England 50-0 Fiji: Dominic Young stars on debut in Rugby League World Cup warm-up

England 50-0 Fiji: Dominic Young stars on debut in Rugby League World Cup warm-up

Dominic Young left Huddersfield for Newcastle Knights in 2020 after limited first-team opportunities
England (28) 50
Tries: Young, Ackers, Watkins, Williams, Batchelor, Thompson, McMeeken, Cooper, Hall Goals: Sneyd 7
Fiji (0) 0

Dominic Young played a starring role on debut as England crushed Fiji 50-0 in their final warm-up game before hosting the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Young, 21, dive over in the corner for the opener before providing try assists for Kallum Watkins and George Williams.

Another debutant Andy Ackers and Joe Batchelor also crossed for a 28-0 lead.

Luke Thompson slid in at the start of the second half, Mike McMeeken and Mike Cooper also crossed and Ryan Hall completed an emphatic win in Salford.

Hosts England open the World Cup against Samoa in Newcastle on Saturday, 15 October (kick-off 14:30 BST), with the tournament delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Easy evening for England

England have faced the Combined All Stars in mid-season internationals over the past two years, but this was their first match against a country on home soil since a 34-0 drubbing by New Zealand at Elland Road in November 2018.

Though five starting players were given their debuts by head coach Shaun Wane, the match was not an official Test meaning caps were not awarded, but new boy Young showcased his potential to be one of the leading lights of the tournament.

The Newcastle Knights winger was almost unstoppable when galloping down the right wing and he gave the visitors a warning with his first touch, but a dive into the corner was unsuccessful as he was unable to keep hold of the ball while touching down.

But the 6ft 7in winger made amends by finishing off a good team move which involved a clever, over-the-shoulder flick by Williams, who was standing in as captain for the rested Sam Tomkins.

Hooker Ackers, a surprise selection for the World Cup squad, and Salford team-mate Watkins both scored on their home ground, with the ex-Leeds captain converting from Young’s incredible show of athleticism to keep the ball alive.

St Helens forward Batchelor reacted quickest to Marc Sneyd’s kick and Thompson did the same from Williams’ grubber, while McMeeken, Cooper and Hall also added tries for a thumping victory on a rainy night at the AJ Bell Stadium.

“We did some really good stuff,” said Wane. “With the conditions, the way we played and the way we attacked, there was some good detail in what we did. Fiji will be a lot stronger I’m sure, but overall it was a really good performance.

“When you consider the World Cup is in October and November, this weather is going to be really important and I thought how we handled the conditions was superb.

“We’ll have a good week’s training and get ready for a big one next Saturday.”

Fiji, meanwhile, had glimmers early on but rolled over once they fell behind, with former St Helens star Kevin Naiqama not being given an opportunity to show his talents.

England: Welsby; Young, Watkins, Farnworth, Hall; Williams, Sneyd; Hill, Ackers, Cooper, Whitehead, McMeeken, Radley.

Interchanges: Marshall, Powell, Thompson, Burgess, McIlorum, Batchelor, Smith, Wardle, Pearce-Paul.

Fiji: Naiqama; Qareqare, Ravalawa, Valemei, Vulikijapani; Moceidreke, Wakeham; Vuniyayawa, Tagituimua, Kamikamica, Miller, Seci, Liolevave.

Interchanges: Masima, Lumelume, Sadrugu, Ratuvakacereivalu, Nakubuwai, Taira, Wong.