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England Rugby Squad Beats Samoa, Scotland Upsets South Africa

England defeated Samoa 26-13 in their rugby union international match at Twickenham, while Scotland upset South Africa 21-17. New Zealand overcame Ireland 38-18 in Dublin.

Second-half tries from Matt Banahan and Tom Croft and Toby Flood’s four penalty kicks gave the home side the advantage over Samoa, which trailed just 6-3 at halftime.

England was coming off a win last week against Australia, and made four changes for today’s match. The Samoans kept the match close and Paul Williams scored a try in the opening minutes of the second half. The home side was able to recover with the score from Banahan, who also set up Croft’s try.

“They’re tough on the breakdown, and we had to work hard to go forward,” England manager Martin Johnson said on the British Broadcasting Corp. “We had to keep our composure and grind back into it in the second half.”

At Murrayfield, Scotland got six penalties and a dropkick from Dan Parks to beat South Africa. The rain seemed to frustrate the visitors, who got four penalties from Morne Steyn.

Scotland, which was blown out by New Zealand last week, was able to hold on against the Springboks.

“Some people say they are Scottish conditions but I think the guys handled it very well,” Scotland manager Andy Robinson told the BBC. “It got tough at times. The whole side, everybody, played their part.”

The All-Blacks took advantage of Irish mistakes to comeback after trailing in the first half. Anthony Boric’s try in late in the first half gave New Zealand a 19-13 lead that it wouldn’t give up. The visitors also got two tries from Kieran Read and one from Sam Whitelock. Dan Carter had our penalties and two conversions.

Australia beat Italy 32-14 after tries from Drew Mitchell and Rocky Elsom and six penalties and two conversions from Berrick Barnes. Wales drew 16-16 with Fiji last night.

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