Steve Borthwick’s men did not go to Anglais Promenade for nothing. On September 17, the XV de la Rose left Nice with an emphatic victory over Japan (34-12), with an offensive bonus point as a bonus.
England top Group D with nine points before facing Chile and Samoa, a priori the two weakest teams in the group.
In this long balanced game, play was broken up by numerous advances from both sides. The Japanese were brave, well organized, but too clumsy to hope for the best. If they did, at times, succeed in the run of the match, they let countless balls escape.
As for the English, they can thank George Ford, the author of two penalties and four conversions (14 points) and a full game. His numerous candles, which rose far above the Provençal sky, allowed his team to play most often in the Japanese camp.
Ford, Lucky for Sale Luke
On Saturday 9th September, the lucky Luca of Sale, who scored three goals against Argentina, did it again. Unlike in Marseille, this time all England fans were able to enter the stadium at kick-off time. The organizers of the world championships were able to rectify the situation after the incidents recorded at the entrance of the velodrome last week, which caused a lot of leaks in the British press.
George Ford’s presence on the field only serves to suspend the first two matches of the World Cup due to the dangerous performance of England captain Owen Farrell. But many British observers will want him to extend his midfield position as a playmaker for the XV à la Rose. At this rate, they’ll have to put up a statue of him soon.
For the rest, the English handed over a meaningless copy. The frustration comes mainly from their forwards, who clearly dominated the Japanese team, the weak point of the “Cherry Blossoms” (Cherry Blossoms, their emblem). The week before against Chile, the Japanese missed a record 28 shots. Can they compete with players of the caliber of Maro Itoje, Courtney Laws and Billy Vunipola returning from discus?
Finally, the Japanese binding is affected, but it does not fold. The rare attempts made by the English were more often than not unsuccessful and they had to rely on the opener’s boot to gain ground.
Japanese with a New Zealand accent
It is true that the Japanese have called on a number of New Zealand forwards in recent years to bolster their squad. Amato Fakatawa (1.95m, 118kg) and Michael Leitch (1.90m, 113kg) could play in the third row tonight, as well as second row Warner Dearns (2.02m, 122kg). All black.
When it comes to rugby, there are plenty of exchanges between the land of the white cloud and the land of the rising sun. The coach of the Japanese national team, Jamie Joseph, is of Maori origin. But the All Blacks are unlikely to drop as many balls as their Japanese counterparts tonight.
The start of the match was quite exciting, the Japanese tried their luck boldly. When they managed to move the ball to the wings, the English struggled. If they had to wait until the 7th minute to go to the opposing camp, the “Brave Flowers” (Brave Flowers, their other nickname) camped there for twenty minutes, it was time to collect two penalties and go with the score (3). -6).
After a Japanese scramble near their goal line, third-row Lewis Ludlam, however, scored a lucky try in the 23rd minute to allow England to go back in front. Feverishly, the latter proved undisciplined, to the point of giving up two touchdowns. Despite everything, XV à la Rose managed to return to the locker room with four points (13-9).
In the second half, the Englishmen continued their winning game using candles. Without imagination, XV de la Rose also relied, once again, on luck. In the 55th minute he needed a one-way effort to finally widen the gap (20-12), the ball bouncing off Joe Marler’s skull and looking like a forward – as the video showed. Finally rejected – until Courtney Lowes. Between the flattened posts.
“room for improvement”
In the 65th minute, the fortunes of the match finally changed: with a beautiful lobbed pass from Ford, Steward flattened at the end of the line without opposition. Japan’s Dick gave way and the English were about to storm in, scoring a fourth try in the last minute through Joe Marchant.
We managed to score four tries. Steve Borthwick tried to stay positive after the match. Our offensive game will continue to improve. Some teams have had four years or more to develop their game. We had four months. We still have a lot of room for improvement, this team will continue to grow. »
In Pool D, England have the most difficult task and will be able to rotate the squad against Chile at the Pierre-Mauroy Stadium in Lille on September 23 before facing Samoa on October 7 at the same ground they are likely to be at home. . Japan will face Samoa at the Toulouse Stadium on September 28, followed by Argentina at the Beaujolais Stadium in Nantes on October 8.
Source: Le Monde
Jason Root is a sports aficionado and a writer at Run Down Bulletin. With a passion for athletic competition and a wealth of knowledge on all things sports, he provides in-depth coverage of the biggest games and events in the world of sports.