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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 September 2007, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
England v Samoa as it happened

England 44-22 Samoa


By Charlie Henderson

1645: FULL-TIME England 44-22 Samoa
That is that. England made heavy weather of it but get over the first hurdle in their efforts to get to the quarter-finals and go joint second in Pool A with Tonga, who are next up on Friday in a winner-takes-all match. Samoa end with 22 points as they did in the World Cup matches against England in 1995 and 2003. A battling performance from the boys in blue, but this has not been a good tournament for them. Three games and three defeats. They play the USA on Wednesday.

"England will look back at just before half-time when they were in control. They needed to close out the game and their discipline came into question. But credit to them. They were strong in the tackle and dug in until the end. England can expect more of the same against Tonga."
Matt Dawson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

"Flattering scoreline. Doesn't really reflect the match though does it? An improvement, but then it had to be. Promising but not convincing. Wonder what Tonga are thinking after seeing that."
littleswannygirl on 606

80 mins: TRY England 44-22 Samoa
Deep into added time Paul Sackey skins Alesana Tuilagi and dives in at the corner for his second try and England's fourth, which means they will leave Nantes with a bonus point as well as the four from the win. Jonny Wilkinson can't add conversion from wide on the right.

79 mins: Samoa kick a penalty to the corner as they look for a consolation score late on. They don't get it as Lewis Moody snaffles possession.

77 mins: Samoa maintain possession, but the sting has gone from this game.

"This is like Wales v Canada. Final result does not in any way indicate tight contest in the game."
LatvianAllBlacksFan on 606

75 mins: TRY & CONVERSION England 39-22 Samoa
Paul Sackey straightens the line in midfield and pops a pass away for skipper Martin Corry who barges over for his second try of the game. There's the first of those tries Matt Dawson promised. Jonny Wilkinson adds the extras.

74 mins: Changes for Samoa and starting prop Kas Lealamanua is back on for the injured Census Johnston so we can have contested scrums.

73 mins: England claim the ball from a Samoa lineout, but Jonny Wilkinson does not take advantage of that, lofting a poor up-and-under that Samoa claim.

72 mins: Dan Hipkiss is on for Mathew Tait, who has not had a great outing at centre, and Samoa get this re-start over the 10 metre line. They have to give it their all in the final 10 minutes. BBC Radio 5live pundit Matt Dawson is expecting tries as things will open up.

71 mins: PENALTY England 32-22 Samoa Hands in the scrum on halfway and Jonny Wilkinson tells his skipper he'll have a go for goal. Half the crowd don't like it. The other half do when the ball arrows over. England are 10 points in front, just as they were after five minutes. Crikey, that feels like a long time ago.

70 mins: Lewis Moody is on for Joe Worsley as Samoa resume. The restart doesn't go 10 metres and England will have the put in on halfway.

69 mins: DROP GOAL England 29-22 Samoa
It is almost 30 minutes since England scored and Jonny Wilkinson decides it's time to get some movement on the stagnant scoreboard as he drops three points. That makes it 1000 Test points for the stand-off.

68 mins: Olly Barkley looks to arc round his defender but is scragged. Better from England. There's some tempo to their play.

67 mins: Andy Gomarsall does well to win a chip and chase from the charging Loki Crichton. Is that the spark England need? They get some ball at least.

66 mins: Jonny Wilkinson opts not to kick clear in his own 22 and jinks back into the bosom of his forwards, leaving Andy Gomarsall to clear as the ball comes back. The scrum-half finds touch.

64 mins: England make their first changes. Perry Freshwater and Steve Borthwick on. Andrew Sheridan and Simon Shaw off.

"Definitely going to be an exciting last 20 minutes - or stressful if you're English."
lostwelshpirate on 606

63 mins: Eight phases of possession from Samoa and this is a great spell until the ball is worked to the wing where replacement prop Fosi Palaamo is hanging out. He knocks on. Props on wings. That's all wrong but it happens time and time again.

