England sailed through to the Rugby World Cup semi-finals with a convincing win over old rival Australia, but it was Kyle Sinckler’s star turn that had Twitter talking.
Ruthless England sent Australian crashing out of the Rugby World Cup, playing with more precision than the frenetic Wallabies to win their quarter-final 40-16 in Oita.
However it was Sinckler’s head-turning performance and moreover his temperament that had many England fans Tweeting his praises.
The England tighthead was in fine form on the ball, at the scrum and with his now-famous chat; and his long-range communication with AR Romain Poite entertained many and frustrated some on social media.
Here’s what they were saying:
Just hope the youngsters weren’t watching Kyle Sinckler just then….. “ROMAIN!”
— Howard Jones (@howard_jones) October 19, 2019
His brilliant try also had tongues wagging:
Everyone deserves a Kyle Sinckler in their life. Everyone. pic.twitter.com/QossMwulSN
— It’s……. Will Laws’ account (@WLaws_18) October 19, 2019
Winger Jonny May scored two tries in the space of three minutes midway through the first half on Saturday to set up a deserved victory and book England a semi-final berth for the first time in 12 years.
The result has almost certainly ended the tenure of Australian coach Michael Cheika, who has failed to get the best out of his team in Japan in the manner he did at the global tournament four years ago.
England’s victory was built on an unforgiving defence and the control of five-eighth Owen Farrell, who kicked 20 points and was a class above under-used opposite Christian Lealiifano.
Both pivots enjoyed perfect goalkicking returns but Farrell’s eight successful shots included four conversions while Lealiifano only got to convert his team’s lone try, along with three penalties.
Australia dominated many of the game’s statistics, forcing their opponents to attempt 181 tackles to just 78.
England are through to the #RWC2019 quarter-finals
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 19, 2019
However, basic errors proved costly – as they have done throughout the tournament – against opponents who were methodical every time they made an incursion into Australia’s territory.
The result equalled England’s biggest ever win over the Wallabies and was sweet revenge for the pool defeat at Twickenham four years ago that knocked them out of the global tournament in pool play.
It was also the seventh straight win for England coach Eddie Jones over Cheika, whose erratic approach to selection at the tournament played a part in their lack of cohesion when it counted.
Australia’s desire to run England off their feet wasn’t helped by numerous long delays for scrum stoppages, with a poor quality surface partly to blame.
It meant the match won’t be remembered in the way that several other Australia-England knockout clashes at the tournam ent are.
The Wallabies led briefly through Lealiifano’s first of three first-half penalties before the game broke wide open through May’s double in the 18th and 21st minutes.
The speedy winger firstly finished off a slick attack when Manu Tuilagi’s bust created an overlap on the left.
Both sideline conversions were slotted by Farrell, who also landed a penalty before the break to put his team 17-9 ahead.
The Wallabies closed within one through a brilliant Marika Koroibete try, set up by smart passing from Reece Hodge and Petaia before the former NRL winger scorched around Elliot Daly to continue his exceptional tournament form.
Just one point clear, England re-established control through Farrell, whose inch-perfect pass sent prop Kyle Sinckler thunder ing across.
A long spell of Australian attack came to nothing and England’s pack gradually took control, earning three penalties which all turned into three points, and a late intercept try to Anthony Watson.
– Additional reporting AAP
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