SAPPORO – Manu Tuilagi scored two tries and captain Owen Farrell added 15 points on three conversions and another three penalty goals, leading England to a 35-3 triumph over Tonga in their Rugby World Cup Pool C match on Sunday at Sapporo Dome.
England, which failed to advance to the quarterfinals as the host country in the 2015 contest, deployed quick passing and a stingy defense to hold the Ikale Tahi without a try for the first time in three meetings.
“We’re really pleased. We looked for five points and got five points. We got no injuries,” said England head coach Eddie Jones, who previously coached Japan’s Brave Blossoms. “Coming to Japan as a part of historical World Cup is very special and I’m enjoying it. Yeah, it is special. Tokubetsu (special).”
Despite allowing Tonga to possess the ball over 53 percent of the game, England overwhelmed in meters run with a lopsided 670 to 157. The difference in physical ability translated to the scoreline as England earned a bonus point for its four tries.
Defensively, England made sure tackles to prevent Tonga’s ball carriers from gaining ground and held its opponent scoreless in the final 65 minutes.
After exchanging penalty goals to tie the game at 3-3, Tuilagi made a powerful run for a try in the 25th minute. He crossed the goal line again seven minutes later when he caught a pass from Jonny May, who broke several tackles for a long run.
England also overpowered on its mauls, which helped Jamie George score a try in the 58th minute. Luke Cowan-Dickie added an insurance try 20 minutes later.
Many of the crowd of 35,923 cheered for England. Tonga finally gained some of the fans’ support towards the end of the game, drawing “Tonga” calls from the stands, but was unable to answer them by crossing the goal line.