Mako Vunipola England demolish Australia but All Blacks await in Rugby World Cup semi-finals

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Mako Vunipola Owen Farrell speaks to the England team after their win over Australia

Owen Farrell, speaking to the England team after the win over Australia, has now scored 154 points against the Wallabies, more than any other northern hemisphere player
Rugby World Cup semi-final: England v New Zealand
Venue:International Stadium, YokohamaDate:Saturday, 26 October.Kick-off:09:00 BST
Coverage:Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

You win a World Cup quarter-final by sticking 40 points on a team and people start talking – of what might be, of where all this might end. People look forward and people start to dream.

Which is why the most important stuff that was said in the aftermath of England’s 40-16 win over Australia came from captain Owen Farrell, as he held his team in a huddle out on the Oita pitch long after the end of it all.

“It’s low-key, this. It’s 40 points – 40 points! Don’t let it take anything out of you, this game. Because it was a brilliant performance, and it’s coming again next week. And it’s going to be even better.”

Farrell has always been preternaturally mature, red-blooded when the tackles come flying in but cold and unencumbered by fear and doubt in those little silent moments when others wobble and crack.

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And so he held on to what plenty of other Englishmen were letting go and letting fly. A big step forward but one that must be followed by others. Keep something back, because a quarter-final on its own is nothing to define a career.

The thousands of white-shirted England fans streaming back towards the cramped bars and ramen-shops of Oita and Beppu were skipping into next week all the same. A 24-point margin of victory is England’s biggest in a World Cup knockout game. Never before have Australia lost so heavily at this stage or beyond. Only once before ha

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