OITA – Winger Jonny May scored two tries in three first-half minutes as England underlined their World Cup credentials with a dominant 40-16 win over Australia on Saturday to set up a semi-final against New Zealand or Ireland.
Four years after the Wallabies sent England packing out of their own tournament, Eddie Jones's side gained a measure of revenge to extend their dominance over the Australians to seven successive matches. Australia played their part in an engrossing contest but in the end were well beaten by a team who defended stoutly, took their chances ruthlessly and had a flyhalf in Owen Farrell who managed the game maturely and kicked flawlessly for 20 points.
England have now three out of three World Cup quarter-finals against the twice world champions following their upset wins of 1995 and 2007 and will move on with confidence to the clash with the All Blacks or Ireland, who play later on Saturday. Australia started well but were unable to convert early possession into points until Christian Lealiifano opened the scoring with a penalty after 11 minutes.
The lead would only last seven minutes before the first of May's double strike, England giving the Wallabies an object lesson in how to make pressure pay when the winger went over on the overlap after a beautifully delayed pass from flanker Tom Curry.
Australia went straight back on the attack but a David Pocock pop-pass went through the hands of Lealiifano and Henry Slade swooped onto the ball, the centre racing 40 metres before putting May into the left corner again with a neat grubber kick.