England vs Japan LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as much-improved England seal big win

England were much improved against Japan at Twickenham  (Getty Images)
England were much improved against Japan at Twickenham (Getty Images)

England face Japan in their latest autumn international as they bid to bounce back after a dispiriting defeat to Argentina last week.

The Red Rose went down 30-29 at Twickenham to the Pumas with the loss representing a first on home soil against the South Americans for 16 years.

Eddie Jones has made a number of changes, hoping to kick-start their autumn campaign with the World Cup less than a year away.

Japan will enter the contest with great confidence, having handed the All Blacks a scare last month in Tokyo, fading late to a 38-31 defeat.

Follow all the action from Twickenham with our blog:

England vs Japan latest updates

  • 74’ - TRY! Smith collects Slade’s kick and touches down (ENG 52-13 JPN)

  • 70’ - TRY! Penalty try for England after a side entry from Japan (ENG 45-13 JPN)

  • 59’ - TRY! Saito dots down after good offload (ENG 38-13 JPN)

  • 50’ - TRY! Porter wins a foot-race to Farrell’s kick for his second try (ENG 38-6 JPN)

  • 48’ - TRY! Genge powers through defenders for the score (ENG 31-6 JPN)

  • 40’ - TRY! Porter finishes off move in the corner (ENG 24-6 JPN)

  • 24’ - TRY! Smith scores after a brilliant England counter (ENG 17-0 JPN)

  • 12’ - TRY! Steward scythes over after a set-play from a lineout maul (ENG 10-0 JPN)

FULL TIME! ENGLAND 52-13 JAPAN

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 52-13 Japan, 80 minutes

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Time for one more for England? Manu Tuilagi sets a burly platform on the crash ball, and Freddie Steward is found wonderfull by a wide pass on right right. Steward is chopped down at the ankles by an outstanding cover tackle, and Henry Slade knocks on as he hits an angle in the next phase.

Japan will feed a five metre scrum with the clock in the red...

England 52-13 Japan, 79 minutes

17:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England threaten another delightful carving after a Japan turnover in their own half, but Henry Slade can’t quite fling a pass away with Jonny May again disappointed on the left touchline.

England 52-13 Japan, 77 minutes

16:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly another! More sparkling handling from England, with Owen Farrell, now moving totally freely after that apparent issue, knifing between two tacklers and offloading.

Henry Slade guides a grubber for Jonny May to chase, but it slides slightly off the outside of the boot and into touch in goal. May looks to the heavens - he’d have got there first.

TRY! ENGLAND 52-13 Japan (Marcus Smith try, 74 minutes)

16:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three kicks and England are in!

Crossfield; chip; hack ahead - England show a range of skills with the boot to hit fifty. Marcus Smith finds Freddie Steward on the right, Steward forced to stall to catch but still with space in front of him. The full-back-cum-wing chips ahead, with the bounce of the ball catching out the Japanese pendulum defender, allowing Henry Slade to produce a rather more rushed stab onwards.

It skews to the left, spinning and bouncing perfectly for Marcus Smith to gather and flop over. Owen Farrell converts.

England 45-13 Japan, 73 minutes

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ji-Won Gu is helped off the pitch - a solid enough effort from the Japan tighthead after some early scrum-time frights against Ellis Genge.

Kotaro Matsushima knocks Ben Youngs’ box kick into touch.

England 45-13 Japan, 72 minutes

16:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England spill the restart. The seldom-sighted Kotaro Matsushima darts into Marcus Smith, generating Japanese momentum.

That rather stalls it! A crunching hit from Owen Farrell, whose lower limb injury appears to have healed.

Japan manage to get a pass over the top of a leaping Jonny May, but the cover defence is sound, and Japan are forced into touch.

TRY! ENGLAND 45-13 Japan (Penalty try, 70 minutes)

16:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan bring the maul down illegally and referee James Doleman trots beneath the posts!

England 38-13 Japan, 69 minutes

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bright from Jonny May, timing his blitz around the corner perfectly to force a knock on from Naoto Saito. A Japan player in front of the scrum half then picks up to prevent England capitalising further, which upgrades the scrum to a penalty.

Another penalty at the lineout allows Marcus Smith to advance his forward pack further.

England 38-13 Japan, 65 minutes

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan on the attack as the action resumes after those changes. A sustained period sees Warner Dearns go mighty close, with Tom Curry just able to wrestle the lock to the floor.

