Underhill and Cokanasiga score tries in England win over USA

4 July 2021

Five Bath Rugby players helped England to a 43-29 victory over USA Rugby at Twickenham on Saturday.

Sam Underhill crossed for the game’s opening try and Joe Cokanasiga finished twice in the first half to put the hosts in a commanding position at half-time.

Lock Josh McNally earned his first international cap from the start alongside club captain Charlie Ewels while Beno Obano appeared as a replacement for a well-deserved second England appearance.

With eight debutants in the starting XV, it was an encouraging display with seven tries from Eddie Jones’ side on a mild afternoon in south west London.

It was USA who got the first points of the game when Luke Carty knocked over a long distance penalty, but from the restart Max Malins superbly took the ball on the full, made metres down the touchline and offloaded to Underhill who barged over – the flanker’s first England try. 

Worcester Warriors’ Ollie Lawerence raised away for a ‘cheeky’ score in the corner before Cokanasiga collected Freddie Steward’s grubber to dot down.

The Bath wing latched on to a wonderfully delayed pass from Marcus Smith moments later to run in from 40 metres for his ninth try in eight Test starts, crossing for a brace in his last three outings. 

It was USA who were quickest out of the blocks in the second half when Jamason Fa'anana Schultz when over from the back of a driving maul, but it was another debutant who scored England’s fifth when Jamie Blamire charged down an attempted box kick from 10 metres out, regathered the ball and crossed.

It was a charge down that got USA’s second try when Cam Dolan stopped Harry Randall’s kick to score, but Harlequins fly-half Smith, a Gallagher Premiership winner at Twickenham a week ago, got his first try when he grabbed Randall’s close range offload to stroll in. 

His half back partner Randall then scored a brilliant individual try when his dummy broke the defensive line on the 22, he stepped the covering defender and then had enough strength to cross.

Hanco Germishuys and Christian Dyer got further American tries in the closing stages in a battling display from Gary Gold’s team.

Meanwhile, Taulupe Faletau was part of a solid display from the British & Irish Lions who overcame the Sigma Lions at Ellis Park.

The Number 8 made 10 tackles and 29 metres in his 55 minutes on the field during the 56-14 win.

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