Coach hails Farrell, Smith as Red Rose inch to quarters
REACTION: Steve Borthwick hailed Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith for mixing England a mouthwatering attacking cocktail in the 71-0 Rugby World Cup hammering of Chile.
England finally found their attacking blend in France in their comfortable win over Chile, with Henry Arundell scoring a Red Rose record-equalling five tries.
Beat Samoa in Lille on Saturday, October 7 and England will top Pool D and line up a last-eight meeting with Fiji, Wales or Australia.
“We have a squad of 33 here. I see everyone as part of that 33, today was a team that went out on that field and played very well,” Borthwick said.
Commenting on the performance of Arundell, Borthwick had this to say: “”I think he played really well and he took his opportunities brilliantly. He is a fantastic finisher and the message to him is to bring his point of difference on the pitch, back himself. He certainly did that.
“I think we also have to credit the people playing on the inside of him to create those opportunities, I thought today you saw a great blend.
“The team played in a few different ways, led by Owen [Farrell]. It’s important we credit Chile who I thought played in a courageous manner.
“I have been really impressed by the Chile team, the study we have done of them. How resilient they were that they defended their line and the speed with which they then transferred it to the other end of the field is impressive.
“I have described Chile as a courageous team, they are a committed team and a team that has a lot of speed in it.”
Henry Arundell, the Man of the Match, hailed his teammates for his performance.
“Without sounding too clichéd, all the lads. A lot of those were tap-ins, so it’s the work done up front then the smarts from the inside lads to get the ball wide. I really appreciate all they’ve done for me.”
Asked what he thought of Marcus Smith’s switching from flyhalf to fullback, the wing said: “Marcus is a fantastic player. You can see the game-breaking stuff he can do, whether that’s at 10 or 15. I can see him playing scrumhalf at some point, he’s that good.
“It shows the depth we have in the squad that we can change the back line, the team, and put a performance like that out.”
Captain Farrell returned after suspension to pilot England’s 11-try thumping of Chile and said he loved every minute back on the field.
“I enjoyed it. It’s always brilliant to pull this shirt on, but to do it in the fashion we did today and play some good rugby at times was enjoyable.”
“Great intent to our performance. The energy from the boys who’ve come in, the energy to play as a team – when it can be individual when there’s that many changes to a team – that’s a step forward for us.
“We showed some good variety and hopefully can kick on from here.”