'Runaway rhino' tramples Wallabies
WORLD CUP REACTION: England coach Eddie Jones toasted “runaway rhino” Kyle Sinckler, after the rampaging prop scored his first international try in Saturday’s 40-16 quarterfinal rout of Australia.
Sinckler proved an unlikely hero for England, after the Wallabies had pulled to within a point in Oita – crashing over after a slick pass from skipper Owen Farrell to spark a run of 23 unanswered points for Jones’s side, who face defending champions New Zealand in next week’s semifinals.
“He scrummed really well,” Australia Jones said of his tighthead.
“He found himself in an advanced attacking position [for his try] and got a great pass from Owen and then he was a runaway rhino. I’m really impressed by how hard he is working at improving his game.”
The 26-year-old is not the only “rhino” in the England team – fellow prop Ellis Genge was once described by a television commentator as charging “like a baby rhino with a dart up its backside” after flattening former England captain Dylan Hartley in the Premiership.
Sinckler then came up with an enormous steal to stretch England’s lead back to 11 points at a point when the Australians were beginning to look dangerous in a superb individual performance.
“Fair play to the Australians – that was hard graft, especially in the first 20 minutes,” said Sinckler.
“They came out of the blocks flying, and some of their forwards ran really, really hard.
“It was testament to us as a team that one of our biggest things is togetherness and how tight we are as a squad,” he added after England exorcised the ghosts of their 2015 flop when a 33-13 defeat by the Wallabies at Twickenham condemned them to an early exit.
“It’s something we’ve consciously worked on for the past few months and you saw it today [Saturday] – sticking to the plan, sticking to the process, always having belief in ourselves. We’re a team of 31 and the finishers.”
‘I was knackered’
Sinckler admitted the effort of scoring his first try had left him so exhausted he had asked Farrell to take as much time as possible over the conversion.
“On a personal level it was very special,” he said. “It’s something we work hard on in training and something I try to bring to the party is my ball-carrying ability.
“It was quite nice that it all fell into plan but I was knackered afterwards. I said to Faz – ‘take the minute-and-a-half, because I needed the rest’.
“That was a tough, tough Test match. They were pounding for ages but we took their legs away.”
Sinckler’s marauding display was matched by those of England’s “kamikaze kids” Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, who put Australia’s famed, ball-scavenging “Pooper” back row combo of Michael Hooper and David Pocock in the shade.
“I would be a bit weird if I say making a tackle is more exciting than running with the ball,” said Curry, whose quick hands set up Jonny May for the first of his two first-half tries.
“There might be a six-year-old watching that game today [Saturday] and it might inspire them. I realised what a special occasion it is and these are the games you grew up watching and wanted to play in.”