England was the first country to qualify for the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup in Japan on Saturday. Coach Eddie Jones' team was a size too big for Australia (40-16) in the quarterfinals and will take on a place in the final battle against reigning world champion New Zealand.
The Australians took a 3-0 lead in Oita in the first half thanks to Christian Lealiifano, but England fought back before the break. Halfway it was even 17-9 due to scores of Owen Farrell and Jonny May, who played his fiftieth international match.
Australia came back to 17-16 in the first five minutes after halftime, but that was only a brief revival. The team of coach Michael Cheika was no longer involved against England, which ran at breakneck speed to a large lead and which no longer gave up.
At the previous Rugby World Cup in 2015, then-host England did not even make it to the quarter-finals. The British joined the last four in 2007 for the last time. Australia still reached the World Cup finals four years ago, but it lost out against New Zealand.
The English rugby players celebrate the victory over Australia. (Photo: Pro Shots)
New Zealand has no child in Ireland
For a place in the final, England will face the next week against three-time world champion New Zealand, which shrugged off Ireland: 46-14. The other quarter-finals are Wales-France and Japan-South Africa and those posters are scheduled for Sunday.
The New Zealanders already led 22-0 at halftime and did not run into problems after halftime. The Irish saved the honor in the second half, but they simply weren't good enough to make the reigning world champion falter.
The Rugby World Cup started on 20 September and will last until 2 November. The semi-finals will be finished on 26 and 27 October and the final will be on Saturday 2 November. The battle for third place is settled the day before.