OITA, Japan, Oct 18 (Reuters) - England stormed into the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years on Saturday when two tries for winger Jonny May, brilliant kicking by Owen Farrell and a superb defensive display drove them to a convincing 40-16 win over Australia. England turned the game with two tries inside three minutes midway through the first half as May finished a good move for the first, then grabbed a second after Henry Slade intercepted on his own 22, galloped clear then cleverly kicked perfectly into the path of his galloping left winger. Three Christiano Lealiifano penalties kept Australia in touch at 17-9 at the break and Marika Koroibete’s try soon after cut the lead to a point but prop Kyle Sinckler then blasted through and, and after Farrell’s goalkicking stretched the lead, Anthony Watson finished it in style with a the fourth try.
It was England’s seventh successive victory over their old rivals and made it three out of three in World Cup quarter-finals following their upset wins of 1995 and 2007.
They will now play either New Zealand or Ireland, who meet in Tokyo later on Saturday, in next weekend’s semi-finals.
Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Tony Lawrence