Australia 45-10 Uruguay
This was another one-sided fixture, with the Wallabies winning by 35 points.
Two tries each for Dane Haylett-Petty and Tevita Kuridrani will have helped their case for selection in the Wallaby first-choice side, whilst there was a try for 19 year-old Jordan Petaia on his debut.
England could well face Australia in the quarter-finals – was there anything to learn from this run out?
England 39-10 Argentina
England ran out comfortable winners of this huge clash, which has all but eliminated Argentina.
The game started at a ver high intensity, with Agustin Creevy’s prediction of a war looking accurate. A huge turning point came when Tomas Lavanini was red-carded for a high tackle on Owen Farrell, and after that the sting was taken out of the game, with England looking flat and like they just expected to win.
Two late tries in the first half gave England a comfortable lead and there was no way back for Argentina.
The red card seemed the appropriate sanction given the clampdown on contact with the head, but Manu Tuilagi appeared to get away with a yellow-card offence when he made contact with Emiliano Boffelli before he landed after jumping for a high ball.
As the tournament progresses and the stakes for each match get higher and higher, it seems inevitable that a controversial red card decides the outcome, and we should all brace ourselves I think.
Owen Farrell’s goal-kicking was unusually poor, missing four relatively straightforward attempts in the first half, and that might be concerning as England go further in this World Cup.
The box kicking was also below par in my opinion, with Ben Youngs not having a great game, and Willi Heinz not much better when he came on.
England’s defence was again impressive, although again it’s hard to gauge because Argentina did not really threaten. But in three games, England have conceded just two tries – both after the result had been settled – and a total of just 20 points.
Billy Vunipola disappeared at half-time with an ankle niggle, but it was good to see the return of Mako Vunipola, Henry Slade and Jack Nowell, and Nowell scored a very well-taken try to show what he can add to the squad.
What did you think of the game? Who played well? What would you change for next week’s crucial game with France?
Japan v Samoa
I’ll write up this one later…