went off.
2 Curtis Langdon – 6
Lineout barely missed a beat, hitting eight throws out of eight in the first half, but had limited touches with ball in hand. Worth another look.
3 Joe Heyes – 7
Penalised early for not driving straight but grew into it as England’s scrum started to wreak havoc. England’s top tackler after 50 minutes with 10, which is impressive. Big future ahead of him.
4 Josh McNally – 5
The oldest debutant at the age of 30 and the RAF serviceman would have benefited from having his club team-mate Ewels alongside him. Gave up a soft penalty playing the scrum-half.
5 Charlie Ewels – 6
Deserves credit for England’s sharp lineout, with the Bath club captain calling the shots as England maintained a solid set-piece – at least until Langdon went off.
6 Lewis Ludlow – 6
Jones hailed his lineout ability in the week and he was prominent there. Caught out with one missed tackle down the touchline. Few mistakes, but off after 53 minutes.
7 Sam Underhill – 7
On the shoulder of Malins for his first England try. Popped up with a breakdown turnover and when he was on too high a level for the opposition to handle at times.
Sam Underhill was prominent in the loose
8 Callum Chick – 6
Described by Jones as a No 8 in the mould of Dean Richards and there were glimpses of that, rather than loads of groundbreaking carries. Big hitter in defence and an interesting option.
16 Jamie Blamire – 6
Dream start for the Newcastle hooker, charging down a box kick from Ruben de Haas and regathering the ball to score.
17 Beno Obano – N/A
Earned a scrum penalty after coming on for his second cap.
18 Trevor Davison – N/A
19 Ted Hill – N/A
Jones views him as a left-side lock, which is interesting. Came on and put in some big tackles.
20 Ben Curry – N/A
21 Lewis Ludlam – 6
Crashed over for a late try after Randall’s tap penalty, only for it to be chalked off. Did produce a good turnover penalty.
22 Dan Robson – 6
On early for his 13th cap except this time on the wing, and did well enough all things considered.
23 Jacob Umaga – 5
On early for the injured Malins and playing at centre rather than at No 10. Slipped off some tackles and nearly threw an interception.