Rugby World Cup: England sink 14-man US with seven tries
Coach Jones makes 10 changes from team that beat Tonga in their first match
England got the job done with a solid 45-7 bonus-point victory over the United States at the Rugby World Cup yesterday against a determined Eagles side.
With a four-day turnaround after their opening Pool C victory over Tonga, coach Eddie Jones rang the changes with 10 new picks but was rewarded with seven tries in humid conditions at a packed Kobe Misaki Stadium.
Skipper George Ford, Billy Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie scored before the break, with winger Joe Cokanasiga grabbing a brace and Ruaridh McConnochie and Lewis Ludlam also crossing in the second half.
US flanker John Quill was sent off in the 70th minute for a shoulder-charge to the head of Owen Farrell, but the Americans never gave up and replacement Bryce Campbell finally got them on the scoreboard after the final gong.
"It's a good win again," said Player-of-the-Match Ford. "We had to work for it again, the US were a really physical, passionate team so we had to earn that win and I thought we did that very well."
US coach Gary Gold, however, was disappointed.
"You can't be missing nearly 40 tackles in a game and still hope to be in the game," he added. "It was a pretty awful performance by us tonight."
US fullback Will Hooley had said ahead of the game that, England were not from Mount Olympus, though he may have felt he was hit by Zeus himself in the opening seconds after being smashed backwards by centre Piers Francis.
England were quicker off the mark in Kobe, scrumhalf Willi Heinz finding Ford running a beautiful line and the No. 10 went through to score under the posts after five minutes.
England then opted to kick for touch when awarded a penalty just outside the US 22 and were rewarded when Tom Curry claimed the line-out and Vunipola smashed over from the back of a driving maul.
England's third try arrived in similar circumstances, the US powerless to stop a rampaging maul before Cowan-Dickie touched down.
Chants of "USA! USA!" competed with renditions of England's rugby anthem "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" while the entire crowd joined together at half-time to belt out the John Denver classic,Take Me Home, Country Roads.
England were quickly into their stride after the break and claimed the bonus-point try in the 48th minute, when Jonathan Joseph was stopped just short but Cokanasiga was on hand to score.
England winger McConnochie was having a quiet night, but the Olympic rugby sevens silver medallist showed his sense of timing just before the hour mark, taking a pass at full pelt and bundling over for his first international try in the 15-aside game.
England's seventh try came with four minutes left when replacement prop Ellis Genge barrelled his way through a host of tired US tacklers before Cokanasiga finished off.
England, not content, greedily went for another score after the final "gong", but instead it was the US who got the score, replacement Bryce Campbell going over after an untidy, frenzied passage of play. - REUTERS