Dylan Riley nutmegs Henry Slade and dashes after his kick through, but Owen Farrell is back to defuse the danger.

That will be a worry for Eddie Jones, though - Farrell grimaces as he slides to ground the ball, and isn’t moving particularly freely as he rejoins his teammates for the goalline drop out. He’ll continue with England out of replacements, but one to monitor.

England 38-13 Japan, 64 minutes

16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England make three more changes. On come: Ben Youngs to a smattering of boos; Manu Tuilagi to an excited ooh; and Henry Slade with a great roar as the centre wins his 50th cap.

Jack van Poortvliet, Guy Porter and Joe Cokanasiga off. Freddie Steward moves to the wing with Slade at full back and Tuilagi alongside Owen Farrell in midfield.

England 38-13 Japan, 63 minutes

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are free kicked at the scrum as Jamie George withdraws his brake foot.

Japan tap and go, switching play to the left and seeking a 50:22. Slightly sliced - the ominpresent Freddie Steward covers and pats the ball down in his own in-goal.

England 38-13 Japan, 61 minutes

16:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Billy Vunipola introduces himself to Craig Millar in typically muscular manner, the number eight perhaps slightly too high, but managing to avoid any head contact.

There was, however, contact between Vunipola’s hand and the ball - a Japan scrum is the call.

England 38-13 Japan, 61 minutes

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An exasperated ‘ooh’ from Freddie Steward as he comes about six inches short of a 50:22, an aggresive left-ward hop taking his kick out before it crosses the required line. It’s still a superb kick, a great raking punt on the angle from right to left, but it will be a Japan lineout.

Before it can be thrown, an England alteration - Jonny Hill departs, Billy Vunipola arrives, and Maro Itoje moves up to lock.

TRY! England 38-13 JAPAN (Naoto Saito, 59 minutes)

16:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Really, really sharp from Warner Dearns. Alex Coles strips the ball free from Japanese hands, with Dearns swiftest to react. The lock levers his lanky frame down to just about collect, producing a deceptively deft step to create the space for an offload to Naoto Saito.

Seung-sin Lee adds the conversion from bang in front.

England 38-6 Japan, 57 minutes

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, a chance for Japan in English territory. Siosaia Fifita has recently arrived but England have a handle on the great hulking wing, Sam Simmonds and Jamie George in tandem to stop him.

Hang on - Warner Dearns teleports into space and Japan are in!

England 38-6 Japan, 56 minutes

16:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Pats on the head for the Japanese front row from their lither teammates as Ji-won Gu and Craig Millar combine to force their English counterparts to go to floor under pressure.

England 38-6 Japan, 54 minutes

16:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An attempted England clearance is charged down, fortunately skewing straightin to touch rather than ricocheting into an area of danger.

Another change for each side. Naoto Saito for Yutake Nagare at scrum-half for Japan; Alex Coles for Dave Ribbans in a switch of Saints second rows in the English engine room.

England 38-6 Japan, 53 minutes

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jamie Joseph turns to his bench in a bid to halt England: Craig Millar is on at loosehead and Lappies Labuschagne has arrived in the back row, with Kazuki Himeno shifting to number eight.

Changes for the hosts, too - Mako Vunipola takes the place of Ellis Genge, while Jamie George (who has recovered remarkably speedily from two broken metatarsals) makes his return at hooker, welcomed to the field with a bear hug from the departing Luke Cowan-Dickie.

TRY! ENGLAND 38-6 Japan (Guy Porter try, 50 minutes)

16:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another for England! A brilliant bit of improvisation from Owen Farrell and Guy Porter scores his second!

This could become ugly for Japan. Maro Itoje counter rucks firmly and great open spaces appear in the Japan defence. England manage to maintain control of the ball down the left despite an intervening Japanese hand, reaching the fringes of the Japan 22.

With Jack van Poortvliet otherwise engaged, Farrell is alert and plays scrum-half, tickling a lovely little left-footed through-ball for his centre partner to get after. Porter wins the race to it; Farrell’s latest clean strike from the tee extends the lead.

TRY! ENGLAND 31-6 Japan (Ellis Genge try, 48 minutes)

16:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Over powers Ellis Genge!

Another well-taken English score. Owen Farrell comes very close to slithering free of a tackler as he runs a hard line, and the centre wisely chooses not to chance a risky offload to Guy Porter, enabling England to keep the ball alive. Freddie Steward is felled as he tries to explore the outside arc that proved profitable for his opening score, but England’s forward reload and assemble themselves centrally.

