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Eight-try England run away with convincing win over Eddie Jones’ Japan

England put Japan to the sword with a comfortable 52-17 victory in Tokyo, setting Steve Borthwick’s team up nicely for their tour to New Zealand. 

Eight tries from eight different scorers steered Steve Borthwick’s men to victory over former coach Eddie Jones, but the performances of Marcus Smith, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso and Chandler Cunningham-South were true standouts.

Japan dominated most of the opening 10 minutes. Seungsin Lee gifted Japan the early lead with a comfortable penalty, but they could easily have extended that too.

A lightning-fast attack, coupled with a spot of ill-discipline, gifted Eddie Jones’ men the ball just 5 meters out from the England line; but solid defence kept them at bay.

Defence quickly turned into attack for England, as Chandler Cunningham-South notched the first try of the match. Deft hands from Ben Earl found the Quins back-rower, and he powered his way through three defenders to score.

Japan had another period of sustained pressure, but against the run of play England extended their lead with a proper training ground move.

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A lofted lineout throw found Ollie Lawrence motoring through the midfield channel. The Bath man offloaded to Alex Mitchell, who in turn connected with Marcus Smith and the Quins fly-half raced home from 30 meters to finish off a wonderfully crafted attack.

They were back moments later, but this time Smith became the creator. Powerful pick-and-goes from England drew in the defence, and a floated pass from Smith found Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in acers of space to stroll in for the try.

Japan nearly responded with a try of their own through Tiennan Costley, but his effort was chalked off for a knock-on in the build-up.

In the closing stages of the half, England added their fourth try. A clever interception from Feyi-Waboso gifted England the ball in Japanese territory, but it took a moment of magic from Smith to unlock the defence. A pinpoint cross-field kick from the Quins ace was well taken by Henry Slade, and he made no mistake with the finish.


England carried on where they left off in the first-half, as Mitchell notched his side’s fifth after a clever snipe from close range.

They didn’t have to wait long for their sixth either. Another snipe from Mitchell unlocked the Japanese defence, and he threw a lovely offload into the gleeful arms of Ben Earl for the easy try.

A yellow card to Marcus Smith gave Japan numerical advantage, but it was England who scored next. Powerful work from the pack drew in the Japanese defence, which created space for Harry Randall to leap in for a clever try.

Japan weren’t going down without a fight though, and they hit back with a quick-fire double, with Warner Dearns creating both. Koga Nezuka notched the first as he crossed out wide after a lovely pass from Dearns.

His effort was swiftly followed by Samisoni Tua, as he reaped the rewards of Dearns stellar carry to run in under the sticks.

Reduced to 14-men again, England grabbed their eighth try though Sam Underhill, as he crossed from the base of a powerful maul.

With the clock in the red, Lawrence nearly added the cherry on top of the cake after a fine Fin Smith kick, however he was agonisingly short of the ball.

Japan 17-52 England

Japan: 17

Tries: Nezuka, Tua

Conversions: Matsuda (2/2)

Penalties: Lee (1/1)

England: 52

Tries: Cunningham-South, Smith, Feyi-Waboso, Slade, Mitchell, Earl, Randall, Underhill

Conversions: Smith (4/6), Slade (2/2)

Sin-bin: Smith-tackle off the ball

Red card: Ewels-dangerous clear-out