Ben Smith England vs USA: Five things we learned from Rugby World Cup fixture in Kobe

Ben Smith England vs USA: Five things we learned from Rugby World Cup fixture in Kobe

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1) England have too much power for unfancied opponents

As against Tonga, England simply had too much brute force for the USA. Two first-half tries came as the result of powerful, driving mauls, and the Americans struggled to contain the hard-hitting forwards they were faced with.

This was not a particularly refined or measured performance from England; it was an assault, a clinical and ruthless display that left the US disorientated and on the back foot from the start.

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Young prop David Ainuʻu was forced off early on, which left the Americans’ pack lighter. And they could do little to compete with a determined, forceful England team.

2) Jones vindicated in picking impressive Vunipola

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There were suggestions that Jones may choose to rest Billy Vunipola, given the number of games he’s played of late and his recent history of injuries. But he had no intention of leaving out a player who is quickly establishing himself as a key man.

Vunipola powered over the line for the second try of the game and carried and tackled with typical authority. And he was withdrawn after a dominant first-half performance, saved for the tougher tests to come.

The signs are good

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