Six try England cruise past Georgia in World cup

England cruised to a physical 41-10 victory over Georgia in Pool C of the Rugby World Cup at Otago Stadium on Sunday.

Georgia started the Rugby World Cup as the highest ranked European team outside of the Six Nations but only had four days to prepare for the match due to the schedule.

England played Georgia in the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Perth and won 84-6 on their way to winning the tournament.

England outscored their European opponents by six tries to one with doubles from Hape and Ashton.

Chris Ashton’s second try of match came in the last minute but may have come at a price as he injured his wrist in the act of scoring the try.

New Zealand-born Hape struck twice in the first half as England took command
of Pool B after last week’s 13-9 win over Argentina.

Victory though was what England needed after the furore surrounding their night
out in Queenstown last Sunday, which led to allegations Mike Tindall, England’s
skipper against the Pumas, had behaved improperly in a bar.

Georgia were 17-10 down at half-time after England, for the second match in
a row, had a player yellow-carded, with hooker Dylan Hartley sin-binned shortly
before the break by South African referee Jonathan Kaplan.

“We made it hard for ourselves and gave away a lot of penalties, but we
came away with six tries,” England skipper Lewis Moody said.

“Fair play to Georgia, they played a fantastic game. We got some things
to work on. But you can only win every game that is put in front of you.”

Georgia skipper Irakli Abuseridze said: “It was a very hard tough game.
Very hard to recover after the Scotland game.”

“But I am thankful for my guys. They showed so much courage and engagement.
I think we need much more practice and games like this to perform better.”

England, with fit-again skipper Moody recovered from a knee injury , ran the
ball from the kick-off.

And their approach was rewarded with a fourth minute try when former Kiwi rugby
league international Hape, in for Tindall in one of eight changes Johnson insisted
were solely due to squad rotation, burst off a ruck and ran in unopposed from
45 metres.

England scrum-half Ben Youngs was harried out of possession at the base of
a scrum and Georgia worked the ball to Irakli Machkhaneli who reached for the
corner before being bundled into touch in his 50th Test.

Georgia’s Merab Kvirikashvili failed to punish England’s indiscipline, with
the fly-half missing his first three penalty attempts in the indoor stadium.

Those errors were compounded by Hape’s second try, in the 20th minute.

England, who had to make a late change when No 8 Nick Easter dropped out with
a back injury, saw Flood put Ashton into space before the wing found Hape, who
forced his way over.

Kvirikashvili eventually landed a penalty to cut England’s lead to 14-3 before
Flood replied in kind.

But Georgia, capitalising on Hartley’s absence, saw No 8 Dimitri Basilaia bundle
his way over from a close-range scrum for a try on the stroke of half-time which
Kvirikashvili converted.

With a man in the sin-bin England’s nerves were soothed though when wing Delon
Armitage, went over for a 45th minute try after Youngs spun the ball wide.

Georgia kept coming but when England, who conceded 11 first-half penalties
to the eastern Europeans’ three, infringed again Kvirikashvili hit the left
post from right in front.

And just after the hour mark England put the game beyond Georgia’s reach, with
two tries.

Samoa-born centre Manu Tuilagi scythed through on a well-angled, cut back run
from a pass by Youngs before the express Ashton, released by flanker Tom Wood,
had too much speed for a tired defence.

In the dying seconds, Ashton crossed in the corner for

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