Nine-try England ease past Fiji

Semesa Rokoduguni dives over to score for England

Semesa Rokoduguni marked his second England cap with his first try

England stretched their winning run to 12 matches as they ran in nine tries against Fiji at Twickenham.

Tries from Jamie Joseph, Elliot Daly, Semesa Rokoduguni, Teimana Harrison and Joe Launchbury gave England a big lead.

Fiji hit back as Nemani Nadolo, Leone Nakarawa and Metuisela Talebula scored either side of the break.

But further scores from Joe Launchbury (two), Joseph, Alex Goode and Rokoduguni saw England secure their biggest winning margin against Fiji.

Biggest winning margin for England

England head coach Eddie Jones had promised “fish and chip” rugby – namely that the hosts would produce a traditional, structured game to play to their strengths and not let things get loose, which would benefit Fiji.

But, although they duly used the power of their driving line-out to score three first-half tries, they also showed plenty of ambition, with the 10-12 axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell combining well to release the backs.

The skilful and explosive Fijians finally came to life near the break, scoring three quick tries as England slipped below the standards they had set initially.

But in the end the hosts – who made five changes to their starting XV and brought on several youngsters from the bench in the second half – equalled their highest ever total against the visitors.


Elliot Daly was another to score his first Test try for England

Four-try burst

Recalled centre Joseph opened the scoring inside the first few minutes, skipping over from Owen Farrell’s nicely delayed pass, and Daly was next to cross, latching on to to Ford’s long pass and leaving the Fiji defenders tripping over each other as he cruised over.

Rokoduguni then scored his first Test try, against the land of his birth, and two tries from driven line-outs, for Harrison and Launchbury, meant England were still scoring at better than a point a minute at the half-hour mark.

Fiji fight back

Fiji had yet to make it into England’s 22, denying the world class Nadolo and sevens star Nakarawa the chance to show what they could do.

And, when they did finally get down the other end of the pitch, the pair featured prominently before the former crashed over in the corner for their first try.

On the stroke of half-time it was Nakarawa showing his power and skill to stretch over despite the attention of a pack of England defenders.

And early in the second half full-back Talebula beat three men on his way to their third score.


The 20-stone Nadolo was a handful every time he got the ball for Fiji

England regain control

England had been knocked out of their stride but they managed to regroup and pull away convincingly.

Goode scored his first Test try, courtesy of prop Mako Vunipola’s perfect take-and-give pass, before Joseph picked off a speculative pass from Fiji’s Cornwall-born fly-half Josh Matavesi to score an interception try to complete his brace.

And there was still time for Rokoduguni and Launchbury – the latter becoming only the second England second row to score two tries in a Test – to complete doubles of their own.

England: Goode, Rokoduguni, Joseph, Farrell, Daly, Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Hartley (capt), Cole, Launchbury, Lawes, Robshaw, Harrison, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, Marler, Sinckler, Ewels, Hughes, Care, Te’o, Slade.

Fiji: Talebula, Masilevu, Tikoirotuma, Vulivuli, Nadolo, Matavesi, Vularika; Ma’afu, Koto, Saulo, Ratuniyawara, Nakarawa, Waqaniburotu, Yato, Qera.

Replacements: Talemaitoga, Ravai, Atalifo, Soqeta, Dawai, Radrodro, Matawalu, Murimurivalu.

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