Genge sits down a defender and provides a forthright finish. Farrell converts.

England 24-6 Japan, 46 minutes

16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And now Freddie Steward strides on up the left after good ball movement from those inside him.

England’s ruck ball is sharp. Jack van Poortvliet throws in a misdirecting dummy and then pops to Marcus Smith, with Kyle Sinckler bundling up in midfield.

Groans as England kick the ball away on the right; cheers as a jackal is rewarded with a holding on penalty. Into the corner.

England 24-6 Japan, 45 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A fine defensive set from England, staying connected as Japan play out the back and eventually forcing a slightly aimless kick from Seung-sin Lee.

Missed penalty! England 24-6 Japan, 43 minutes

16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Starts right, stays right - Lee is off the mark.

Jonny May has served his spell in the sin bin. Back he comes with England up to 15 again.

England 24-6 Japan, 42 minutes

16:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty has gone right for Engand so far but the lineout remains a little clunky. Luke Cowan-Dickie’s throw to the tail fails to hit the mark.

Jonny Hill then makes a high tackle, his bicep around the neck. New man Seung-sin Lee will kick at goal from the ten-metre line, 15 in on the left.

England 24-6 Japan, 41 minutes

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England, remember, remain down to 14 players with Jonny May still in the sin bin. Marcus Smith pins Japan back with a punt down the channel between Ryohei Yamanaka and his wing. The full-back clears with his powerful left boot.

H/T: England 24-6 Japan

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan are out very, very early for the second half, all ready to go with England’s replacemetns still going about their half-time drills. The Brave Blossoms have been some way short of their best so far - can they improve after the break?

Michael Leitch gathers a group of his teammates for a chat, with the towering Warner Dearns gesturing firmly. Seungsin Lee is on for the visitors, replacing Takuya Yamasawa and will kick things off after England finally re-emerge.

H/T: England 24-6 Japan

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rather more like it from England, who have played with a purpose they seemed to lack against Argentina. Japan have shown glimpses of invention and cut with ball in hand, but the hosts have largely been in control, with Freddie Steward outstanding so far from full-back.

HALF TIME! ENGLAND 24-6 JAPAN

16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! ENGLAND 24-6 Japan (Guy Porter try, 41 minutes)

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A try for Guy Porter on his home England debut!

England kick in behind Japan and hurry through in muscular fashion, winning the ball back at a ruck. There’s great open expanses of pasture on the left, and the hosts are alive to it, the ball flung wide to Sam Simmonds.

Simmonds threatens to make a meal of what looks like a simple enough two-on-one, but manages to wriggle free of the initial tackle to send Porter in.

Owen Farrell’s conversion caps a much, much better first half from England.

England 17-6 Japan, 39 minutes

15:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The English lineout malfunctions, and Japan kick again, this time with a bit more oomph. Freddie Steward gathers and releases an up-and-under...which the full-back claims imperiously!

England 17-6 Japan, 38 minutes

15:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A penalty against England should allow Japan to advance up the left, but the visitors fail to find touch with their punt.

Another error from Japan, a dropped ball in midfield hacked through off the floor by Jonny Hill, forcing Gerhard van den Heever into brisk retreat. The sliding wing nearly makes a hash of his collection but just about smothers it. Japan clear.

PENALTY! England 17-6 JAPAN (Takuya Yamasawa penalty, 35 minutes)

15:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three more points for Takuya Yamasawa.

YELLOW CARD! Jonny May is sent to the sin bin! England 17-3 Japan, 34 minutes

15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But just like that, Japan nearly go the length! Michael Leitch takes an inside ball and shows remarkable gas, powering away from the English chasers.

Dylan Riley takes Leitch’s pass, which looks suspiciously close to forward, and toes beyond Jonny May - and out-pacing the England wing to the ball.

May jackals, but fails to show a clear release - off he is sent for a ten minute sit-down!

England 17-3 Japan, 33 minutes

15:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Some predictably lively variation from Japan, even as they attack deep in their own territory. Gerhard van den Heever watches the bounce of a crossfield kick well, but finds support lacking, and has to kick away.

Jack van Poortvliet goes to the skies...and Jonny May claims it.

PENALTY! England 17-3 JAPAN (Takuya Yamasawa penalty, 32 minutes)

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Takyua Yamasawa kicks Japan’s first points of the afternoon.

England 17-0 Japan, 30 minutes

15:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An opening for Japan? England get their lineout wrong, and the visitors have the ball.

