Composure was the key as England held off stubborn Samoan resistance to record a dogged 30-10 win in front of a bumper crowd of 18,271 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Saturday night.
England led from start to finish on the back of superior discipline to join Papua New Guinea and Tonga as winners in another terrific instalment of the Pacific Tests triple-header.
It took just three minutes for England's much-vaunted forward pack to click into gear with James Graham and Sean O'Loughlin combining to send prolific try-scorer Ryan Hall over for the opener.
Wayne Bennett's men continued to look the more threatening of the two sides and finally extended their lead 11 minutes before the break when Luke Gale knocked over a simple penalty goal courtesy of a ruck infringement close to the line.
England finished the half as they started with Stefan Ratchford hot-footing his way through some woeful defence to score under the posts to give his side a deserved 14-point cushion at the break.
They might have produced an underwhelming first half but Toa Samoa exploded out of the blocks after the break with barnstorming centre Joey Leilua spinning his way to the line moments after Ratchford had been belted into touch by Antonio Winterstein.
Momentum was well and truly with the crowd favourites but it was England who wrestled back control of the contest when Josh Hodgson backed up a break down the middle to open up a 14-point margin.
Samoa refused to go away and were soon back in it when Anthony Milford got on the outside of his man and then straightened to set up a grandstand finish with 13 minutes remaining.
That's as close as they'd get however as the British Bulldog, James Graham, bashed his way over from a metre out before Jermaine McGillvary dotted down to put the exclamation point on an impressive English win.
- STATS SNAPSHOT
- Completions: England 28/36, Samoa 28/36
- Metres gained: England 1590, Samoa 1488
- Line breaks: England 10, Samoa 15
- Tackles: England 318, Samoa 307
- Missed tackles: England 28, Samoa 34
- Errors: England 11, Samoa 12
- Most runs: England – Jermaine McGillvary 17, James Graham 17; Samoa – Tim Lafai 21
- Most metres: England – Jermaine McGillvary 183; Samoa – Josh McGuire 148
Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney
England 30 (Ryan Hall, Stefan Ratchford, Josh Hodgson, James Graham, Jermaine McGillvary tries; Luke Gale 4 conversions, penalty).
Toa Samoa 10 (Joey Leilua, Anthony Milford tries; Anthony Milford conversion).
Halftime: 14-0 England.
Referee: Gerard Sutton (Australia).
ENGLAND: 1 Stefan Ratchford; 2 Jermaine Mcgillvary, 3 Kallum Watkins, 4 Zak Hardaker, 5 Ryan Hall; 6 Kevin Brown, 7 Luke Gale; 8 Samuel Burgess, 9 Josh Hodgson, 10 James Graham; 11 Mike McMeeken, 12 Elliott Whitehead; 13 Sean O'Loughlin. Interchange: 14 Chris Hill, 15 Chris Heighington, 16 Christopher McQueen, 17 Thomas Burgess.
TOA SAMOA: 1 Peter Mata'utia; 2 Ken Maumalo, 3 Joseph Leilua, 4 Timoteo Lafai, 5 Antonio Winterstein; 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Fa'amanu Brown; 8 Sam Kasiano, 15 Suaia Matagi, 10 Junior Paulo; 11 Sione Mata'utia, 12 Leeson Ah Mau; 13 Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14 John Asiata, 16 Sauaso Sue, 17 Herman Ese'ese, 19 Pita Godinet.
- This story first appeared on nrl.com