‘Half his nose missing’: Rugby disgrace
England coach Eddie Jones was not impressed his playmaker Owen Farrell was left with "half his nose missing" after a horror tackle in his side's Rugby World Cup win over the United States.
American flanker John Quill was shown the first red card of the tournament for his dangerous challenge on centre Farrell in the 71st minute as England scored seven tries in a 45-7 win that left them top of Pool C.
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"Two games with 10 points - no major injuries. Owen just has half his nose missing. Apart from that pretty good," Jones said, trying to make light of the latest high tackle to blight the tournament.
"I think he is missing half his nose so I'm sure it's out there and I just hope it doesn't end up on the BBQ tonight."
Farrell was left bloodied but did not appear concussed despite the big collision.
"It's a disgrace, it's cheap. That's not even a tackle, it's a cheap shot," said commentator and former England player Ugo Monye.
This tournament is unlikely to throw up a more graphic justification for rugby's policy shift against tackles above the shoulder, when contact with the head is made, and/or the arms are not used on the ball carrier.
In one disgraceful blow, the defensiveness of diehards who think rugby is going soft was exposed as disregard for the victims.
The US, the last team to appear in the tournament, was so nearly the first to be kept scoreless. It scored its only try through replacement Bryce Campbell nearly two minutes after the final hooter and after a crazy move which resulted in both teams throwing possession away numerous times before Campbell seized his opportunity to dive over near the posts.
It was zero consolation. England utterly dominated across the field in Kobe and it could have been ever more painful for the US if not for a number of missed chances by the English.
Flyhalf George Ford sliced through for the first try between the posts in the sixth minute. Forwards Billy Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie drove over from rolling mauls within eight minutes of each other and England led 19-0 by halftime.
Wing Joe Cokanasiga secured the four-try bonus point early in the second half with the first of his two tries. The other wing, Ruaridh McConnochie, and flanker Lewis Ludlam also crossed.
It went wrong for the US from the start, when promising young prop David Ainu'u went off with what appeared to be a serious foot injury two minutes in and after the English had crumpled the US scrum.
The US also had a man taken off on a stretcher in the closing minutes.
England, which even rested a couple of its top players, had nearly 80 per cent of the territory and barely let the US into its own half.
England has two wins from two and two bonus points to top Pool C after beating Tonga 35-3 on Sunday.
The US has a hard road ahead in a pool that also contains France, Argentina and Tonga.
England 45 (Joe Cokanasiga 2, George Ford, Billy Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ruaridh McConnochie, Lewis Ludlam tries; Ford 5 conversions) United States 7 (Bryce Campbell try; AJ MacGinty conversion)
This article was originally published by the New Zealand Herald and reproduced with permission