KOBE, Japan — England pummeled the United States 45-7 at the Rugby World Cup on Thursday, winning with seven tries to one against an American team that was already out of it when an Eagle was sent off late for a dangerous tackle.
The U.S., the last team to appear in the tournament, was so nearly the first to be kept scoreless — it scored its only try through replacement Bryce Campbell nearly two minutes after the final hooter and after a crazy move which resulted in both teams throwing possession away numerous times before Campbell seized his opportunity to dive over near the posts.
It was zero consolation.
The U.S. was the first team to have a player red-carded in this tournament and coach Gary Gold’s fears that his team was a “severe underdog” against 2003 champion England were realized.
Flanker John Quill flattened England’s Owen Farrell in a high, no-arms tackle in the 70th minute for the red card offense, provoking a melee that involved nearly every player on the field. Quill was ordered off after referee Nic Berry checked video replays. Quill’s the first American to get a red at a Rugby World Cup.
England utterly dominated across the field in Kobe and it could have been ever more painful for the U.S. if not for a number of missed chances by the English.
Flyhalf George Ford sliced through for the first try between the posts in the sixth minute. Forwards Billy Vunipola and Luke Cowan-Dickie drove over from rolling mauls within eight minutes of each other and England led 19-0 by halftime.
Wing Joe Cokanasiga secured the four-try bonus point early in the second half with the first of his two tries. The other wing, Ruaridh McConnochie, and flanker Lewis Ludlam also crossed.
It went wrong for the U.S. from the start, when promising young prop David Ainu’u went off with what appeared to be a serious foot injury two minutes in and after the English had crumpled the U.S. scrum.
The U.S. also had a man taken off on a stretcher in the closing minutes.
England, which even rested a couple of its top players, had nearly 80% of the territory and barely let the U.S. into its own half.
England has two wins from two and two bonus points to top Pool C after beating Tonga 35-3 on Sunday.
The U.S. has a hard road ahead in a pool that also contains France, Argentina and Tonga.