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England’s Owen Farrell shines with match-winning boot to secure Rugby World Cup semi-final spot

England’s Owen Farrell shines with match-winning boot to secure Rugby World Cup semi-final spot

Owen Farrell’s clutch performance with his boot was instrumental in England’s narrow victory over Fiji in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals. Despite a late comeback by Fiji, Farrell’s drop-goal and penalty secured England’s spot in the semi-finals.

In a thrilling match at Stade Velodrome in Marseille, England started strong and led comfortably by 14 points with 15 minutes remaining. However, Fiji fought back with two quick tries from Peni Ravai and Vilimoni Botitu, leveling the score at 24-24.

But it was Farrell who proved to be the hero for England. Despite facing criticism when he was chosen over George Ford to start at fly-half, Farrell vindicated his selection with a crucial drop-goal, putting England ahead 27-24 with eight minutes remaining. He then added another penalty in the 78th minute to give England a bit more breathing room.

Nerves were high in the final moments of the game when Farrell’s deliberate knock-on gave Fiji a penalty in the red clock, but England managed to win the ball on the floor, securing a memorable victory.

With Ireland and Wales already eliminated from the tournament, England is now the last home nation standing. They will face either hosts France or holders South Africa in the semi-finals on October 21st.

Looking ahead, England will face a significantly greater challenge against either France or South Africa. However, their performance against Fiji was their best of the tournament so far, showing signs of improvement after a turbulent 2023.

England fans, who heavily outnumbered Fijians in Marseille, were rewarded for their support as their team delivered a thrilling performance. Despite low expectations following a defeat by Fiji in the warm-up games and an inconsistent pool stage, England proved their worth on the big stage.

The match was intense from the start, with both teams delivering brutal hits and showcasing their physicality. England’s early dominance was evident as they won an early penalty, which Farrell converted into three points.

England continued to maintain their pace and attacking prowess throughout the game. Manu Tuilagi scored his first England try in nearly two years, while Joe Marchant also crossed the line with a well-executed attack.

Fiji showed their strength and capitalized on a sleeping England defense, with Viliame Mata darting over the line for a try. Despite Fiji’s strong performance, England managed to survive their barrage and secure the victory.

Overall, England’s performance against Fiji was a testament to their resilience and determination. As they advance to the semi-finals, they will need to build on this momentum and prepare for the tough challenge that awaits them.

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