England are on the verge of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals after securing a bonus-point win in opposition to a cussed Japan facet in Good.
Steve Borthwick’s males have now crushed their two hardest opponents on paper, selecting up 9 factors on the best way and having to take action with out their suspended captain Owen Farrell.
Nevertheless, for a very long time in muggy situations within the south of France, England made onerous work of issues as a litany of dealing with errors stunted any attacking progress. As a rule fly-half George Ford and the crew opted to place boot to ball, at one stage the crew’s predisposition to kicking drew loud boos audible on the ITV protection.
Ultimately, Lewis Ludlam scored England’s first strive of the match after 104 minutes and their first World Cup five-pointer since that monumental 2019 semi-final win in opposition to New Zealand in Yokohama.
Nevertheless, Japan had been going nowhere with John Mitchell, England’s former coach turned Japan’s defence maestro, orchestrating a terrific rearguard effort from his troops.
A second Ford penalty of the primary half ensured England went in 13-9 up at half-time.
Associated: England Rugby World Cup squad
The breakthrough after the interval got here in weird circumstances as Joe Marler’s head offered an help for captain Courtney Lawes to recover from for a strive within the 56th minute.
That appeared to assist England begin to lastly get motoring as ten minutes later Ford’s fantastic left-footed cross-kick was completely weighted for the onrushing full-back Freddie Steward to gather within the air and dot down.
That left England with 14 minutes to discover a essential fourth attempt to decide up an additional bonus level and it will definitely got here proper on the loss of life. England piled the strain on the Japan line and after substitute Ollie Lawrence got here up with a very good carry, a Ben Youngs miss-pass discovered Joe Marchant who reduce a pleasant line to crash over previous a by now weary Courageous Blossoms defence.
England now transfer onto their subsequent sport in opposition to Chile, protected within the information they’re very effectively positioned to progress as at the least one of many prime two qualifiers from Pool D.