With three wins in three matches, England are now almost in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Its latest victim was Chile, on September 23 in Lille, who suffered a heavy defeat (71-0). The English scored 11 tries, thanks in particular to the talent of Henry Arundell and Marcus Smith. Back from suspension, Owen Farrell played his first match of the competition.
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Author of five tries out of the 11 tries by England, winger Henry Arundell was the great architect of the great success obtained by the XV de la Rose against Chile (71-0), Saturday September 23 in Lille. A demonstration linked less to the return from suspension of its captain Owen Farrell than to the relative adversity of Chile, the lowest ranked nation in this World Cup (22nd).
The future Racing 92 player became the third man to score a quintuple in a World Cup match, behind the historic sextuptle of New Zealander Marc Ellis, in 1995. The promising Henry Arundell (20 years old) was somewhat eclipsed the return of Owen Farrell, aka “Faz”. With 16 points scored, he fell one point short of equaling Jonny Wilkinson as the player who scored the most points for England (1,179),
Faced with the usual English substitutes, twelve changes compared to the victorious XV of Japan, “Los Condores” resisted twenty minutes before folding, on the first try from Arundell, served with a long pass jumped by its opener Owen Farrell.
Apart from a certain imprecision against the poles, three missed conversions, Farrell did not give the impression of a player who had not played a match for six weeks and his red card against Wales in a match of preparation. An exclusion for a high tackle costing him four suspension games.
Smith shining at the back
As for Marcus Smith, starting for the first time in the World Cup and at fullback – a great first for both club and national team – the opener, author of two tries, did not miss the opportunity to show the extent of his talent.
Like his first, just before half-time, summarizing his nerve, his finesse and his capacity for acceleration, when the No.10 of Harlequins took the ball to the foot of midfield to take speed three Chileans to run and flatten.
Despite his small size (1.76m), the native of Manila was solid on the receiving end and selfless by offering a fifth try to Arundell (69th) when he could have flattened himself. The opening position being filled by George Ford, very convincing during the successes against Japan (34-12) and especially against Argentina (27-10) with his three drops, Smith showed that he had a future at the rear.
That’s the main question on coach Steve Borthwick’s mind. Because only an improbable scenario of a three-way tie with Samoa and Argentina can now condemn the English to an early return to the other side of the Channel.