At the double - England's Guy Porter (R) scores the second of his two tries against Japan
Twickenham (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Guy Porter scored his first two Test tries as England revived their Autumn Nations Series campaign with a dominant 52-13 win over Japan at Twickenham on Saturday.
Marcus Smith scored a double as well, with impressive full-back Freddie Steward also crossing as England ran in six tries in total, all converted by captain Owen Farrell, as well as being awarded a penalty try.
England’s enterprising display was far removed from their turgid 30-29 loss at home to Argentina, like Japan another of their pool opponents at next year’s World Cup in France, in their Autumn Nations Series opener last weekend.
“We let go a little bit more, we stayed constant throughout the game,” inside centre Farrell told Prime Video. “It’s not that we didn’t make mistakes this week, we just reacted better.
“We didn’t think too much, sometimes when you come together for the first game in a while you over think things.”
England coach Eddie Jones added: “We played more like ourselves. Last week we were too long term in our view, which was my fault and today we were focused.”
Jones, who led England to a 2019 World Cup final defeat by South Africa, added: “Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith are growing at 10 and 12, they both have things they like doing and it will get better every game they play.
“We will stick with it, we need to score points at the World Cup and we need two guys who can run our attack.”
- ‘Outplayed’ -
Japan coach Jamie Joseph, whose side ran New Zealand close in a 38-31 defeat in Tokyo last month, said: “We were outplayed today and put under a lot of pressure.
“You have to take your hat off to England. It was a really good game for us in terms of experience. Our goal is the World Cup.”
England forced Japan to concede several costly scrum penalties while scoring tries through Steward, fly-half Smith and Porter to lead 24-6 at the break.
Jones, a former Japan coach, had made several changes, with wing Jonny May, scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet and Sam Simmonds all recalled in a bid to inject extra pace into the team.
But England suffered a setback shortly before kick-off when Jack Nowell was ruled out by an abdominal injury, with the right wing replaced by Joe Cokanasiga.
Farrell landed an early penalty before England had their first try in the 12th minute.
From an attacking line-out off a scrum penalty, England won possession and the ball was worked quickly from Farrell to Smith, with the No 10 sending in Steward past a flat-footed Japan defence.
Farrell converted and England led 10-0.
Then a fine counter-attacking run by Steward released Cokanasiga, who found Smith for a try in the right corner.
Japan deployed the attacking game that saw make an impact at the 2019 World Cup but were limited to two penalties from fly-half Takuya Yamasawa.
May, making his first Test appearance in a year because of injury and Covid, was shown a yellow card for killing the ball after hauling down Japan centre Dylan Riley in sight of England’s try-line.
But despite being a man down, England struck on the stroke of half-time when a long cut-out pass from van Poortvliet allowed Simmonds to send in Porter for the Leicester midfielder’s debut Test try, the faultless Farrell converting.
Ellis Genge extended England’s lead when the prop powered over early in the second half and moments later Porter, winning just his third cap, ran onto an excellently weighted grubber kick from Farrell for his second try.
Japan replacement Naoto Saito went over just before the hour mark for a score converted try
But with 10 minutes left, England were awarded a penalty try as Japan replacement Siosaia Fifita was sin-binned for bringing down a maul.
And there was still time for Smith to score his second try when he raced onto a kick ahead from replacement back Henry Slade.
England face New Zealand at Twickenham next weekend before finishing their Autumn Nations campaign at home to world champions South Africa on November 26.
“We’ve got seven days together before the All Blacks and we’ll see how far we can go,” said Farrell.