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HomeFootball NewsRugby World Cup 2023: How England certified for the quarter-finals

Rugby World Cup 2023: How England certified for the quarter-finals

England coach Steve Borthwick instructs his players during training
England educated on Thursday earlier than reaching the World Cup quarter-finals with out having to step on the sector of play
Venue: Stade Pierre Mauroy Date: Saturday, 7 October Kick-off: 16.45 BST
Protection: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Reside and Radio 5 Reside Sports activities Further, plus textual content updates on the BBC Sport web site and app

Going into the World Cup, issues regarded bleak for England.

A fourth-place end on the Six Nations, a spate of purple playing cards and warm-up defeats by Wales, Eire and Fiji ensured expectations had been at all-time low.

But simply over three weeks later, Steve Borthwick’s facet have secured their passage to the quarter-finals with a sport to spare – and as pool winners.

Victories over Argentina, Japan and Chile put England in command of Pool D earlier than their knockout place was secured with out them even having to set foot on the sector.

Japan’s win over Samoa meant England – a few of whose gamers had been noticed at Disneyland with their households throughout just a few days off earlier this week – can’t be caught on the summit of their pool. That is how they made it.

Ford kicks England off regardless of Curry purple

George Ford kicks a penalty for England against Argentina
George Ford kicked all 27 of England’s factors of their win over Argentina

When you find yourself a workforce scratching round for kind, you usually must depend on particular person brilliance to encourage the collective.

Step ahead George Ford in England’s opening sport in opposition to Argentina, their solely tier-one opposition within the pool.

Fly-half Ford kicked three drop-goals to present his facet a 12-3 half-time lead. England managed the second half and Ford added 15 factors from penalties as Borthwick’s facet began with a morale-boosting 27-10 win.

It might have all gone horribly fallacious after Tom Curry was controversially despatched off by way of bunker overview for a third-minute conflict of heads, in what has confirmed the primary of a number of divisive speaking factors impressed by the brand new system.

Nevertheless it was an old school, hard-fought win which has encapsulated the no-nonsense means wherein England have navigated their pool.

Bonus factors secured as Courageous Blossoms crushed

Courtney Lawes offloads the ball against Japan
Courtney Lawes captained England of their opening two World Cup matches, together with the win over Japan

Any hopes that England would possibly kick on with glowing rugby having crushed their most important pool challengers within the opening sport, had been dashed by the character of their win over Japan in week two.

The rating of 34-12 was snug, however it – and the bonus level for scoring 4 tries – was solely secured with the final play of the sport.

Lewis Ludlam scored the one strive of a primary half suffering from England errors, earlier than Rikiya Matsuda’s boot had Japan inside a degree at 13-12 early within the second.

A fortuitous strive from captain Courtney Lawes, after the ball had bounced off the pinnacle of Joe Marler, gave respiration area and the lead was prolonged within the latter phases.

However England wanted a spark from someplace. Step ahead Henry Arundell.

5-star Arundell too scorching for Chile

Henry Arundell scoring England's ninth try against Chile
Henry Arundell turned the third England man to attain 5 tries in a Rugby World Cup match

Towards debutants Chile, it was by no means going to be about whether or not England would safe victory however how they’d do it.

Due to Arundell in his first World Cup look, it was with model and ease. The 20-year-old scored 5 of England’s 11 tries, within the course of placing himself high of the match scoring charts.

Additionally spectacular was Marcus Smith at full-back, who scored the very best strive of the match by racing on to his personal kick.

Owen Farrell returned to the workforce after a four-match ban and mixed properly with Smith and Ford, making certain Borthwick has a welcome headache with regards to becoming all of the inventive expertise obtainable into his beginning XV.

The 71-0 win meant England would qualify for the final eight if Japan beat Samoa the next Thursday evening – which the Asian nation did, 28-22.

What comes subsequent?

England might now face Samoa of their closing pool match on 7 October with a rotated facet – which might comply with the victory over Chile wherein a number of first-teamers had been rested, then every week off.

That will imply the workforce’s huge hitters might have three weeks off earlier than their quarter-final in opposition to the runner-up in Pool C – which seems prone to be Fiji.

Fiji defeated England 30-22 at Twickenham of their closing World Cup warm-up and have crushed Australia at this match, so England should step up one other degree ought to they face the Pacific islanders.

Victory would arrange a semi-final in opposition to the Pool A winners or the runners-up in Pool B – which because it stands can be France and South Africa respectively.

No matter occurs, it’s about to get a lot more durable for England.

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