61 mins: Samoa have never beaten England before in four meetings, but they pushed them close at the World Cup four years ago. England need to find some of that 2003 spirit and never-say-die attitude from somewhere, anywhere.

"It feels like England are losing... but they're still winning."
Matt Dawson, BBC Radio 5live pundit

60 mins: Into the last quarter and Samoa have their tails up. A kick ahead after an aimless, blind Mathew Tait pass goes to ground and Josh Lewsey makes a wonderful recovery sliding back to collect inches from his own line with blue shirts either side. Lewsey and co somehow manage to keep Samoa at bay.

59 mins: Nick Easter trundles forward off a maul and finally someone in a white shirt has got over the gain line, but before long they cough up possession in contact.

58 mins: England get the ball from the scrum but go backwards.

57 mins: After a break in play it's an England scrum on the 22. They really need to get something from this.

54 mins: Samoa drag down a maul and the blue-booted Jonny Wilkinson can add points from the boot. But, and it's a big one. They had the advantage and they had some quick ball but Wilkinson opted for a drop. He missed that and he misses the penalty attempt.

53 mins: Terrible Samoan scrummaging and England win it against the head. Quick hands but a bad option as Olly Barkley sends a grubber to the corner which David Lemi scoops up and clears.

51 mins: Samoa lose the lineout. England need to regroup and get a feel for this ball again. All a bit loose from them.

50 mins: Samoa are the dominant force at the moment and a penalty gives Loki Crichton the chance to find touch for his forwards to build an attacking platform.

"For the arithmetically challenged, England do not need a bonus point. If we win, and assuming SA beat USA, 2nd place is our only objective and beating Tonga will achieve that."
DMJeffrey on 606
Got to win this first. Looks like a big "if" at the minute.

48 mins: Mathew Tait looks to slice through the Samoa defence but is held. England on the charge, but Simon Shaw holds on to the ball in the tackle when it comes his way and Samoa can clear. "Allez Les Bleus" is the chant from the crowd.

47 mins: England look for an immediate reply, but Mark Cueto is bundled into touch short of the Samoa 22.

46 mins: TRY & CONVERSION England 26-22 Samoa
Alan Lewis goes to the TMO. A neat little chip, chase and gather from David Lemi on the right and he releases Mahonri Scwalger. The hooker kicks forward and it's a foot race between Junior Polu and Mathew Tait. The Samoan scrum-half gets the vital touch and delight on the bench. They are right back in this... and even more so when Loki Crichton cuts the gap to four points with the conversion.

43 mins: On second viewing it's more than a "touch" high. It was high and Brian Lima's lucky to stay on the pitch. He hooked Jonny Wilkinson with his right arm after leading in with the shoulder.

42 mins: PENALTY England 26-15 Samoa
Brian Lima absolutely nails Jonny Wilkinson. A touch on the high side and referee Alan Lewis urges him "lower, lower, lower" in a brief talking too. Jonny Wilkinson dusts himself down and slots the penalty.

41 mins: PENALTY England 23-15 Samoa
Samoa resume well and earn an attacking scrum. They come off the back of it at pace with Henry Tuilagi to the fore and England are caught offside, yet again. Skipper Martin Corry utters an expletive as the camera pans in for a close up. Loki Crichton lines up the kick and makes it five out of five.

1552: A very quiet half-time break from you over on 606 and via text on 81111 so no comments to post and it's back to the action.

40 mins: HALF-TIME England 23-12 Samoa
That was the last kick of a good half of rugby. Real signs of encouragement for England fans, but they are a long way from being home and hosed yet. The next score's a biggie.

39 mins: PENALTY England 23-12 Samoa
England fail to make the most of a turnover as Andy Gomarsall's low kick is charged down. Jonny Wilkinson is engulfed and concedes a penalty for holding on. Loki Crichton slots the points.

38 mins: Samoa are ending the half the better.

