Stimpson shines in the rout

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England A 55 Western Samoa 0

Candidates competing for places in the Five Nations' Championship' predictably crushed the Western Samoan midweek XV at the Gateshead International Stadium last night. The highlights, as England ran in eight tries, were a hat- trick by Will Greenwood, and the consistent goalkicking of Tim Stimpson, who struck six conversions and a penalty.

The tourists had one clear opportunity to score but sadly, and inevitably, Silao Laega, the No 13 centre, lived up to the unfortunate reputation pertaining to his number. He slipped as he was about to score.

With international reputations of the future to be forged, it was essential that opportunities to reveal potential were taken. Gloucester's aggressive hooker, Phil Greening, made certain he was noticed.

Inevitably, though, much attention was focused on the Bristol University stand-off, Alex King, making his debut at this level. Calm and possessing the ability to kick and pass intelligently, King operated sensibly without dazzling, although he laid on Greening's try with a slick pass.

After half an hour, the tourists were once again being embarrassed. England A rampaged, scoring three tries through Andy Gomarsall, Greenwood and Greening. With Stimpson kicking his goals, a 22-0 lead ensued. The one- sided encounter gathered pace when Greenwood dashed over for his second try and England's fourth.

Stimpson's third conversion stretched the superiority to 29-0. Thankfully, complacency, which could so easily have taken over, never appeared. Rather the opposite occurred. England's forwards continued to supply ball so consistently that even more tries flowed. Richard Hill touched down, Greenwood completed a third, and Gomarsall added his second. Tony Diprose should have joined the spree but, inexplicably, he dropped the ball as he was crossing. However, the prop, Darren Garforth, did not fumble as he scored the eighth.

England A: Tries Gomarsall 2, Greenwood 3, Greening, Hill, Garforth. Conversions Stimpson 6. Penalties Stimpson.

ENGLAND A: T Stimpson (West Hartlepool); J Sleightholme (Bath), A Blyth (West Hartlepool), W Greenwood (Harlequins), J Naylor (Orrell); A King (Bristol Univ), A Gomarsall (Wasps); K Yates (Bath), P Greening (Gloucester), D Garforth (Leicester), G Archer (Bristol), R West (Gloucester), M Corry (Bristol), A Diprose (Saracens, capt), R Hill (Saracens).

WESTERN SAMOA: A Autagavaia (Suburbs); T Fa'aiuaso (Police), S Laega (Suburbs), K Tuigamala (Scopa), F Fereti (Apia); C Burnes (University), M Vaea (Marist); B Reidy (Marist St Patrick's), O Matauiau (Moata'a), G Latu (Vaimoso), S Lemamea (Scopa), M Birtwistle (Suburbs, capt), L Ta'ala (Police), S Smith (Helensville), M Iupeli (Marist).

Referee: K W McCartney (Scotland).