Tag Archives: fijians

Charlie Sharples scores for England: Picture of the week by Andy Hooper

Andy Hooper: My image of the week – Sharples crosses the line at Twickenham

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UPDATED:

10:13 GMT, 12 November 2012

Charlie Sharples scoring the first of his two tries in England's victory over Fiji is my favourite image of the week.

Sharples is inches away from grounding the ball and in my final edit I liked the determination on the players' faces. You can see both the Fijians and the England offence are intent on getting the ball.

The next frame shows the ball grounded but there is no movement in the picture as all the action had already happened.

I was positioned on the opposite corner flag but the 400mm telephoto lens enabled me to capture this image and get close to the action.

Nikon D4
Lens 400mm F2.8
Exposure 1/1000th of a second at F2.8 Iso 1600

Made it: Charlie Sharples scores his first try in England's win over Fiji at Twickenham

England 54 Fiji 12: Lancaster"s young side show promise in perfect warm-up for Australia

England 54 Fiji 12: Lancaster's young side show promise in perfect warm-up for Australia

PUBLISHED:

16:29 GMT, 10 November 2012

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UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 10 November 2012

Charlie Sharples scored his first two Test tries as England prepared for the more ferocious challenges to come with a record victory over Fiji.

The Gloucester wing, making his first Test start at Twickenham, was joined on the scoresheet by Ugo Monye, flanker Tom Johnson and centre Manu Tuilagi, who touched down twice late on against the tiring Fijians.

England's pack was so superior they struggled to retain control at times but their power did earn a penalty try while Fiji's captain and tight-head prop Deacon Manu was watching from the sin-bin.

Two-try hero: Manu Tuilagi went over twice at Twickenham

Two-try hero: Manu Tuilagi went over twice at Twickenham

England had talked about imposing
themselves from the outset, about being ruthless and showing no mercy on
Fiji as they prepare to face Australia, South Africa and world
champions New Zealand.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster will be
satisfied with the seven-try performance, disappointed by the two tries
England conceded and aware they will need to be more accurate when the
Wallabies come to town next Saturday.

England must retain their fourth place
ranking through this most challenging autumn campaign to be among the
top seeds when the 2015 World Cup draw is made on December 3.

England paid the price for starting
slowly on their summer tour of South Africa and a more clinical team
would have punished them in the first 20 minutes today.

Fiji bossed the opening quarter, with
the powerful Gloucester number eight Akapusi Qera causing England all
sorts of problems around the fringes.

England fell foul of referee Glen
Jackson, the former Saracens fly-half, and had Danny Care sin-binned for
what was considered to be a dangerous tackle.

It looked harsh but no one could have
denied that Fiji deserved the lead they would have had if fly-half
Metuisela Talebula had not dropped two penalty kicks woefully short.

Make mine a double: Charlie Sharples scored two tries also

Make mine a double: Charlie Sharples scored two tries also

Versatlie: Man-of-the-match Alex Goode operated as a makeshift scrum-half with Danny Care sin-binned

Versatlie: Man-of-the-match Alex Goode operated as a makeshift scrum-half with Danny Care sin-binned

In the end, England negotiated Care's
absence and then turned the tables on Fiji, with man of the match Alex
Goode particularly impressive in his role as the second play-maker.

After Flood had kicked England into
the lead, the men in white attacked in waves and Sharples marked his
first Twickenham start with his first Test try.

The Gloucester wing collected Goode's
offload and cut in-field, wriggling and driving his way through three
Fijian defenders before stretching for the line.

Johnson, debutant Tom Youngs and
captain Chris Robshaw all carried powerfully to keep England on the
front foot and Fiji's only answer to the pressure was to spoil.

Flood added a second penalty, taking
his Test points tally past the 250 mark, before Fiji captain Manu was
sin-binned but England were guilty of butchering chances.

England failed to control their own
five-metre scrum and when they spread the ball wide, the final pass from
Joe Marler to Brad Barritt went forward and straight into touch.

This was not the clinical execution coach Andy Farrell had demanded but England's pressure was too much for Fiji to bear.

When Robshaw was held up over the
line, the pack England remained disciplined and twice shoved Fiji
backwards to earn the penalty try.

Motoring nicely: Ugo Monye's try pushed the score onto 25-0

Motoring nicely: Ugo Monye's try pushed the score onto 25-0

Fiji received a let-off when Sharples'
chip ahead just brushed the in-goal whitewash before he could touch it
down but England kept coming.

Care was scragged just short of the
line but Fiji conceded yet another penalty and Monye benefited from the
quick tap to score on his first England appearance in over two years.

Flood extended England's lead with a
penalty soon after the restart and ran at Fiji again, with Tuilagi and
then Care making a dart for the line.

England spread the ball wide and Dan
Cole crashed over the line in search of his second international try but
the television official ruled he had been held up.

