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By Tom Fordyce
Chief sports author in Oita, Japan
You win a World Cup quarter-final by adhering 40 points on a team and individuals begin – of what might be, of where this might end. Folks look forward and individuals begin to fantasy.
Which is the stuff that has been said over Australia in the wake of Englands 40-16 win came in captain Owen Farrell, as he held his group in a huddle out about the Oita pitch long after the end of it all.
It is low-key, that. It is 40 points – 40 points! Do not let it take anything out of you. because it was a performance, and it is coming. And it is going to be better.
Farrell has been older, red-blooded when the pitches are flying in but chilly and unencumbered by fear and doubt in these silent minutes that are small when others crack and liquefy.
And he held on to what plenty of other Englishmen were letting go and let fly. A major step forward but one that has to be followed by other people. Because a quarter-final on its own is nothing keep something back.
The thousands of England fans flowing back to the bars and ramen-shops of Beppu and Oita skipped into next week the same. A 24-point margin of success would be Englands largest in a World Cup playoff game. Never have Australia dropped at this stage or outside. Just once before have they lost by a margin that was so great.
Points that are forty feels just like domination. It sounds one-sided. So perhaps the most impressive element of Englands victory was by keeping the Wallabies by ripping them apart, that they pulled it.
England had roughly the same of land and only a third of the possession. When Marika Koroibete skinned Elliot Daly on the exterior like a huge brother breezing beyond his child cousin of just for a couple of minutes at the start of the second half, did they look in any kind of trouble.
World champions New Zealand have made a tradition of winning without too much of this ball. Its about striking when you have it instead of holding when it is sideways and slow.
England absorbed all Australia could throw at them, which was a substantial amount in the moments of each half. That they felled runners with the kind of relentless enjoyment that makes ornery defence coaches dab away a happy tear.
The stats by the end were remarkable in any game, let alone one won. Twenty tackles from Sam Underhill, 18 in Mako Vunipola. 17 by Farrell, also Jamie George.
No England player in World Cup history had made more than 16 in a single game. Tom Curry made only just and 16 sneaked into the top five.
Farrell was ideal. It was a performance, way more comprehensive than Englands win over the same opponents in precisely the exact same point in Marseille 12 years ago, less anxious than the triumph over Wales about the march into the glory four years back.
The grinds France at the semi-finals of 2003 and 2007 were feats of all cussedness and game management. This was more relaxing and more nasty and quicker in its final quarter.
It was not perfect. They gave away six fines in the first halfof which enabled Christian Lealiifano to maintain his staff in touch when their adventurous, frenetic approach kept presenting England.
This was a group that England had defeated six times. At each of the last three years they have also put at least 18 points on the guys of Michael Cheika.
For many their ambition, this was a Wallabies team that lacked the capability to perform the old-fashioned Aussie way that is cavalier that Cheika wanted.
On occasion there is a a good idea. Waiting and sometimes tucking the ball is flinging it around with wide-eyed hope, especially whenever your first-choice scrum-half is slowing down too much possession down.
You would happily choose one that took at a 14-man Argentina, USA, Tonga along with a team you have repeatedly cantered past In the event you were able to select a path to a World Cup semi-final.
But there was so much that was right that the All Blacks roadblock ahead next Saturday unexpectedly looks as attractive as it seems intimidating.
Curry and Underhill, dated 23 and 21 respectively, have only 30 caps between then. Michael Hooper and david Pocock, 27 and 31, have a combined total of 182. It was that the kamikaze kids who won this battle, as Farrells screen – eight off the tee, a pass of candy timing to ship Kyle Sinckler crashing away in Manu Tuilagi fashion for the score which stopped the comeback dead in its tracks – justified Eddie Jones decision to shed George Ford into the bench and shift his skipper inside.
The only mistake Curry made all afternoon attempted to shake the hands of the girl presenting his champagne to him. There will be a lot of others pleased to bow down to 18, When he keeps this level up.
Farrell has now scored 154 points against Australia, over the northern hemisphere player. The prior record was held by Jonny Wilkinson, and most of us recall how that ended.
This is a British tight five that will do all of the great things that English fives that are older take, and also could do and step and electricity because others might not have envisioned. There is menace and rate on a thickness on the seat and the wings from Anthony Watson and Jonny May that promises longer still.
Farrell grew up in rugby and grown in its heart. He understands, as does anybody who watched the world champions demolition. He understands, furthermore, what has to come next.
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