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How England stepped up the march with superb one-two in knockouts
Eddie Jones and his team kicked off their campaign by outmuscling Tonga, before outclassing Australia and finishing their journey with a consummate dismissal of the All Blacks.
TOKYO, 31 Oct - England's route to the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday.
Match 1, Pool C, Sapporo Dome, 22 September
England 35-3 Tonga
England knew they were in a physical tussle from the moment Billy Vunipola was crunched in a massive tackle, and it took until four minutes from time to bring up the bonus-point try from Luke Cowan-Dickie. England turned to Manu Tuilagi for inspiration and he scored two tries. The match was significant for Tonga replacement Nasi Manu, who returned to test rugby for the first time since his treatment for cancer.
Match 2, Pool C, Kobe Misaki Stadium, 26 September
England 45-7 USA
With a four-day turnaround and the flight from Sapporo, this was always going to be a difficult assignment. Throw in nearly 80 per cent humidity under the stadium roof, and it was uncomfortable for everyone. Cowan-Dickie got himself on to the scoreboard again, USA flanker John Quill was sent off for a high tackle on Owen Farrell 10 minutes from the end, and the impressive George Ford at fly-half orchestrated the seven-try win.
Match 3, Pool C, Tokyo Stadium, 5 October
England 39-10 Argentina
This was shaping up as the tough test predicted until Tomas Lavanini delivered a high tackle, with Farrell again the target. His sending-off after just 18 minutes left the Pumas with too much to do and, while the captain's kicking was off target, there were six tries for England. For the third game in a row, Cowan-Dickie popped up to claim one, above. With a third successive bonus-point win, England were the first team into the quarter-finals. The final pool match with France would determine who finished top.
Match 4, Pool C, International Stadium Yokohama, 12 October
England v France CANCELLED
The match was cancelled due to the imminent arrival of Typhoon Hagibis. Both teams were awarded two points, which confirmed England as pool winners. They headed to Miyazaki for warm-weather training and, according to head coach Eddie Jones, the excellent beef.
Match 5, quarter-final, Oita Stadium, 19 October
England 40-16 Australia
What a time for Jonny May to mark his 50th cap by scoring two crucial tries. Jones took his record of match wins over opposite number Michael Cheika to 7-0. Farrell was superb, kicking all eight attempts at goal for a tally of 20 points. In a battle of the breakdown, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry eclipsed their heroes Michael Hooper and David Pocock. The win confirmed England as real contenders for the title and gave Henry Slade a chance to remind everyone of his skills. Ford took over at fly-half from Farrell late in the game.
Match 6, semi-final, International Stadium Yokohama, 26 October
England 19-7 New Zealand
The scoreline does not do justice to England's dominance over the No.1 team in the world, who were chasing a third successive World Cup triumph. The All Blacks came a distant second, with England having two tries ruled out and another golden opportunity not taken by May, who was carrying a leg injury. Ford returned to the starting line-up and ran the show brilliantly, having taken over the kicking duties after Farrell picked up a leg injury. Farrell remained on the pitch and continued to direct operations with a cool and calculating rugby brain.