24 Sep 2011

England romp home with a 67 – 3 win over Romania

England’s Rugby World Cup campaign came to life today with a commanding 67 points to 3 win over Romania. Elsewhere the hosts New Zealand are through to the last eight after beating France.

After unconvincing displays against Argentina and Georgia, England needed to show the rugby world they are a force to be reckoned with.

In their way stood a Romanian side playing many of their second string. Surely there could be only one winner?

And so it proved, Johnny Wilkinson getting an early chance to put England into the lead at the Otago stadium in Dunedin.

England romp home with a 67 - 3 win over Romania

The explosive pace of Chris Ashton then proved the difference as England scored their first try of the match. He found Mark Cueto who did the rest.

Cueto was determined to make the most of playing against sub standard opposition and wrapped up a first half hat-trick of tries in just 12 minutes.

Not to be outdone Ashton crossed the line twice himself before the interval to give England a 34 points to three half-time lead.

England started the second half in the same electric vein, with this time Ben Youngs touching down.

Three more tries from Ben Foden, Manu Tuilagi, and Tom Croft were recorded before Ashton joined Cueto by getting a hat-trick as England romped to victory 67 points to 3 in Dunedin.

New Zealand All Blacks' Adam Thomson celebrates with Israel Dagg

New Zealand v France

In Auckland New Zealand came face to face with a team that has had a caused them World Cup heartache on more than one occasion.

France knocked the All Blacks out of the 1999 and 2007 World Cups but on home soil, a third upset just wasn’t going to happen.

Three first half tries, including one from Israel Dagg, put New Zealand into a 19 points to 3 half time lead.

And the hosts soon had the scoreboard ticking over in the second half as Dan Carter opened up the defence once more and Dagg stepped got his second try, clinching the four-try bonus point in the process.

France did get two tries of their own in the second half but to add salt into French wounds New Zealand added their last try of the match straight from the re-start – Sonny Bill Williams making sure of a 37 points to 17 win.