England prepared for next week’s World Cup opener against Australia with a comprehensive 74-12 win against the Combined Affiliated States in Perth.
Wayne Bennett’s side ran in 13 tries at NIB Stadium with Ryan Hall, Luke Gale, Jermaine McGillvary and Tom Burgess all crossing for braces.
Elliot Whitehead, George Williams, James Roby, Kevin Brown and Kallum Watkins also got over the whitewash, with the C.A.S. scoring twice through Ben Taylor and Jordan Jacob.
Widdop, Gale and Stefan Ratchford kicked a combined 22 points via conversions on a comprehensive evening for the Wall of White, who will now be focusing on next Friday’s game against the Kangaroos.
England took the lead after just 40 seconds as C.A.S. made a mistake in their own 20, allowing Gale to score.
Bennett’s men looked sharp early on and extended the lead when Whitehead crashed onto Widdop’s short ball to score under the posts.
Hall got England’s third try inside the first 10 minutes as he just about got the ball down in the corner with a spectacular finish. Gale produced a brilliant touchline conversion to take the score out to 16-0.
As we approached the end of the first quarter England got their fourth try as another flowing left-to-right move saw Ben Currie feed McGillvary out wide. Gale converted again to make it 22-0.
After the restart England lost some of their sharpness and they gave away a poor try as Ratchford’s mistake allowed Taylor to race 80 metres and score for C.A.S.
They responded well though as John Bateman fed Hall for his second try from close range and Widdop took over kicking duties successfully, making it 28-6.
As the second quarter came to an end England started to pick up again and Gale got his second try after a great move that saw Widdop break through and pass on to his half-back partner.
Leading 34-6 going into the second half, England picked up where they left off as one of a number of the half-time interchanges Watkins put McGillvary over for his second.
It was a quality display from England and they got another try moments later with Ben Currie racing away to find Marc Percival, who offloaded for Williams to go over untouched.
England’s speed around the ruck was too much for their opposition and Roby got his name on the scoreboard after powering over from dummy half. Ratchford converted his second conversion to make it 50-6.
The Affiliated States team were now looking tired and it showed as Tom Burgess dummied his way over from close range. Ratchford converted to make the score 56-6 at the end of the third quarter.
A mistake after the restart led to England’s next try as the C.A.S. winger spilled Widdop’s grubber and Brown picked up the loose ball to stroll over the line.
However, Jacob showed a clean pair of heels to race over for the States second try moments later, with Taylor’s conversion locking the score up at 6-6 in the final quarter.
Normal service was resumed though when Widdop fed Watkins out wide, and Tom Burgess got his second try when he crashed onto a short pass from Alex Walmsley to run 50 metres.
Widdop made no mistake with the conversion, making the final score 74-12.
5. Stefan Ratchford
22. Ryan Hall
23. Kallum Watkins
12. John Bateman
2. Jermaine McGillvary
1. Gareth Widdop
7. Luke Gale
14. Chris Hill
9. Josh Hodgson
10. James Graham
11. Elliott Whitehead
8. Sam Burgess
13. Sean O’Loughlin ©
3. Ben Currie
4. Mark Percival
6. George Williams
15. Thomas Burgess
16. Chris Heighington
17. James Roby
18. Alex Walmsley
19. Scott Taylor
20. Mike McMeeken
21. Kevin Brown
Tries: Hall 2, Gale 2, McGillvary 2, T Burgess 2, Whitehead, Williams, Roby, Brown, Watkins
Goals: Widdop 5, Gale 3, Ratchford 3