“How Owen Farrell silenced critics with starring role for England”

Thanks to Farrell, who many did not even think would start, a World Cup semi-final awaits.

30–24 England FITZI

STADE VELODROME — England fought, juggled, and eventually reasoned their way into the World Cup semifinals. They will represent Britain and Ireland in Paris on Saturday night when they take either South Africa or France. The other tie will be contested the day before by Argentina and New Zealand.

Regarding the Flying Fijians, their captain Waisea Nayacalevu was enraged by several penalty calls made against his team, particularly the one that the formidable England flanker Courtney Lawes earned for clamping down on a final ruck that ended the possibility of one of the biggest upsets of the World Cup.

Nayacalevu then accused referees, in this case Frenchman Mathieu Raynal, of being biassed against the so-called tier-two teams, after the Samoans who had been defeated by England the week before. Hopefully, though, this is not the sole enduring memory of these Fijians.

Fans of their audacious style of play should embrace them, but they also deserve a fair shot for sponsorship and high-caliber games in the future. However, don’t hold your breath for these two things.

Although some of the more than 61,000 spectators jeered England’s captain Owen Farrell before kickoff when the teams were run through on the big screen, he emerged victorious with 20 points from kicks, including the game-winning drop goal and penalty in the final ten minutes. Like always, he also lived on the edge, as evidenced by his purposeful knock-on that gave Fiji one last chance to steal the victory.

The Pacific Islanders, who had previously only been to quarterfinals in 1987 and 2007, participated in their third World Cup. Before the final quarter, they were behind 24-10, but they had previously rallied for two converted tries to tie the score.

They attempted to kick for a line-out following Farrell’s offensive, but England’s pack stopped them, leaving them defenceless. Mesake Doge, the replacement prop, was given a warning for stumbling and clinging to the ball while Lawes extended his body to touch it.

Raising his hands in the air, Nayacalevu refused to be appeased and turned his back on Raynal. A few metres away, England’s No. 8 Ben Earl was combining relief and excitement in his now-famous fist pumping celebration.

In the generous half of the unbalanced draw, England was undoubtedly always expected to make it to the competition’s semi-finals. They have to defeat a higher-ranked team for the first time in order to advance, but at least they have the chance to do so now that they have defeated Argentina, Japan, Chile, and Samoa in this quarterfinal, their sixth triumph in their history.

After 13 minutes, England’s first try was a textbook example of rugby by numbers, or a cunning attack from out of head coach Steve Borthwick’s playbook. You decide how to characterise it.

Following a Farrell penalty that forced a restart for Fiji, the sequence unfolded as if by plan: a maul to create base camp, one phase to move it a bit closer to the goal, and a box-kick by scrum-half Alex Mitchell.

Key dates for the Rugby World Cup

  • Friday 20 Oct – Argentina vs New Zealand, Stade de France, 8pm (SF 1)
  • Saturday 21 Oct – England vs Winner QF 4 (France or South Africa), Stade de France, 8pm (SF 2)
  • Saturday 28 Oct – Winner SF1 vs SF2, Stade de France, 8pm (Final)

As a result, Fiji gave up a soft penalty for blocking Elliot Daly, who was pursuing, and suddenly England had a line-out in the opposition 22. Farrell filled in at half-back during a ruck, making a safe catch and a straightforward recycle to give Manu Tuilagi a short-side ball. The centre then blasted past Frank Lomani and Vinaya Habosi to score.


Joe Marchant scored England’s other try in the first half, which Farrell converted, and Fiji set up a lovely touchdown for No. 8. Fly-half Vilimoni Botitu’s through-the-legs ball to Bill Mata made it 21-10 to England at halftime.

This was a far better England team when it came to scoring when it mattered, as they only converted two of their 17 entries into the Samoa 22 into tries in their last encounter.

While Lomani missed two penalties, Farrell seemed to be in his element, flinging hard and flat passes, and Fiji were motivated to build on their August warm-up victory over England at Twickenham.

In the third quarter, England’s kicking strategies were effective once more. Farrell booted an offside penalty after pressing Fiji into giving up a line-out with a box kick and a grubber.

Although it’s hard to judge Marcus Smith’s effectiveness as an attacking full-back for England, his defensive tenacity was evident as he was cut all over, both on the nose and the back of his head.

Amazingly, Fiji raced forward and made two conversions by the prop Peni.

Simione Kuruvoli, who had replaced Lomani, converted goals for Ravai on minute sixty-three and fly-half Botitu five minutes later. However, the substitute also missed a penalty in between.

With England in full swing, Semi Radradra was creating plays under his wing.

Then, with Fiji on the verge of a line-break, Earl’s 50-meter breakaway created a breakdown penalty close to the posts, and Farrell displayed his big-match acumen by snagging just his fourth drop goal in his 110-cap career. Indeed, that type of match did occur.

Farrell hails from Borthwick
Following England’s 30-24 victory that advanced them to the semi-finals, Borthwick praised fly-half and captain Farrell as “a fantastic leader”.

In the final ten minutes, Farrell scored twenty points, which included a penalty and a drop goal, to tie the game after Fiji had rallied from a 24-10 deficit.

Borthwick stated: “I’ll reiterate the words I have said many times – he [Farrell] is a fantastic leader, the kind of leader I would follow into the pitch.” Borthwick had benched George Ford to give Farrell his preferred No. 1

“We wrestled our way back into the game and this team is finding ways to win,” Farrell continued after stating that there was “no panic” at 24-all. We must have a great deal of respect for what other teams are capable of since there are still many excellent teams in this league.

When questioned about potential unconscious bias towards lower-ranked nations, Fiji’s captain Waisea Nayacalevu pointed to French referee Mathieu Raynal’s actions.


0 role. We are really lucky to have him since he gets even better on these significant occasions.

“I don’t really care what other people think of us,” Borthwick remarked when asked if England will be the underdogs in this Saturday’s semi-final in Paris. My concern is only for the team. As promised, the team was prepared for [the inaugural World Cup match on September 9th], and they performed admirably.

The squad has now developed as a result of the competition. Under the leadership of this man [Farrell], the team exudes intelligence and poise.

During the post-game press conference, the centre shook his head angrily and repeatedly looked up at the ceiling before responding, “Absolutely.” A couple calls were driving me crazy. After they had established a ruck, [England lock Maro] Itoje entered and seized hold of the ball; there was no call for a penalty. In the game, that occurred three times. I’m devastated that we didn’t win.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.