England Hammer Fiji In 50-0 Mauling Ahead Of Rugby League World Cup

England’s World Cup warm-up was a great success for Shaun Wane.
21:31, 07 Oct 2022

Shaun Wane’s England won their one and only warm-up game 50-0 against a Fiji side that looked under the cosh from the opening minute. 

In terms of progression, England seemed to have a togetherness that produced an entertaining 80 minutes in Salford where the likes of Andy Ackers, Dom Young and Marc Sneyd ran riot. 

Sneyd got proceedings underway at the AJ Bell Stadium, following the national anthems and a glorious rendition of Noqu Masu, a pre-match prayer from Fiji. 

We saw a rare mutual infringement, with a Jack Welsby kick bouncing off the post into the feet of the referee, with England taking it back to third tackle. The resulting set saw the ball go wide to Newcastle Knights winger Young, who just dropped the ball when crossing the line in the corner. 

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It was clearly a moist night in Salford, with the players taking plenty of tumbles and the ball being spilled by both sides throughout the opening 15 minutes. One man that put a handling error behind him was Young, once again taking a pass into the corner, and managed to get the ball down over the line with acrobatic flair, just escaping a diving tackle attempt from Fiji stand-off Sitiveni Moceidrake. Sneyd failing to convert the kick and England led 4-0. 

Much of the success for England’s chance creation came down to Salford hooker Ackers, playing on familiar ground. His scooting was getting plenty of yardage, and he was eventually rewarded with a debut try in the 23rd minute when Luke Thompson managed to squeeze out an offload to Ackers on Fiji’s tryline, who crossed the whitewash with ease. Sneyd easily took the chance to make it 10-0. 

Fiji grew into the game the longer the second half went on, with prop forwards Tui Kamikamica and King Vuniyayawa working hard to punch a hole in the England defence, but England were finding too much success in moving up the field. Kallum Watkins also got the ball down for a try just after half an hour, with Young once again taking part with a tremendous offload while being dragged out of play to find the centre, who crossed the line with aplomb. Sneyd made it 16-0 and the England side were gelling and enjoying themselves.

One to watch at the World Cup for England will be Young, who popped up with another assist just two minutes after his first. The winger found himself wide open, running from his own 40 metre mark before finding George Williams for the try. Sneyd continues his fine form from the tee to make it 22-0 just two minutes shy of half-time. 

Just a minute before the half-time hooter, an unfortunate mistake from Fiji caused another England try, with Sneyd’s chip over the top being spilled by Isaac Lumelume into the hands of Joe Batchelor, and he was already over the line by the time the ball found his hands. Sneyd found himself kicking from the opposite side of the field for the first time, and converted to make it 28-0.

It didn’t take long for another England try after the break too, with Thompson adding a try to his contributions for the game. An acute kick through the Fiji line just needed someone to get their hands on it, and the Bulldogs’ prop was there to do it. 

Catalans’ Mike McMeeken was next to get his name on the scoresheet, running from the edge of Michael McIlorum’s play of the ball and punishing Fiji even further. He spun round Ben Nakubuwai knowing the line was underneath his feet, and got the ball down to make it 38-0. Sneyd took the kick once more. Wigan prop Mike Cooper managed to escape a tackle on the Fiji tryline, and his arm wasn’t grounded, so he managed to get the ball down for another England try. It’s safe to say that Sneyd will be happy with his kicking for the tournament, and it was 46-0. 

There was a solid twenty minutes where the weather seemed to calm down, and so did Fiji. It was a back and forth affair where England’s handling errors prevented further action and Fiji approached the line tentatively, but unfortunately for them, it was England who got another four points in the 74th minute. Ryan Hall grabbed the try in the corner that made it 50-0, and Harry Smith, deputising for Sneyd, couldn’t add the extra points. 

Following the final hooter, it was safe to say that the warm-up game was successful for both sides, with Fiji’s problems laid bare for Brian McDermott to analyse and get stuck into, and England knowing that they have a strong starting 13 and playing strong, fast and entertaining rugby league. 

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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