England captain Owen Farrell praised his side’s defensive prowess after a 40-16 victory over Australia at Oita Stadium booked a place in the World Cup semi-finals.
Farrell revelled in his return at fly-half in place of George Ford by scoring half of England’s points as Eddie Jones’ men proved too strong for the Wallabies.
Jonny May celebrated his 50th cap by touching down twice in the first half before England weathered a Wallabies fightback after the break to set up a semi-final showndown against either Ireland or defending champions New Zealand.
“Our boys did well in defence and then managed to get some field position off the back off it. When we do that, we know we can be dangerous,” Farrell said on ITV1.
“We did what’s needed. We had the lead, Australia were throwing everything at us, and we wanted to play the game at our own pace. Thankfully we did that.”
England coach Jones also feels hailed the togetherness of the squad to respond to Australia’s pressure.
“They obviously came back in the second half through an error with us, and then we had to find ourselves,” said Jones, who was delighted with the way England responded to the Marika Koroibete try that brought the Wallabies back within one point.
“It was one of those ‘bring it on’ moments, where you decide whether to stick at it or you go individual. We stuck it out and I thought it was brilliant.”
Jones believes there is more to come from his side.
“We are so excited for that semi-final. We can go there and challenge whoever we play against, and see where we can go with this team,” he said.
“We haven’t been at our best yet, and that is the challenge, how we can get to our best.”