venue: Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster
10th October 2008
Full Match Report
England warmed up for the Rugby League World Cup with a 14-try drubbing of Wales in Doncaster. Once Rob Purdham went over after seven minutes for the opening score of the game, Tony Smith's side were dominant. There were two tries apiece for captain Martin Gleeson, Shaun Briscoe, Paul Sykes and young Salford scrum-half Richie Myler. Mark Calderwood, Tony Clubb, Gareth Hock, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Peter Fox also crossed.
It was England's biggest-ever win over Wales and was achieved without the St Helens and Leeds players who were involved in last weekend's Grand Final. Smith's side, featuring eight players who will be part of the World Cup squad, looked the sharper from the start as they tormented the Wales defence. Mickey Higham at dummy-half created the opportunities for Gleeson to capitalise from stand-off.
Purdham, on his full international debut, sidestepped through before Briscoe took Gleeson's pass to go over and then Sykes opened his account. Gleeson, who scored a hat-trick in the mid-season international against France, made the most of the space afforded to him before Myler got the first of his two tries.
Wales had no answer to Calderwood's pace on the wing and he set Sykes free to cross before Gleeson added his second. The visitors trailed 36-0 when they created their first clear-cut scoring chance but centre Aled James, one of seven Celtic Crusaders players, was denied by the video referee. It took England less than a minute of the second half to extend their lead, with a Hock offload enabling substitute Tony Clubb to mark his debut with his first touch.
Hock quickly followed Clubb over the line and Myler then finished a Purdham break for his second try. McCarthy-Scarsbrook went over from close range before Myler carved out a second try for Briscoe and winger Fox put the seal on an emphatic win
Shaun Briscoe; Peter Fox, Michael Shenton, Paul Sykes, Mark Calderwood; Martin Gleeson (c), Richie Myler; Stuart Fielden, Mickey Higham, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Gareth Hock, Ben Westwood, Rob Purdham. Subs: David Hodgson, Jamie Langley, Darrell Griffin, Tony Clubb
Dave Halley, Damien Gibson, Aled James, Lee Williams, Rhys Williams, Mark Lennon, Ian Watson, Craig Kopzcak, Sean Penkywicz, David Mills (c), Ben Flower, Geraint Davies, Andy Bracek. Subs: Rhys Griffiths, Matt Barron, Jordan James, Gil Dudson