England’s Mike Brown celebrates scoring a try during his team’s 35-11 Rugby World Cup opening victory at Twickenham on Friday night.
It was an error-riddled first half and Fiji’s halfback almost made amends when Matawalu seemingly scored an incredible solo try off the back of a scrum in the 27th minute.
Full-back Brown then made it 15-0 after England had turned over a Fiji lineout. Fiji did have their try just a few minutes later though as Nemani Nadolo managed to pluck Ben Volavola’s crossfield kick out of the air for the score. Defeat by seven points or less also earns a bonus point.
“It’s an emotional experience, the opening ceremony of the World Cup and beforehand we talked about going out, playing as well as we can and coming away with a win – that was the most important part”.
The England coach said that his players appeared nervous and tight as the margin of their lead narrowed and it could have been worse still if Fiji had kicked more accurately.
Brown crossed for his second in the corner after great offload work from substitute Owen Farrell and Jonny May before Billy Vunipola forced the ball just onto the edge of the whitewash from close range.
England face Wales in their next Pool A match at Twickenham on 26 September and, after his substitutions worked so effectively, Lancaster hinted at changes to the starting XV.
Head of Sports Sponsorship at O2, Gareth Griffiths, said: “This year we are calling upon the entire country to Wear the Rose and get behind the England Rugby Team”.
“All in all to get five points we are in a happy place”. Fiji made us work very hard for it. I would have taken that result at the start of the game.
“We trust our game plan, that’s a good start and we can move on from here”.
England looked nervous as they dealt with the pressure of being the home team. “But it’s a banana skin out of the way, so we will take positives”.
But he was terrorising England soon after…
… Again, Fiji came back at them, with Nadolo’s thundering forays a constant threat. He awarded two tries, one apiece, and denied Fiji a second, among a host of other accurate calls.
Ireland had 105 times-capped prop John Hayes, the All Blacks had former inspirational captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Australia Michael Lynagh – a victor in 1991, South Africa had Chester Williams the winger on the victorious 1995 side while Samoa were represented by current Connacht coach Pat Lam.