Joe Cokanasiga scored a double as England wrapped up a second bonus-point win at the Rugby World Cup with a 45-7 victory over the United States in Kobe.
Having kicked off their Pool C campaign with a 35-3 triumph against Tonga, Eddie Jones’ much-changed side ran in seven tries in a one-sided contest on Thursday.
George Ford, Billy Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie touched down in the first half for the 2003 champions, who still seemed short of their fluent best in humid conditions.
USA suffered further punishment after the interval as Cokanasiga crossed either side of scores from Ruaridh McConnochie and Lewis Ludlam and a red card for John Quill, but Bryce Campbell ensured they did not end the game scoreless.
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It took five minutes for England to make the breakthrough, stand-in captain Ford strolling between the posts at the end of a move that opened up huge gaps in USA’s defence.
But that did not lead to the opening of the floodgates, with England frequently undone by their own lack of discipline, conceding needless penalties time and time again.
Another 20 minutes passed before England could double their lead as Vunipola powered over following a rolling maul and Ford again added the extras.
The maul once more proved profitable for Jones’ men when Cowan-Dickie dotted down before the break.
Jonathan Joseph’s powerful driving run laid the groundwork for Cokanasiga’s bonus-point-sealing try early in the second half.
Quick hands and sharp movement paved the way for McConnochie’s to cross, while Ludlam collected Owen Farrell’s offload to join the fun.
Quill was dismissed 10 minutes from time – the first red card of the tournament – after charging into Farrell with his shoulder.
Cokanasiga made the most of England’s numerical advantage by darting through a gap, but England were unable to stop Campbell going over by the posts after the 80th minute.
A change will do you good
England’s starting XV showed 10 changes from the win over Tonga, affording several of those who will have been frustrated to miss out last time a chance to prove a point. While it was hardly a vintage display, the policy of squad rotation should keep England fresh and invite a sense of healthy competition.
Consolation try a fitting reward
This was a chastening outing for USA, who are no strangers to being underdogs at a World Cup. But Campbell’s last-gasp score was a fitting reward for their efforts at the end of a torrid day at the office.
Key Opta Facts
– England had gone 240 minutes without conceding a try in World Cup matches before Campbell crossed at the death for USA.
– Neil Back is the only forward (six in 1998) to have scored more tries in a calendar year for England than Cowan-Dickie has in 2019 (four).
– England have scored four or more tries in three consecutive World Cup matches for the first time.
– Ford scored one and assisted two tries in this match, the first England fly-half to do so in a World Cup match.
USA take on another European nation in the shape of France in Fukuoka on Wednesday, while England face Argentina in Tokyo in nine days.
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