England trump the USA to continue strong World Cup start

England’s progress through the group phase gathered momentum as they overpowered the United States 45-7 in a match marred by a savage challenge on Owen Farrell that produced the first red card of the tournament.

Farrell, a second-half replacement at the Kobe Misaki Stadium, was attempting to pick the ball up off the ground in the 70th minute when he was struck by a shoulder-led charge by flanker John Quill that caught him on the jaw.

The England captain crashed to the floor but was quickly back on his feet as a brawl erupted with Mark Wilson leading the shoving before being joined by a large group of his outraged team-mates.

Referee Nic Berry reviewed the footage and dismissed Quill, who could have no complaints at being severely punished for such a thuggish tackle.

Eddie Jones predicted that playing the USA would be like facing “15 Donald Trumps – aggressive, brash, ready to take on the world”, but the biggest challenge was dealing with the suffocating humidity in Kobe.

With the roof to the ground closed, the stifling conditions made for an energy-sapping encounter for which England had prepared with two ‘heat camps’ in Treviso in the build-up to the tournament.

Wing Joe Cokanasiga plundered two tries and it was a more accomplished display than the underwhelming victory over Tonga that opened Pool C, producing a second successive bonus-point win ahead of the key battles with Argentina and France.

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