36 mins: PENALTY England 23-9 Samoa
England are pinged for offside. Samoa opt for the three points and get them off the boot of Loki Crichton.

35 mins: Samoa have woken from their slumber. A cheeky tap back to hooker Mahonri Schwalger on the England 22 and he tests the white defence. When the ball comes back to the middle Henry Tuilagi looks to pierce a hole through that defence but is held.

33 mins: Samoa have to turn and track back to field a kick and before turning defence into attack. Alesana Tuilagi has a glint in his eye as he streaks up the left, but Andy Gomarsall is in the right place to field the Samoan's kick ahead and clear.

31 mins: TRY & CONVERSION England 23-6 Samoa
Simon Shaw and Matt Stevens take the ball to Samoa and that's better, much better. The backs have it now. Right and then back to the left and Paul Sackey runs through to dab down a Jonny Wilkinson grubber kick through behind the blue defensive line. Jonny Wilkinson adds two more points to an increasingly lopsided scoreboard from a difficult angle on the left.

"What have they done with the real Samoan team? This is clearly a bunch of imposters."
AsaScot on 606

29 mins: A Mexican wave sweeps around the ground. Why? The game's well poised. Not quite enthralling, but very nicely set up.

28 mins: Samoa lose the ball in the scrum and England can build again, but it's slow ball and they don't really go anywhere. England have had more than 60% of possession but they need to do more with it. Things have tailed off a bit after a bright opening.

27 mins: England ball but a knock-on from Josh Lewsey as he looks to gather a bouncing Jonny Wilkinson pass puts the skids under their efforts to launch something in midfield.

25 mins: Josh Lewsey switches on the turbo button as he chases down a deep kick, but Alesana Tuilagi keeps his cool to gather and clear with the full-back bearing down.

24 mins: Dozy Samoan play continues to blight their efforts, but Jonny Wilkinson fails to make them pay, pushing a penalty wide of the sticks.

23 mins: Loki Crichton claims a good mark under a Jonny Wilkinson bomb that was a touch long. England's chasers had no chance of getting on the end of it.

20 mins: PENALTY England 16-6 Samoa
More lax play from Samoa in contact and their failure to roll away means Jonny Wilkinson can step up to put England back to 10 points in front. He does. That kick puts him third on the list of all-time World Cup scorers behind Gavin Hastings and Michael Lynagh.

19 mins: England ball from a Samoa lineout and they rip it down the three-quarters quickly. So much more dynamism than the flat performances of late - but it's the win that matters.

17 mins: England have got the beating of Samoa up front as they drive them back in the scrum. A good sign.

15 mins: A quick free-kick from Junior Polu and England need to keep tabs on the livewire scrum-half. He races into space on the blindside but can't find a team-mate when eventually engulfed by white shirts.

"Anyone else think the ref looks quite like the old England batsman David Gower?"
andylockran on 606

13 mins: PENALTY England 13-6 Samoa
Never a dull moment and it is tit-for-tat in the kicking stakes as Jonny Wilkinson has a chance to land a first England penalty after Samoa fail to roll away from the ball. Dead-eye accuracy from the England 10.

12 mins: The locals in the crowd are well behind the blue-shirted underdogs and this is game on now. Dreams of an easy afternoon after that opening are just that.

11 mins: PENALTY England 10-6 Samoa
England are caught offside and Loki Crichton has a chance to add some easy points in front of the posts. Simple for the full-back.

10 mins: There are lot of familiar faces in this Samoa team, but they're not friendly ones for England today. Henry and Alesana Tuilagi both go on the charge at the heart of England's defence.

8 mins: Mark Cueto field a high kick on halfway and maintains possession in contact. Andy Gomarsall's box kick down the line is easily held by Loki Crichton for a mark.

7 mins: PENALTY England 10-3 Samoa
A dose of reality is added to proceedings as England concede a penalty. Loki Crichton steps up for a pop at the posts and hits the target from the left.

