England cruised to a 45-7 victory over the USA on Thursday to maintain its 100% start at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The 2003 champion simply outclassed its opponents in Kobe City scoring seven tries, with the Americans almost becoming the first team not to register a score at this year’s tournament until a late try from Bryce Campbell put the USA on the scoreboard.
To make matters worse, USA’s John Quill picked up the tournament’s first red card for a sickening tackle on Owen Farrell. Defeat for the Eagles means its wait for a first Rugby World Cup win since 2011 continues whilst England has now won both of its games so far this tournament after beating Tonga 35-3 in its opener Sunday.
Despite boasting a population of 330 million, men’s rugby in the US is still on the rise and its opening match in Japan demonstrates just how far there is to go before it can compete on the biggest stage.
When asked what his side needed to improve on, USA coach Gary Gold didn’t hold back. “Everything, every aspect of our game, starting with our defense,” he said after the game. “You can’t be missing nearly 40 tackles in a game and hope you’re going to be in the equation. It was a pretty awful performance by us.”
Result never in doubt
The match was one of the most one-sided of the tournament so far. George Ford carved his way through the US defense to register England’s first try within seven minutes, becoming the fourth England captain to score a try at the Rugby World Cup.
Instead of capitulating after the early setback, the US defended ferociously but Eddie Jones’ side continued to knock on the door. Eventually, the door came flying off.
Billy Vunipola drove over from a line-out and Luke Cowan-Dickie once again capitalized on a set-piece before half-time offered the USA some respite from England’s relentless attack.
If questions have been raised over the quality of officiating so far at the tournament there was no chance Quill wouldn’t be red carded given the way he shoulder-charged Farrell’s head, with the Englishmen lucky not to have suffered more serious injury.
Despite the brutal collision, Farrell was up in seconds to confront Quill, sparking ugly scenes in an otherwise entertaining spectacle.
England coach Jones will be happy with England’s defense which has only conceded one try at this year’s tournament but sterner tests lie ahead in the shape of France and Argentina.