TWICKENHAM, London -- England ended their autumn campaign in unbeaten fashion as Eddie Jones' much-changed side enjoyed a seven-try 48-14 victory over Samoa.
With thoughts tilted towards the development of his squad's depth ahead of the Six Nations and 2019 Rugby World Cup, Jones made nine changes ahead of Saturday's clash at a bitterly cold Twickenham.
While he will no doubt be impressed with England's attacking flourish and guile, particularly once again from lively half-back duo Danny Care and man of the match George Ford, a familiar disjointedness remained evident and that will niggle the Australian head coach; he witnessed it only two weeks ago against Argentina and, in patches, last week during Australia's visit.
However, for much of the performance, this new-look England provided plenty to warm their mentor. Jamie George was bullishly impressive as he deputised for team captain Dylan Hartley, while Sam Simmonds gave a commanding performance in the No. 8 shirt. Elliot Daly shone on the wing, his second and England's sixth try a piece of barnstorming magic from touchline to posts.
The fresh centre partnership of try-scorers Henry Slade and Alex Lozowski sparked the crowd into life as early as the first minute. That attack led to Mike Brown's opening score, following impressive work in the ruck from the returning Maro Itoje.
Danny Care and George Ford continued to produce from the half-back ranks, a partnership that has really begun to blossum. Care, so central to the win over Australia last weekend, picked up where he left off and would've added a quick second shortly after had it not been for a loose forward pass.
England's 'replacements' took to the front and looked hell bent on giving Jones something to think about; Lozowski dotted down his first try in England colours -- their second -- after nine minutes, following good play from Daly and George. However, Ford's inconsistency from the tee struck again and, despite the fly-half dictating much of England's play, it will remain a sore point, particularly with Owen Farrell watching from the wings.
However, Jones should be disappointed at how lackadaisical his backs were to let the Samoans reply three minutes later. Quick play from Sale's TJ Ioane, a constant thorn in England's side, led to Piula Faasalele crashing under the posts, with Launchbury's last line of defence leaving a lot to be desired.
Defence coach Paul Gustard warned beforehand that England could hit as hard as the Samoans, but even he would have winced when Alapati Leiua poleaxed Lozowski to leave the centre gasping for breath. Jonny May's genius solo lineout, followed by some magical footwork to jinx past three defenders, drew cheers from a crowd wrapped up from the south-west London chill. It was a moment of brilliance in a largely industrial performance from the home side.
England's third try, scored by Charlie Ewels on the half hour mark, was a perfect mix of pace and power and reminiscent of Jones' Japan side two years ago. Quick ball from Care released the ever-busy George, who went to ground before instantly feeding lock Ewels to put the home side in control.
Dire Straits' 'Money for Nothing' was blasted across the stadium's PA in celebration, arguably a crass choice given the current issues surrounding Samoan rugby.
England briefly lost shape -- old habits beginning to creep in -- as the lively Leiua continued to cause problems, smashing through Brown. The fullback was alright, although there was concern for Jones as England lost Launchbury to a shoulder injury shortly before half time; replacement Courtney Lawes epitomised the strength of England's bench.
It was a frustrating start to the second half for the hosts; Care screamed in disappointment after Lozowski's offload from a brilliant Brown break fell agonisingly short. An inch or two further and England would have been in for their fourth; a trivial moment, but one that Jones will have noticed.
Jonny May's departure to injury shortly after will have only added to Jones' furrowed brow, too; a second blip on an otherwise solid afternoon. The fourth try did eventually come, much to the subdued crowd's delight; Ford acted quickly to release Elliot Daly, who still had a lot of work to do before finding the line.
Following Faasalele's timely yellow card came England's fifth inside the final 10 minutes; replacement Ben Youngs set up Slade to end his afternoon in style with a deserved score. Samoa captain Chris Vui showed prowess in the corner to steal a second for Samoa, but by then the game was long gone.
England's new blood signed off in style with Daly's beautiful second try and Semesa Rokoduguni's final effort, a timely reminder for the elder statesmen to start looking over their shoulders.