England regains pace and semi-finals

The Englishman Jonny May celebrating one of his tests with two substitutes, October 19 in Oita, Japan. Aaron Favila / AP

Here, the English have given their news. Since then, one wondered how they were going. Two weeks without playing any official match. Two weeks to go, until this quarter-final as rhythmic as pleasant: a large victory of England on Australia (40-16), Saturday, October 19, in Oita (Japan).

The XV of the Rose has therefore found the rhythm, as he is now preparing to return to the semifinals of the World Cup. A first since 2007, eight years after a defeat in the quarterfinals, and especially four years after a elimination in the first round in front of his public. He will face in a week the winner of the quarter between Ireland and New Zealand.

Afterwards, it will obviously be nice to comment on the two-week long break that preceded England, whose last match was back to their success on Argentina (39-10), on October 5th. That was before Typhoon Hagibis and the cancellation of the fourth and final group match against France, which will play its quarter-final on Sunday, in the same city, against the Welsh. The Australians, they – finalists of the 2015 edition – had a little less respite: their previous appearance dated October 11, day of their victory over Georgia (27-8).

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019 live: New Zealanders against Ireland

Variety in the foot game

Easy, now, to interpret these different times of time. And to lend to weeks without playing all the virtues: that of having left the group at rest, to have reduced the risk of injury. A defeat, Saturday, and we would have obviously described the opposite and evoked these fourteen days of waiting as a long numbness.

On Saturday, England replayed rugby. Rather very well, rather quickly, with this variety in the foot game that the XV of France dreaded strong. There was, admittedly, the first ten minutes complicated: 89% possession of the ball for the Australians, according to statistics. Then Jonny May kicked off: two tries in just three minutes for the English winger, between the 18e and the 21e minute. Widely enough to take the lead in the score and honor in beauty its 50e match in national team.

"If I forget that I'm going to play on Saturday, I'm thinking of the 2003 final, rugby in general, and cricket," explained the player in the preamble, referring to the world title of sixteen years ago, after a final won against Australia. The only title of England and the Northern Hemisphere in World Cup, still to date.

The English will have scored two more tests, at the beginning and end of the second period. Four in total, with each time the same to type and succeed the four kicks of transformation: Owen Farrell, as effective as systematic, the time of long seconds to prepare his gesture. Perfect balance sheet for the opener of England: 8 out of 8 at the foot, four transformations but also four penalties

It may be because he waited a long time before seeing his own play that the audience sang more beautiful Saturday afternoon. Before, during and after the match, "Swing low, sweet chariot" as if it was raining, in this stage of Oita roof covered yet. All this under a much lower temperature than a few days ago on Kyushu Island: 23 degrees Celsius.

Eddie Jones's choices rewarded

The victory also rewarded the choice of Eddie Jones, the Australian-American-Japanese coach … of England. Applauded early in the game, the former coach of Japan had anticipated: against brawling Australians, he had established two three-quarters strong centers, Manu Tuilagi (1.85 m for 114 kg) and Henry Slade (1.91 m for 96 kg), favoring Farrell as an opener rather than George Ford.

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: The multiple lives of Australian Eddie Jones

Jones has also relied on his "Kamikaze Kids", as this is the nickname of the young duo aligned in the third line: Tom Curry, 21, and Sam Underhill, 23 years old. Two players never last to go scrap. And so very precious Saturday face the experience of their vis-à-vis Australian, no less brawlers Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

This week the coach from England had invited a " old friend " to attend the preparation of the team. Eddie Jones has long known Ricky Jones, a rugby league coach. "He wanted to come see how we worked. It's that simple. " The two men already knew each other in 2007. A distant age when Jones was Australia's assistant coach, and where England qualified for their previous World Cup semi-final.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here