England 20-32 Exiles

Exiles defeated England 32-20 in a game that lacked any real intensity, and was not worthy of a challenge for the national side ahead of the World Cup.

In winning the match, the Exiles retained the International Origin trophy which they won last season at Headingley in a one off match.

Steve McNamara would no doubt be disappointed with the England performance, which could spell danger ahead of a World Cup in less than 18 months time.

Scott Dureau made England look silly after three minutes creating a try for Exiles captain Brett Hodgson.

Exiles made a break down the right side that was certainly a team effort. Joel Monaghan had support as he broke clear that included Steve Menzies and Dureau.

As England scrambled back, Dureau ran around in a 360 degree circle before popping an offload to Hodgson to crash over the England try line.

Both sides coughed up possession several times in mid-field, with the best chance within a 15 minute period falling to England only for Danny Brough’s grubber kick to run too far dead in-goal.

Daniel Holdsworth had a chance to score for the Exiles, but he was superbly held up in-goal by the scrambling England defenders following a second Joel Monaghan break down the right side.

Ryan Atkins eventually grabbed the game’s second try. He skipped through the Exiles defence deep in his own half and raced away to score.

The Exiles looked threatening on their right side, as Menzies broke free but he didn’t have the pace to score. He offloaded to Lincoln Withers, who in turn passed inside to Dureau who completed the move underneath the posts.

Both sides scored tries late in the half through Josh Charnley and Monaghan for England and the Exiles respectively. This gave the Exiles a 16-10 lead at half time.

Several errors from both sides kept the game close, until Francis Meli had a try confirmed by the video referee.

Meli squeezed in past Charnley on the Exiles’ left side, and unfortunately for Charnley despite his best effort, Meli’s foot failed to touch the whitewash which would have ruled out the try.

 The first penalty of the match came in the 54th minute, and set the Exiles up to increase their lead. 

Daniel Holdsworth came close to burrowing over the England try line, but from acting half back Hodgson threw a dummy that fooled captain Jon Wilkin and Ratchford.

But England replied quickly. An error from Dureau at the restart gave the ball back to England, and Briscoe eventually scored in the corner. That delayed the inevitable as Holdsworth broke England’s line and supplied Meli with a superb offload giving him the opportunity to score his second try of the evening.

Leroy Cudjoe scored a late consolation try for England, but the Exiles were worthy winners of a game that lacked any real intensity. 

 

England scores: T- Atkins, Charnley, Briscoe, Cudjoe. G- Brough (2)

Exiles scores: T-Hodgson (2), Dureau , Monaghan, Meli (2). G- Hdogson (4)

England: Ratchford; Charnley, Cudjoe, Atkins, Briscoe; Smith, Brough; Crabtree, Roby, Carvell; Ablett, Wilkin, Jones-Buchanan. Subs: Burrow, Mossop, Farrell, Taylor.

Exiles: Hodgson; Monaghan, Millard, Moon, Meli; Holdsworth, Dureau; Laffranchi, L’Estrange, Lauaki; Manu, Menzies, Soliola. Subs: Withers, Leuluai, Kaufusi, Mika. 

Referee: Ben Thaler

Half time: 10-16

Attendance: 7,865

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