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Late try seals bonus point for England in World Cup win over Tonga

Manu Tuilagi scored two tries for Eddie Jones’ side as they took maximum points from their opening game.

england-v-tonga-pool-c-2019-rugby-world-cup-sapporo-dome Manu Tuilagi celebrates with George Ford after scoring England's second try against Tonga. Source: David Davies

England 35

Tonga 3

MANU TUILAGI LED the way for England as Eddie Jones’ side began their Rugby World Cup campaign with a comfortable but disjointed 35-3 victory over Tonga.

Tuilagi was not selected for Stuart Lancaster’s 2015 World Cup squad after he admitted to assaulting two police officers, though he made up for lost time in England’s opening Pool C match in Sapporo.

Having put England ahead after Sonatane Takulua had cancelled out Owen Farrell’s penalty, Tuilagi charged in for his second at the culmination of a slick move.

Jones emphasised the importance of his side getting their tactics on point and, with Tonga’s resistance broken, Farrell’s excellent kicking tightened England’s stranglehold, with Jamie George getting in on the act before Luke Cowan-Dickie secured the bonus point in the 76th minute.

An exchange of penalties had the scores level after a bright start from both sides. England thought they had the lead when Sam Underhill barged over following a brilliant break from Tuilagi, only for the TMO to confirm he had been held up.

england-v-tonga-pool-c-2019-rugby-world-cup-sapporo-dome Luke Cowan-Dickie secures the bonus point for England. Source: David Davies

England were not to be denied by the video official two minutes later, however, with a review unable to disprove the referee’s on-field decision that Tuilagi had grounded in the corner, although captain Farrell failed to add the extras.

Tuilagi had his second soon enough, racing over after Jonny May got clear down the left flank, with Farrell making no mistake on this occasion before landing a second penalty to hand England a 15-point cushion heading into the interval.

With Farrell having added to his tally early in the second half, Underhill’s fumble cost England the chance to further their lead, though George made no such mistake as he bundled his way through a crowd of players in the 56th minute.

Henry Slade’s poor pass looked to have squandered England’s final opportunity for a fourth try, but substitute Cowan-Dickie added the gloss with four minutes remaining.

Source: World Rugby/YouTube

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