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Tokyo Former champions England laboured to a bonus-point win against lowly Tonga in their opening Rugby World Cup match on Sunday, while fellow contenders Ireland threw down the gauntlet with an impressive victory against Scotland.
Eddie Jones’ side were left to rue a series of handling errors under the roof at the Sapporo Stadium and they only secured the vital bonus point for four tries with three minutes left on the clock.
A full-strength England side, seen as one of the sides to beat at this year’s World Cup, took their time to get going against the physical Pacific islanders and were indebted to rampaging outside centre Manu Tuilagi for two first-half tries.
The result was never in doubt but England were far from their fluent best and will need to improve against Pool C heavyweights France and Argentina, with captain Owen Farrell admitting: “We’ve still got a lot more in us.”
Jones called for his men to be “sharper with the ball” but insisted he was pleased with his players’ efforts in the face of a tough challenge from Tonga,
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