England win easy against Fiji, but they will be worried about their defence

England win easy against Fiji, but they will be worried about their defence

England swept aside Fiji 58-15 to extend their triumphant run to 12 Tests, but the defensive frailties evident at Twickenham will have concerned head coach Eddie Jones.

Nine tries were amassed in the second autumn international with Jonathan Joseph, Semesa Rokoduguni and Joe Launchbury crossing twice and with less than half an hour on the clock England had surged 34-0 ahead.

A passive Fijian defence waved them through at every opportunity, but either side of half time it became the hosts' turn to crumble as Nemani Nadolo, Leone Nakarawa and Metuisela Talebula plundered soft tries.

Owen Farrell became only the second England player to pass the 500-point mark with his haul of four conversions and a penalty on his 45th Test appearance lifting him to 508, in pursuit of Jonny Wilkinson's 1,179.

England win easy against Fiji, but they will be worried about their defence

Jones' winning run now reads a perfect 12 matches, but in Argentina and Australia there are far tougher challenges to come, South Africa having been over-run 37-21 in the opener last Saturday.

Daly emerged as the star of England's record victory over Fiji in seven meetings, celebrating his second Test start by proving he is as comfortable on the wing as at outside centre with a brilliantly-taken try that tied Fiji in knots.

The jury remains out on Rokoduguni, who was winning a second cap having made his debut two years ago, with the Bath flier looking sharp in attack but leaving question marks over his defence.

It took less than four minutes for England, clad in their anthracite change strip, to storm ahead with Joseph slipping over after Mako Vunipola had used a combination of footwork and power to force Fiji backwards.

Chris Robshaw's ability to strip the ball in the tackle led to the second try as the hosts counter-attacked with ruthless efficiency, galloping upfield before Ford picked out Daly who danced over.

England were irrepressible as they poured through the gaps before them and in the 13th minute they crossed for a third time when intelligent running from Daly and Goode sent Rokoduguni over.

Having dazzled their way over the try-line thus far, the Grand Slam champions selected the bludgeon from their armoury with Teimana Harrison and Launchbury touching down from line from line out drives.

The avalanche of points was interrupted as Fiji conjured a well-worked try, using their forwards to drive through the middle before exploiting an overlap with wing Nadolo crossing in the left corner.

And a second was delivered on half time after completion of a smart attack, although England should not have allowed lock Nakarawa to twist over so easily.

Whatever Jones said at half-time had little impact as Fiji took just three minutes to run in their third try and once again the home defence was exploited far too easily.

Captain Akapusi Qera muscled his way upfield and in a flash full-back Talebula arrived on an arching line that swept him over the whitewash, in the process beating lame tackles from Dylan Hartley and Billy Vunipola.

Hartley had a try disallowed for obstruction from Mako Vunipola, but with half an hour remaining England added their sixth after a devastating run from Rokoduguni that should have finished with Daly going over, instead ending a few phases later when Goode scored his first international try.

Joseph picked off an intercept after a wild pass by Josh Matavesi and with England's superior fitness beginning to tell, Ford sent Rokoduguni strolling over to complete the scoring.


More in this Section

Serpentine makes all to give O’Brien record eighth Derby victorySerpentine makes all to give O’Brien record eighth Derby victory

Mason Greenwood impresses again as Manchester United brush aside BournemouthMason Greenwood impresses again as Manchester United brush aside Bournemouth

Jamie Vardy joins elite club as Leicester get back on trackJamie Vardy joins elite club as Leicester get back on track

Jamie Vardy’s best Leicester goals after netting 100 in the Premier LeagueJamie Vardy’s best Leicester goals after netting 100 in the Premier League


Lifestyle

Cross rope bridges strung across the Atlantic or visit reimagining of time gone by; whatever you fancy doing, you’ll find it in Ulster.Staycations 2020: Take your pick from these great things to do in Ulster

I can’t eat anything without chilli flakes stuffed into itShape I'm In: Novelis Emma Murray

Peter Dowdall has advice on caring for these perennial favouritesLook after your peonies and they'll brighten your garden

A routine smear test picked up Eileen Rushe's cancer when she was in her early 30s. It was a long road to recovery, says Arlene Harris.In check: Why every woman must get a cervical screening test

More From The Irish Examiner