venue: Glyndŵr University RS, Wrexham
27th October 2012
Full Match Report
England racked up their biggest points tally against Wales to reach the final of the Autumn International Series and end their hosts' involvement. England led 26-6 at half-time, debutant full-back Zak Hardaker scoring two of the visitors' five tries. Josh Charnley, another debutant, bagged four tries as England ran riot after the break, finishing with 14 in all. Wales having lost to France last week means next Saturday's England-France Test will be repeated in the final.
"I am very happy, we put into practice some of the things we wanted to do for large parts of the game," said England coach Steve McNamara. "We had a couple of tough spells where we put ourselves under pressure but we showed we have got plenty of ability in the side and there are promising signs. “It is really exciting to see players like Josh Charnley, Kallum Watkins and Jamie Jones-Buchanan - we have got some ammunition now. We have always been strong in other areas but I feel we are building some depth now. There is a lot more to come but we are moving in the right direction."
Leeds back Watkins touched down after only two minutes following a break by Kevin Sinfield but the referee adjudged the final pass was forward. However, Ryan Hall did break the deadlock after nine minutes, making the most of a splintered Welsh defence and squeezing over in the corner. A few minutes later Wales were exposed out wide again when Watkins off-loaded to Charnley and the Wigan winger went over for his first international try. Leeds' Hardaker, in the side for the injured Sam Tomkins, scored under the posts following a break by Sean O'Loughlin before O'Loughlin grubbered through for Watkins, also making his international bow, to score next to the posts.
With 10 minutes left in the first half, Hardaker swerved through for his second try to effectively end the game as a contest, although a try by Christian Roets on the hooter gave the hosts a glimmer of hope. That hope was snuffed out shortly after the restart when Hall scored his second try after a bullocking run by Gareth Hock. Dan Fleming made the most of some weak tackling to score Wales' second try only for Gareth Ellis to hit back, barging over from close range after a kick was charged down. Charnley bagged his second after good awareness by Watkins before Hock burst through again and passed inside for Rob Burrow to score his third international try.
Sinfield's conversion - the England skipper kicked 12 goals in total - brought up the half-century and Charnley, who has 31 tries in Super League this season, burrowed over for his hat-trick. Leroy Cudjoe latched on to a speculative up-and-under to take England past their previous highest score against Wales, the 74-0 win at Doncaster in 2008, and Charnley scored his fourth from long range after another poor kick by the hosts. Jones-Buchanan and Cudjoe scored late tries for Steve McNamara's side and England wil head into next weekend's match against the French at Craven Park in high spirits. The Autumn International Series final will take place between the same two sides at Salford City Stadium on Saturday 10 November.
Pictured: Kallum Watkins offloads.
Moss, Kear, Channing, Roets, D. James, Jones, Seamark, J. James, Budworth, Kopczak, Lloyd, B. Evans, Flower. Subs: Dudson, Fleming, Burke, Parry
Hardaker, Charnley, Watkins, Cudjoe, Hall, Sinfield, Myler, Morley, McIlorum, Hill, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, O'Loughlin. Subs: Burrow, Hock, Ablett, Mossop