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Match report: 7-try England overpower Fiji

Stuart Lancaster’s men outscored Fiji seven tries to two and the match was all but over as a contest at half-time with England 25-0 up.

The back of England's Joe Marler's head.
The back of England's Joe Marler's head.
Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

ENGLAND LAUNCHED THEIR European autumn series with a commanding 54-12 win over Fiji at Twickenham today.

Stuart Lancaster’s men outscored Fiji seven tries to two and the match was all but over as a contest at half-time with England 25-0 up.

England’s fifth win in as many Tests against Fiji, battling to overcome issues of player release for this tour, was also their record margin of victory ovet the Pacific Islanders, surpassing the 35-point gap they recorded in a 58-23 success at Twickenham in 1989.

Gloucester wing Charlie Sharples scored his first two tries for England, who also saw Harlequins wing Ugo Monye and blindside flanker Tom Johnson touch down in a tally that also included a penalty try and two late scores by Manu Tuilagi.

Outside-half Toby Flood kicked 17 points.

Fiji avoided the embarrassment of being ‘nilled’ when scrum-half Nikola Matawalu scored a fine solo try in the 54th minute and replacement Seko Kalou crossed in the final minute. Sterner challenges will confront England when southern hemisphere giants Australia (November 17), South Africa (November 24) and world champions New Zealand (December 1) all visit Twickenham on successive weekends.

If England maintain their top four position in the International Rugby Board rankings, the 2015 World Cup hosts will be among the top seeds when the pool stage draw for the global showpiece takes place next month.

England, with several players boasting just a handful of caps each, initially tried to play too much rugby without first securing forward dominance and afterwards coach Lancaster told Sky Sports:

“We will take the positives — there were lots of things we did well, but also some rusty areas we will have to work on before next week, no doubt.

It was a point echoed by England captain Chris Robshaw, who said: “We were pretty slow coming out of the blocks today. We eventually warmed into the game but we cannot do that over the next three weeks.”

England were reduced to 14 men in the 10th minute when scrum-half Danny Care was sin-binned by Test debutant referee Glen Jackson, acting on the advice of an assistant, for a dangerous tackle on Fiji lock Leone Nakarawa.

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AFP

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