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England Thrash Australia To Secure Semi-Final World Cup Spot

England Australia

England 40 – 16 Australia 

England are through to the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup after they completely suffocated Australia at the Oita Stadium.

Australia dominated the opening exchanges and their first score came from a Henry Slade knock-on which allowed Kurtley Beale to break upfield before Scott Sio was high tackled on the next phase. Christian Lealiifano kicked the three points to open the scoring.

Despite some excellent steals from David Pocock and Michael Hooper, England began to put the foot on the pedal and they utilised a superb screen-play to generate space out wide for Jonny May who went over in the corner to give England the lead.

Owen Farrell’s perfect touchline conversion put England 7-3 ahead.

England Australia

The Wallabies attempted to respond but a poor offload from David Pocock was snapped up by Slade who sprinted away before putting a delightful kick ahead for May to collect and score. Farrell was accurate once again from the touchline to give his side a 14-3 lead.

Both teams then traded penalties before Lealiifano added one more as the half came to a close with England leading 17-9 at the break.

The Wallabies got off to the perfect start in the second half when Marika Koroibete ran all the way in for a try after a superb pass from Reece Hodge and then an inside pass from Jordan Petaia. Lealiifano’s conversion brought it back to a one-point game but any Australian optimism was short-lived.

England Australia

Just three minutes later. England got a try back.

A superb flat pass from Farrell and running line from Kyle Sinckler saw the prop crash over the line for England third try which gave his side a 24-16 lead.

The Wallabies had a great opportunity with a scrum under the England posts but some superb defending from Eddie Jones’ side saw Australia come away with nothing before the Red Rose extended their lead with two Farrell penalties.

14 points down with as many minutes left, Australia were staring down the barrel of a quarter-final exit and that’s what transpired as another Farrell penalty and an intercept try from Anthony Watson from a poor Kurtley Beale pass saw England run out comfortable winners to set up a semi-final clash with Ireland or New Zealand.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email seanmc@punditarena.com or on Twitter