England enjoyed a thirty one point win over World Cup minnows Georgia, and picked up a bonus point in the process,as they ran out comfortable victors in their clash in Dunedin on Sunday morning. The Six Nations side now lead their group and are looking good for a place in the knockout stages of the competition.
The scoreline slightly flattered the winners however, as they were very poor in the first half and conceded eleven penalties in that period. Hooker Dylan Hartley was sinbinned and the English had to play with 14 men for much of the time. Had the Georgians been a better side they would have been out of sight by the break. They did manage a try from Dimitri Basilaia during the hookers ten minute absence but while this was converted by Merab Kvirikashvili, that was as good as it got for the minnows. The latter also kicked a penalty to complete his sides scoring on the day.
It had all promised to be so easy for England after Shontayne Hape touched down after just three minutes and Flood converted to make it 7-0. After 22 minutes Hape scored his second of the game, with Flood again adding the extras. England led 14-0 and looked comfortable.However, they gave away a number of penalties and had Kvirikashvili been more accurate the gap would have been closed. It took Georgia 27 minutes to score, with the latter kicking a penalty. Flood replied with a similar score for England.
As the Georgians began to tire, the English were much stronger in the second half and readily added to their score. Delon Armitage scored the third try for Martin Johnson’s men and Manu Tuilagi ran through for his sides fourth try, and Toby Flood converted both. Chris Ashton was also on form and he added tries number five and six, as the favourites ran out convincing winners at the finish. They will need to improve a great deal however, if they are to be a major force in the competition. Their indiscipline could cost them against the stronger sides and that is an area of their game that needs plenty of work.