October 19, 2019 / 9:25 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Rugby-May strikes twice as dominant England down Wallabies 40-16

 (Adds quotes)
    By Nick Mulvenney
    OITA, Japan, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Winger Jonny May scored two
tries in three first-half minutes as England underlined their
World Cup credentials with a dominant  40-16 win over Australia
on Saturday to set up a semi-final against New Zealand or
Ireland. 
    Four years after the Wallabies sent England packing out of
their own tournament, Eddie Jones's side gained a measure of
revenge while extending their winning streak over the
Australians to seven matches. 
    Australia played a full part in an engrossing contest but in
the end were well beaten by a team who defended stoutly, took
their chances ruthlessly and had a flyhalf in Owen Farrell who 
managed the game maturely and kicked flawlessly for 20 points.
    England, who scored four tries in all to Australia's one,
have now won three out of three World Cup quarter-finals against
Australia following their upset wins of 1995 and 2007 and will
move on with confidence to the clash with the All Blacks or
Ireland, who play later on Saturday.
    "I thought Australia made that a brilliant game. They
attacked throughout but our boys did well in defence and managed
to get some field position off the back of it," said skipper
Farrell.
    "We know when we have field position we can be pretty
dangerous. We did what was needed. We had the lead and Australia
were throwing everything at us again. We wanted to play the game
at our pace and we did that in the second half."
    Twice world champions Australia were losing finalists in
2015 and while their early departure will probably mark the end
of Michael Cheika's five-year reign as coach, he will be pleased
they went down attacking with ball in hand. 
    "We played an attacking style of rugby which I think really
threatened the English today," said skipper Michael Hooper.
    "Congratulations to England for a good win. We are really
upset, we emptied into this and didn’t get it. We are gutted."
    Australia made the better start but were unable to turn
early possession into points until flyhalf Christian Lealiifano
opened the scoring with a penalty after 11 minutes.
    The lead would only last seven minutes before the first of
May's double strike, England giving the Wallabies an object 
lesson in how to make pressure pay when the winger went over on
the overlap after a beautifully delayed pass from flanker Tom
Curry. 
    Australia went straight back on the attack but a David
Pocock pop-pass went through the hands of Lealiifano and Henry
Slade swooped onto the ball, the centre racing 40 metres before
putting May into the left corner again with a neat grubber kick.
    The Wallabies were stunned but still avoiding kicking out of
defence, making good ground with ball in hand and again working
their way deep into England territory only to spill the ball in
the tackle. 
    
    EIGHT-POINT LEAD
    The referee was playing advantage, however, so Lealiifano
was able to cut the deficit to 14-6 from the kicking tee, with
another penalty apiece before halftime sending England into the
break with an eight-point advantage.
    Three minutes into the second half and it was one point, a
lofted pass from Reece Hodge setting centre Jordan Petaia free
on the left, the teenager finding Marika Koroibete who turned
May inside and out before touching down. 
    Another England double whammy almost immediately put the
Australians on the back foot again, however.
    Farrell first provided a sublime flat pass to put prop Kyle
Sinckler in for his first test try and then, after his pack had
monstered Australia at the scrum, the flyhalf stepped up to
extend the lead to 27-16.
    Australia knew they needed to score next but, when offered
the opportunity with a penalty in front of the posts just before
the hour mark, Michael Hooper elected to go for a scrum.
    England's eight held firm, the defence held firm, and soon
they were back in the Australia half hammering away at the try
line and earning a penalty that Farrell slotted to take the lead
to 14 points. 
    The 2003 champions were now in full control and Farrell
slotted a fourth penalty after Australia collapsed a rolling
maul in desperation.
    The Wallabies were forced to throw caution to the wind and
Anthony Watson scored a fourth try from an intercept four
minutes to ensure England would match their record winning
margin over Australia, the 30-7 win in 2017.  
     
    

 (Editing by Tony Lawrence)
  
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