England produced a strong second-half display to beat Australia 40-16 in Oita and book their place in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals. The Red Rose racked up their joint biggest-ever Test win over the Wallabies in Saturday’s first quarter-final as they finally hit their stride having failed to impress during the pool stages.
However, the Australians did look capable of springing a surprise during the first half, enjoying plenty of possession but failing to take advantage, three penalties from Christian Lealiifano all they had to show for their efforts.
Meanwhile, Jonny May took full advantage of England’s limited opportunities as he went over twice for converted tries as England went in 17-9 ahead at the interval. Australia threatened a comeback three minutes into the second half when Marika Koroibete went over for a stunning solo try but that was as close as the two-time world champions got.
Prop Kyle Sinckler scored his first international try in the 46th minute before three penalties from skipper Owen Farrell, who scored 20 points in total, edged England further ahead. With Eddie Jones’ men well on top, Anthony Watson’s interception try three minutes from full time put the exclamation point on a seventh successive win for England over Australia.
Jones’ team now head to Yokohama to face either Ireland or New Zealand in next Saturday’s semi-final and the Australian-born coach is relishing the showpiece occasion. “I was pleased that the players stuck at the game in the first 20 minutes where I think Australia had 75% possession,” Jobes told ITV.
“We had to defend really well and we hung in and got the momentum back through the set piece and the kick chase and we took a couple of our opportunities. “They came back at us in the second half and we had to find ourselves. It was one of those ‘bring it on moments’.
We had to decide whether we were going to stick at it or go individual and I thought it was brilliant. “We are so excited about the semi-final. We can go there and challenge whoever we are playing against and see where we can go with this team. We haven’t been at our best yet and that is the challenge to see how we can get to our best.”Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.