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola was sent
on for his debut and England built from the attacking platform, working
an overlap down the left and Robshaw sent Johnson over for his first
Test try.

England switched off and allowed Fiji
to score an eye-catching consolation, with Malaki Ravulo streaking away
from Tuilagi before Talebula kicked ahead to score.

Flood then scuffed the kick-off, to
cap an unceremonious couple of minutes but they were soon back in the
groove with Monye benefiting from Barritt's decoy run to cut an
excellent line.

Up and running: Charlie Sharples scored the opening try

Up and running: Charlie Sharples scored the opening try

High riser: Geoff Parling holds on as England win a lineout

High riser: Geoff Parling holds on as England win a lineout

Flood then exploited the space out
left, launching a long pass for Sharples, who stepped inside his men and
scored his second try of the match.

England began to ring the changes and
Ben Youngs came on to join his elder brother Tom, who produced an
impressive Test debut before making way for David Paice.

Ben Youngs and Mike Brown both dropped the ball over the line as England looked to turn the screw against a tiring Fiji team.

Qera somehow managed to haul down a
barnstorming run from Waldrom but Fiji were stretched again as quick
hands from Barritt allowed Tuilagi to dive over in the corner.

The Leicester centre then brushed
aside a weak tackle to touch down again but Fiji had the final word,
with Seko Kalou crashing over for their second try.

Tough to stop: Thomas Waldrom is tackled by Vereniki Goneva

Tough to stop: Thomas Waldrom is tackled by Vereniki Goneva

Michael McIlorum determined to seize his chance to send World Cup message to Steve McNamara

McIlorum determined to seize his chance to send World Cup message to McNamara

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UPDATED:

18:29 GMT, 8 November 2012

Hooker Michael McIlorum is determined to make the most of his last chance to stake a claim for a place in England coach Steve McNamara’s World Cup plans.

McIlorum has been in the shadows of James Roby since switching allegiance from Ireland, but got his opportunity when the St Helens hooker decided to take a short break from the international game.

The Warriors’ number nine, who missed the end of the Super League season through suspension, made his England debut in the opening game of the autumn international series against Wales and is set to keep his spot for Sunday’s final against France at the Salford City Stadium.

Big break McIlorum is determined to make the most of his chance

Big break McIlorum is determined to make the most of his chance

With Leeds scrum-half turned hooker Rob Burrow pushing him, McIlorum accepts the competition for places in the England team is stiff, but he is the man currently in possession of the jersey.

'It’s a good opportunity for me and Rob as well,' McIlorum said. 'James plays lot of games for 80 minutes so it’s been tough for a lot of English hookers.

'But I’ve been given my chance and it’s up to me to show what I can do. I had a bit of time off with my ban but I’m back into the swing of things now and getting my match fitness back up.'

McIlorum, 24, played in all three of Ireland’s matches in the 2008 World Cup in Australia, where they lost out to Fiji in a semi-final eliminator, but is now hoping to face both of those teams next year.

England are in the same group as Ireland and the Fijians, as well as Australia, for the preliminary stages of the 2013 World Cup.

That could cause some family friction but the Leeds-born McIlorum says his belated England selection justified his decision to risk incurring the wrath of his proud Irish grandad.

'He’s just happy to see me play,' McIlorum said. 'I enjoyed my time with Ireland. I was only 19 or 20 at the time and it was a big opportunity for me.

'I wouldn’t change it for the world. It was a good tournament and it helped me as a player and as a person. It would be good to play against them next year.'

The autumn international series for England is all about preparing for the World Cup and McIlorum believes the high-altitude training camp in South Africa was a step in the right direction.

'It put us in good stead for this tournament,' he said. 'This is a stepping stone for the World Cup and all the group are enjoying being in each other’s company.

'We are getting used to playing with each other and getting some cohesion.'

McNamara has delayed finalising his team as he waits for a 'series of niggles' to clear up.

The England players, who leave their Loughborough camp today, have not yet been told the team and, with no stipulation from tournament organisers, McNamara is likely to keep his line-up under wraps until an hour before kick-off.

Among those still to prove their fitness is Wigan captain and loose forward Sean O’Loughlin, who missed last Saturday’s 44-6 win over France in Hull with a hamstring injury.

At least there is no repeat of the illness that afflicted South Sydney prop Luke Burgess a week ago, but French duo Mathias Pala and Eloi Pelissier were laid low earlier this week at their team’s Manchester hotel by a stomach bug.

Lezignan second rower Andrew Bentley’s hopes of a recall for Les Tricolores were dashed when he was handed a two-match ban for foul play in the French Elite league last weekend, but replacements Julian Bousquet and Teddy Sadaoui have linked up with the rest of the squad.

France coach Aurelien Cologni will meet New Zealand referee Shane Rehm and RFL director of match officials Stuart Cummings tomorrow in a bid to iron out what he believes were differences in interpretation during last Saturday’s defeat by England at Craven Park.