Ruthless Exiles expose McNamara's makeshift lineup

England 20 Exiles 32

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The Independent Online

The cream of Super League's antipodeans proved too good for England as they squared the two-match International Origin series by winning at Huddersfield.

Unlike the first match, won by England at St Helens last month, this was not ruined by the weather and featured some accomplished rugby – most of it from the Exiles, inspiringly led by Brett Hodgson. If it lacked the hoped-for intensity, it at least produced some silky skill.

A much-changed Exiles team looked lively from the start and it was a sweeping, long-range try, completed by their captain, Hodgson, that put them in the lead after five minutes.

There would have been more to follow, but for crucial tackles by Leroy Cudjoe on Willie Manu and, right on the line, Tom Briscoe on Daniel Holdsworth.

When England's equaliser came it was out of the blue, Ryan Atkins picking up at dummy-half and going 80-metres.

Equally spectacular was the try that put the Exiles back in front, the 37-year-old Steve Menzies making the break that ended with Scott Dureau scoring.

Unlike the first match of the series, there was plenty of flowing rugby and Cudjoe's run and pass to Josh Charnley cut the margin. The Exiles still finished the first half in charge, however, thanks to Joel Monaghan's try.

England's position became even more parlous when Francis Meli squeezed through Charnley's tackle to score in the corner. Their attempts to get back into the game were stymied by a lack of cohesion and come poor handling and Hodgson's second try, from dummy-half, effectively sealed their fate.

Briscoe got one back for England, but that was soon cancelled out by Meli's second.