England vs Australia
8:15am Saturday 19th October
A Rugby World Cup location was booked by england for 12 years on Saturday with a 40-16 thrashing of Australia at Oita.
The Wallabies had more than their fair share of this drama, but England demonstrated clinical with tries from Jonny May (2 ), Kyle Sinckler and Anthony Watson, along with four Owen Farrell penalties – that the skipper completing 100 per cent off the tee.
Australia notched their things via a super Marika Koroibete attempt and the boot of Christian Lealiifano (three fines ), but have been outdone by England in the turnover positions, which ultimately proved crucial.
Eddie Jones’ side extended their winning streak across the Wallabies to seven Tests – extending back to the last World Cup at 2015 – and will face the winner of Saturday’s other quarter-final involving New Zealand and Ireland following Saturday at Yokohama for a location in the past.
Australia registered the launching points of this quarter-final when Billy Vunipola was searching for a high tackle and Lealiifano drove home from 38 metres for 3-0 about 12 minutes.
But England pressure advised on 18 minutes down the left wing May dived over on his 50th England look, with the Wallabies defence sucked lean. Three minutes later, he scored again as Slade intercepted a David Pocock pass on his own 22, strode clear and intelligently clipped ahead.
The bounce was kind to May, and he had been too fast for Samu Kerevi, diving . Farrell, as he did to the opener, then converted from the touchline.
Attempting another interception in a defensive position on 26 moments, Slade was then caught offside and Lealiifano exploited from close range to reduce the deficit to 14-6.
England responded with a penalty of their own, but Australia would have the last say of the half since Sinckler gave away a penalty for collapsing the scrum departing the half-time score 17-9.
Three minutes into the second interval, Koroibete finished a stunning move following Reece Hodge had found Jordan Petaia using a long, raking overhaul and the 19-year-old fed Koroibete having an interior ball.
However, England’s response was instant. May and Watson made the in-roads with incisive jogging, until scrum-half Ben Youngs produced a stunning horizontal miss-pass to get Sinckler to shoot about the run and romp over the line.
Farrell extended the England result in 11 points on 51 moments until Australia double turned down routine shots at goal for attacking set-pieces.
It all proved in vain when Sinckler ripped back ownership from Naisarani metres out of his try-line until Genia knocked on in the next ruck close halfway following England’s clearance kick.
Youngs knocked on from the act of attempting to score in the corner on 64 minutes, but the scrum-half had darted on penalty advantage, allowing Farrell to kick over three more points as a result of a Rory Arnold side-entry in the maul.
Farrell struck off the tee after another Australia maul infringement using seven minutes leftbefore Watson maintained an intercept try off a very lengthy Beale pass late on to inflate the scoreline further. The final stages did result in a prospective worry for Jones however, as attempt scorer May appeared to go straight down the tunnel using a hamstring injury.
This was a strange game. Australia dominated ownership (64 percent ), gained much more metres in attack (568m to England’s 274m), generated double the carries (151 into 71) and needed more gain-line success (57 to 36).
England turned over ball in critical areas at crucial moments though and were clinical in attack.
Jones’ back-row of Curry, Underhill and Vunipola outshined Pocock, Hooper and Naisarani – that the region in which the Wallabies are usually more powerful – which won the Evaluation.
That capacity to flip more ball, protect it, and then unleash May, Slade, Tuilagi and Watson was match-defining.
Farrell’s kicking – a concern against Argentina – has been exemplary. He did not look likely to overlook from everywhere – form needed from a 10 to win a World Cup.
The flip side is that if England devote as much ownership into the All Blacks or even Ireland, they will almost certainly be beaten.
Give that spell out time on the chunk to those sides, that chance to gain metres and create line-breaks and defeat is really a near-inevitability. An alternative game-plan is required.
Discpline are also an issue for Jones, having conceded eight penalties but five within their own half.
And lastly, accidents. If May does have a hamstring complaint – having pulled upward when chasing Koroibete back on, iced it then gone down the tunnel to leave England with 14 – which would be a tragedy.
The wing is playing the rugby of his life.