England 45-7 USA: Three talking points as England maul the USA
USA Rugby, despite showing great improvement, has a long way to go. This was evident yesterday as perennial power, England, demolished the Eagles, 45-7 at the Kobe Misaki Stadium.
It only took six minutes for Eddie Jones’ men to open the scoring. George Ford capitalized on a wide-open gap for the simplest of tries.
Billy Vunipola was the next to score a try. The Roses scored off a well-executed line-out with Vunipola being powered into the try area by his teammates.
Luke Cowan-Dickie scored England’s third and final try of the first half in the 33rd minute. The English team again overpowered the Americans, setting the hooker up for the try.
The most impressive try of the game came in the 47th minute. Jonathan Joseph’s dummy bamboozled the American defensive line as the center ran up all the way to the edge of the try area. Joe Cokanisiga picked up the scraps to score his first try of the game and win England a bonus point.
Jones’ cohorts continued their relentless assault, scoring another try via Ruaridh McConnochie in the 58th minute. Cokanisiga and Lewis Ludlam scored the sixth and seventh tries of the game.
The Americans got a consolation in the final minute of the match as some mindless play from Jones’ men helped the Eagles in scoring a try.
George Ford’s kicking masterclass
Ford was called onto convert seven tries. He converted five of them.
It was not a 100% conversion night for the Leicester Tigers fly-half but five off seven is a strong showing.
He converted from difficult angles, showing off his kicking skills. Talking about Ford’s kicking performance, in an easy game like this, is pedantic. It does, however, put into light the difference maker Ford can be in crunch moments against tougher opponents.
Jones and England make a statement
Yes, the USA is nowhere close to England in terms of Rugby quality and the Roses were expected to win this game.
Still, putting 45 past the Americans was a statement from the Englishmen.
England unexpectedly struggled against Tonga in their opener and doubts were raised over their ability. This match should have put all those to rest.
With the likes of Ford, Owen Farrell and Jonny May, the Roses possess a strong offense. That attacking lineup put everyone on notice with a dominant display yesterday.
Owen Farrell gets a dose of Owen Farrell?
Farrell was a replacement in yesterday’s game but was involved in the first red card of this tournament.
The English star was the victim of a nasty John Quill shoulder barge in the 70th minute. The American’s high tackle caught Farrell right on the head and injured the Englishman’s nose. Quill was duly red-carded for the illegal play.
For those who’re deep into the sport, Quill produced what is derisively called “an Owen Farrell special”. The English center is infamous for his rough play and social media was awash with statements like “karma finally catching up with Farrell”.
Whatever be the case, it was an illegal tackle from Quill and referee Nic Berry was correct in sending him off.
One thing, however, that needs attention is Berry’s decision to not reprimand Piers Francis for a clumsy high-tackle on Will Hooley early in the match. Video clips showed Francis’ challenge which was clearly not within the rules.
This is another in a spate of refereeing errors that have plagued this World Cup. It does not make for great viewing, from a neutral fan’s perspective, that is.
Cover image credits: Sky Sports