EDDIE JONES’ England returned to winning ways with a seven-fight defeat of Japan, but their real test comes in the next two weeks.
Freddie Steward produced another masterful display from full-back, scoring England’s opener and dominating the air in attack and defence.
And another Leicester Tyro, Jack van Poortvliet, had a hand in two tries in the scrum half, showing his pace and showing why he needs to be England’s start number ahead of Ben Youngs.
A third Tiger, center Guy Porter, scored twice in his first real game since September and Marcus Smith sacked a few.
Up front, Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler kept the Japanese busy on the front row and behind, Jonny May returned to the Test level with a lively performance – and a yellow card.
England were due to move Japan, ranked tenth in the world, in their sleep at Twickenham but still managed to have the odd jittery moment against Jamie Joseph’s men.
But they got the job done, which after losing five out of nine Tests this year before this match was exactly what the doctor ordered.
And the All Blacks are in town next week and at headquarters a week after World Champion Springboks arrives.
After England hit the slags in last week’s 30-29 collapse against Argentina, things have certainly only gone up.
Since that Puma beating, the side have been going for a quick start and they were quick off the blocks to lead 24-6 at the break.
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The attempts by Steward, Marcus Smith and Porter all looked good, but there were a lot of mistakes.
Steward finished a decent move in the 12th minute when Marcus Smith acted as a second receiver, Owen Farrell took the ball and put the full-back on the way with an evasive run from the 22nd.
Smith came on thanks to a steward break from his own half, which Jack van Poortvliet continued before Joe Cokanasiga went forward. The wing, a late replacement for Jack Nowell, was brought down but passed the ball to Smith, who snuck into the corner.
Just in time for half-time, Porter was at the bottom of a Sam Simmonds pass after the No8 had been spaced by a long pass from Van Poortvliet.
But in between there was a push from Tom Curry that cost Jonny Hill a score and a yellow card for Jonny May.
Wing May, in their first Test in a year, did well to cover a kick from Japanese center Dylan Riley but floored the ball and was pinged.
Genge and Porter increased to 38-3 with his second before Japan got one back by replacing Naoto Saito while England’s defense went AWOL.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6661676/england-japan-freddie-steward-eddie-jones-red-rose/ England 52 Japan 13: Freddie Steward stars as Red Rose gets back on track with seven attempts to beat up tourists