England 35 Tonga 3
England opened their World Cup campaign on Sunday with a 35-3 win over Tonga. Many probably expected England to beat the – 44 handicap that was set out at even money by the bookies but that failed to materialise at Sapporo Stadium.
England were met head on by Tonga in the opening couple of minutes with Pacific Islanders putting in some big hits and matching the 2003 World Cup Champions in the scrum. However, it was on the flanks were England got plenty of joy with Sam Underhill and Manu Tuilagi making a lot of space. Billy Vunipola was brought back down to earth with a massive hit by Zane Kapeli, but Tuilagi did likewise to Takulua.
Owen Farrell and Kurt Morath exchanged penalties early on and as the end of the first quarter approached Tonga would have been very happy. Sam Underhill looked to have scored a try for England but Piutau was on hand to get his hand and body under the ball which meant a no try was the decision from the TMO. However, a try was coming from England in fairness, this time it came from a scrum from 20m, Tuilagi getting the ball and barrelling his way over, again TMO was required but it was deemed a try. England had a second try minutes later when Courtney Lawes came through to find Elliott Daly who stepped on the after burners, before finding May who passed to Tuilagi who scored his second of the game. England ahead at the break 18 to 3.
The game in the second half probably suited the Tongans. It was pretty scrappy to be fair. Eddie Jones emptied his bench knowing the game was in the bag, he brought on Henry Slade at full back. Jamie George got a 58th minute try which stemmed from a line-out. England got the bonus point when substitute Jonathan Joseph created a try for Cowan Dickie under the posts.