England secure bonus-point win over Japan in Rugby World Cup clash
Posted : 18 September 2023
England secured an impressive bonus-point victory over Japan at the Rugby World Cup in Stade de Nice. The first half was scrappy, with little to separate the teams. However, England turned the tide in the second half, scoring tries through Courtney Lawes, Freddie Steward, and Joe Marchant, adding to Lewis Ludlam's earlier effort.
Despite a shaky start, Steve Borthwick's England triumphed 34-12 at Stade de Nice. The Northampton Saints duo of Lewis Ludlam and Courtney Lawes, Leicester Tigers' Freddie Steward, and Stade Francais' Joe Marchant contributed to England's bonus-point win.
George Ford, the hero of England's first match against Argentina, opened the scoring with a penalty in the fourth minute. Japan's Rikiya Matsuda leveled the score with a penalty in the 15th minute and then edged ahead with another penalty shortly after.
Ludlam scored England's first try and the tournament's opening try in the 24th minute, capitalizing on a loose ball from a lineout. Ford converted, making it 10-6. Matsuda narrowed the gap with another penalty in the 32nd minute, but Ford responded with one of his own to end the first half at 13-9 in England's favor.
Matsuda opened the scoring in the second half with another penalty, bringing Japan within a point. Lawes extended England's lead with a try in the 56th minute, collecting a ball that had ricocheted off teammate Joe Marler's head and scoring under the posts. Ford converted, making it 20-12.
Despite some opportunities, Japan couldn't score for the remainder of the game. Steward extended England's lead with a try in the corner after receiving a precise cross-field kick from Ford, who then converted.
Marchant scored the crucial fourth try, earning England the bonus point under the South of France sky. Ford had the final say with the conversion, securing the 34-12 victory for Borthwick's team.