By Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – England scored nine tries, including two each for Jonathan Joseph, Semesa Rokoduguni and Joe Launchbury, to rack up a record 58-15 victory over an out-gunned Fiji on Saturday, taking Eddie Jones’ winning run to 11 matches.
With Owen Farrell and George Ford pulling the strings, England had the game wrapped up when they led 31-0 after 27 minutes at Twickenham – a stark contrast to last week when they looked so rusty in the opening exchanges with South Africa.
Fiji enjoyed a brief spell of dominance either side of halftime when they scored three tries but it was a temporary reprieve and England regained total control and produced some high class and entertaining rugby.
Their defence will have to tighten for tougher tests ahead against Argentina and Australia but several fringe players grabbed their opportunity as Jones continues to build a squad with enough real depth to challenge for the 2019 World Cup.
England roared out of the blocks as a nicely delayed pass by Farrell made sure Joseph had a hole to go through for the opening try.
Two minutes later it was Ford’s turn to delay his pass with Daly, who made his debut last week at centre but was pressed into action on the wing on Saturday, finishing.
Farrell again converted to move past the 500-point mark, behind only Jonny Wilkinson (1179) on England’s all-time scoring list.
Rokoduguni, making his second appearance two years after his first, then got in on the action, showing the finishing that has lit up the Premiership for two seasons.
The forwards then contributed, shoving flanker Teimana Harrison then lock Launchbury over to make it 31-0 after less than half an hour.
It looked as if a humiliation was on the cards but Fiji finally got their hands on the ball and hit back with two tries
for unstoppable winger Nemani Nadolo and lock Leone Nakarawa, who stuck out a seemingly telescopic arm for their second.
If Jones had given his side a halftime rocket over their defensive lapses they obviously were not listening as fullback Metuisela Talebula charged through soft tackles to score seven minutes after the restart.
England took charge again, though, and started moving the ball sweetly to set up fullback Alex Goode, while Joseph was gifted his second when he picked off a wild pass by Josh Matavesi.
Man of the match Rokoduguni was sent through with another deceptive pass by Ford for his second and Launchbury, popping up in the backline, also grabbed his second.
England could not quite find the 10th but still ended with a record winning margin against the islanders, their 43-point gap edging the 42 from their 54-12 victory in 2012
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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