England U20 74-17 Samoa U20, Avchala Stadium
England Under-20 team started their tile defence with a resounding 74-17 win over Samoa Under-20 team in the World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 encounter at Avchala Stadium.
England winger Ali Crossdale got his team off the mark with a try in the second minute and their confidence took a further boost when Samoa's Losi Filipo was sin-binned in the fourth minute for performing a high tackle on scrum-half Alex Mitchell.
England capitalised on the advantage of having an extra man as skipper Zach Mercer and Max Malins going past the line to claim a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
England were relentless in their attack as they amassed four more tries through Mitchell (21'), Dominic Morris (27'), Mercer (34') and Gabriel Ibitoye (37') while Malins added the extras on three occasions to take the total to 43 points at half time. Samoa's only response in the first 40 minutes came through a 25th minute penalty from fullback Ricky Pauli Ene as they trailed by 40 points.
Marcus Street (42') and Crossdale (51') continued the England onslaught at the start of the second half as the lead increased to 50 points and following another sin-bin to Samoa lock Peato Toeafe, replacement Ciaran Knight along with second touchdown from Ibitoye and Morris ensured they raced to a 74-17 win despite a double from Filipo in the final quarter.
England will take on Wales next while Samoa will lock horns with Australia with both games scheduled to be played at Avchala Stadium on Sunday.