5 mins: DROP GOAL England 10-0 Samoa
Jonny Wilkinson has had enough of the rumble, drops into the hole and slots three points. There's a carnival atmosphere in the stands. A heady mix of euphoria for England fans rubbing their eyes in amazement at the score after just five minutes.

4 mins: All England, who are rumbling forward.

2 mins: TRY & CONVERSION England 7-0 Samoa
The perfect start. England come out of the blocks fast and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu has a kick charged down. The white shirts probe for an opening left and then come right. Jonny Wilkinson whips a pass out wide where captain Martin Corry spins over in the tackle. Jonny Wilkinson adds the extras.

1500: The returning Jonny Wilkinson gets the game going. When he plays England have won 80% of their games.

England: Lewsey, Sackey, Tait, Barkley, Cueto, Wilkinson, Gomarsall, Easter, Sheridan, Chuter, Stevens, Shaw, Kay, Corry, Worsley.
Replacements: Regan, Freshwater, Borthwick, Moody, Richards, Farrell, Hipkiss.
Samoa: Crichton, Lemi, Mapusua, Lima, A. Tuilagi, Fuimaono-Sapolu, Poluleuigaga, H. Tuilagi, Lealamanua, Schwalger, Johnston, J. Tekori, Thompson, Leo, Sititi.
Replacements: Fuga, Pala'amo, Purdie, Vaeluaga, Sooialo, Meafou, Lui.

1458: It's Siva Tau time. England line up to face the Samoan haka - a wonderful sight. A respectful response from the English fans who break into a chorus of 'Swing Low' when it is over. Not such a wonderful response.

1456: This is pretty much a home game for England judging by the rendition of the anthem. Thousands of white-clad English in the house having made the hop across the Channel.

1454: Here come the players. The match has a lot to live up to following the excitement of that first Pool A match of the day between South Africa and Tonga.

"South Africa-Tonga 30-25 and Tonga do really good (and there is still time to play). England should be very worried right now, as Tonga may put them out of their misery TODAY." LatvianAllBlacksFan on 606

1450: Should have waited two minutes, LABF. It's all over in Lens but Tonga have proved once again England cannot afford to think their qualification battle is over if they beat Samoa. I bet Brian Ashton didn't let his boys near the telly over the last 80 minutes.

"The England players have just headed to the dressing rooms after competing their warm-up routine. Plenty of tackle bags being hit, and the more practice the better for this game I suspect. The opening exchanges could be pretty spicey."
BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in Nantes

"Good luck Tim n Andy! England Women! England Rugby!"
Elizabeth Pink via text

Elizabeth has already featured in the tennis live text but she's the only texter to have mentioned the rugby so far. Let's hear from you on 81111.

1442: It's live-text-tastic at TV Centre today, with coverage of the Davis Cup tennis, Women's World Cup football, Twenty20 cricket and of course, what could still be Tonga's upset victory over Tonga in Lens. If you're wondering how Charlie Henderson is managing to report from both matches, it's because this isn't him. It's an imposter. He'll be here by kick-off, rest assured.

1436: We're getting closer to national anthem time in Nantes and there's a remarkable air of pessimism about this fixture, which England need to win to retain serious chances of making the quarter-finals. C'mon everyone! Jonny's back. What could possibly go wrong?

"I get it now, Mr. Ashton is saving Moody and Rees for the most important match against Tonga. This has been his clever plan from the beginning. Make everybody think you haven't a clue about how to select the best team then hit Tonga with the sucker punch... brilliant."
horrendousmendez on 606

Defending champions England are aiming to get their World Cup campaign back on track against Samoa in Nantes.

England were thrashed by South Africa last week and they know another loss would leave them struggling to reach the quarter-finals.

Coach Brian Ashton has made seven changes, with fly-half Jonny Wilkinson back in the side after injury.

Samoa make five changes, with veteran centre Brian Lima set to start.

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