Jones hails Ford as England expose USA weaknesses

Coach Gold calls it a calamity in Kobe after his USA team concede seven tries in record defeat by England, who now have two bonus-point wins.

KOBE, 26 Sep - England head coach Eddie Jones paid tribute to captain George Ford after the fly-half masterminded a seven-try 45-7 victory over USA, who had flanker John Quill sent off.

Ford was named Player of the Match in Kobe after he orchestrated a second successive bonus-point win that sends England into their next Pool C match with Argentina full of confidence.

Jones said: “We probably had 75 per cent possession and in a normal game we average 48 per cent. They had 14 people in the front line and parked the bus. We want to attack, and George managed it brilliantly.”

The only England casualty was Owen Farrell who, according to Jones, lost a piece of his nose in a collision and was then the subject of the shoulder charge that led to Quill being sent off. 

Farrell has no after-effects from the high tackle, but Jones said: “I think someone is going to barbecue part of his nose. I think someone found a little bit. He is missing part of his nose which is unfortunate, but he is married with a child, so he is going to be OK.

“We understand Argentina (who lost to France) will be playing for their lives and are a passionate and proud rugby country. What is important is that we match their passion and play with a fair bit of control. They are a difficult team to beat.

 “We will look at the conditions and if it is going to be wet weather we will pick a team to play wet-weather rugby."

For Gary Gold, the deflated USA coach, there was only one way to describe the match. “It was a bit of a calamity in Kobe.”

A red card, the loss of Will Hooley with concussion and prop David Ainu'u with a serious ankle injury after just two minutes, made it a sorry tale for a team that who had won six of eight tests in 2019.

They missed 54 tackles, which is a record for the tournament and one that will make watching the match video even harder for the USA squad. Gold said, “We are pretty sombre. It was not a good enough performance and while we are not better than England, we are a better team than that.”

Quill was sent off by referee Nic Berry in the 69th minute for using his shoulder to the head of Farrell. It was the first red card of the tournament, and he became the first USA player to be sent off in a World Cup match.

Gold did not try to defend his player, acknowledging that Quill had got it very wrong and would now have to wait to discover how many games he will miss.

England made 10 changes from the win over Tonga. Both Dan Cole and Ben Youngs joined Jonny Wilkinson on 91 caps – the third highest total in English rugby history.

Gold's team were well served by the bravery of Will Hooley before he was taken off on a stretcher in the 77th minute but, until a last-minute try, they hardly fired a shot in anger.

After Ford’s opening try the forwards took charge, with Billy Vunipola scoring after a powerful driving maul and hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie getting his second try in as many matches after another impressive drive to establish a 19-0 half-time lead.

Jonathan Joseph, an increasingly influential figure in the England midfield, then created tries for Cokanasiga, who finished with two, and Ruaridh McConnochie. That McConnochie debut try became the first scored by an Olympic sevens medallist at the World Cup.

Lewis Ludlam was the next on the scoresheet, earning reward for a hard-working effort on the openside, and Ford’s conversion made it England’s highest score against USA at the World Cup.

Then came the sending-off, leaving the Eagles with even more defensive work to undertake - but at least they managed a late Bryce Campbell try.

RNS cj/dh/bo/sw