World Cup tournament: England in the semi-finals after a split victory over Fiji

Henry

England’s rugby team made it to the semi-finals of the World Cup tournament, but not before they were given a good scare by Fiji in the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.

The Roses won 30-24 and had to dig very deep towards the end to avoid defeat after leading 21-10 at half-time.

Had it not been for a drop goal and a penalty by Owen Farrell deep in the second half, the English could have lost themselves.

On the contrary, Fiji tied the score at 24-24 with two tries in the 69th minute, but they could not plant the knockout blow.

That’s why the English hugged each other and jumped on each other when the final whistle blew.

As usual, Fiji’s discipline lolled again. In the first half, the winger Vinaya Habosi was sent off with a yellow card after a head-to-head collision with the English full-back Marcus Smith.

They also made a lot of mistakes, diving into scrums from the wrong side and not rolling away.

But then the English flanker Tom Curry could also have received a yellow for a dangerous tackle.

Then Farrell escaped a yellow card in the 78th minute after slapping the ball away.

For Fiji, their performances during the tournament were at times red-hot and they were applauded all over.

For England it is a bonus to play in the semi-finals.

They are limited but do the basics right.

But can they progress further? With forwards unable to dominate for 80 minutes, no. Not even with a team that is predictable and lacks game-makers and game-breakers.

Scorers: England 30 (21): Tries: Manu Tuilagi, Joe Marchant. Goal kick: Owen Farrell. Penalty goals: Farrell (5). Creation purpose: Farrell.

Fiji 24 (10): Tries: Viliame Mata, Simione Kuruvoli, Vilimoni Botitu. Goals: Frank Lomani, Simione Kuruvoli (2). Penalty Goal: Lomani.