The livewire Nagare keeps the tempo up, but England do enough to stall Japan’s heavier lumberers.

A sharp blast of the whistle from the referee - England were offside.

England 17-0 Japan, 28 minutes

15:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Deft from Gerhard van den Heever, the wing roaming off the left and producing a delicious little backhand flick for Yutaka Nagare to collect.

Japan do look a threat with ball in hand. Tevita Tatafu uses his rather large frame to make a bust up the centre, but Michael Leitch can’t keep his sizeable limbs in the field of play as he attempts to run over Joe Cokanasiga on the left.

England 17-0 Japan, 26 minutes

15:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Twickenham, so flat for the Argentina game, is purring like a contented cat now - the home fans appear rather pleased by the attacking intent shown by their players.

Luke Cowan-Dickie claims the restart impressively above his head, showing rather more dexterity in the air than he did against Scotland at the start of the Six Nations. A high hoist comes down to earth via hands both English and Japanese - with the initial knock on from Joe Cokanasiga. Japan scrum.

TRY! ENGLAND 17-0 Japan (Marcus Smith try, 24 minutes)

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A thing of beauty from England on the counter!

It’s Freddie Steward who sparks it. The full-back spies a slightly disjointed Japanese chase, evading one tackler as he moves infield to muscle through two more.

Steward gets his arms free and combines with Leicester mate Jack van Poortvliet, who asks an onrushing Joe Cokanasiga to do the hard charging. Cokanasiga briefly looks to be free but manages to keep the ball alive even as he is dragged to floor with Marcus Smith collecting a one-handed offload off the deck and scampering over in the right corner.

Owen Farrell draws his conversion through perfectly.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 10-0 Japan, 22 minutes

15:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Luke Cowan-Dickie’s lineout throw secured with little certainty, but England just about have it and will play.

Picked off! Yutake Nagare snatches Marcus Smith’s pass like an apple from the autumn orchard and hurries away, kicking ahead as the English tacklers circle him.

England 10-0 Japan, 21 minutes

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Scrum three, penalty three for England, who are on top at the set piece so far.

England 10-0 Japan, 19 minutes

15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Guy Porter is slightly loose in his carry and is mugged of the ball by Ryoto Nakamura, with shouts of excitement from the Japan backs as they power up their engines for a chance to attack with turnover ball. Dylan Riley leads them up the left, but the handling is imprecise, and England will have a scrum.

England 10-0 Japan, 17 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Through goes Jonny Hill but there is a knock on in the build up! England vary their play, Luke Cowan-Dickie coming around the corner as Tom Curry feeds him at the back of the maul. The hooker combines with his Exeter teammate Sam Simmonds, but as England try to play quickly away from the base, a horrible pass leaves Tom Curry a scooping job to do - and the flanker fails to do it cleanly. Hill throws his head back in frustration after collecting and crossing. A chance missed.

England 10-0 Japan, 16 minutes

15:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A second scrum penalty of this young contest for England, with Ji-won Gu again the man picked out. England re-enter the Japan 22.

England 10-0 Japan, 14 minutes

15:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan’s restart hangs handsomely in the Twickenham sky, but Dave Ribbans is up with equal grace to claim. With an advantage for collapsing the maul, Owen Farrell tries something funky, kicking across for Jonny May to gather.

May’s kick ahead triggers a call of “advantage over”, but England are up in good number to force a knock on Kotaro Matsushima, stooping to take Tevita Tatafu’s offload at his shoelaces.

TRY! ENGLAND 10-0 Japan (Freddie Steward try, 12 minutes)

15:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s the clinical edge England lacked last weekend!

Japan stymie the English drive, forcing it back and then sideways, with Jack van Poortvliet asked to remove the ball by the referee. The scrum-half does, setting in motion a backs move, with Owen Farrell up in the line and pulling back for Marcus Smith, who in turns feeds on to Freddie Steward.

Steward fades just enough on it to arc past Kotaro Matsushima, with Jonny May outside him holding the edge defender. The long-striding full-back powers away; England are off to an excellent start, with Owen Farrell collecting two more from the tee.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England 3-0 Japan, 10 minutes

15:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The England pack roar their delight as James Doleman whistles for a penalty their way - Ji-won Gu’s bind has irked the referee.

Owen Farrell kicks England into the 22.

England 3-0 Japan, 8 minutes

15:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ellis Genge looks on it this afternoon. Again the Bristol prop charges up with ominous intent, once more brusque and bruising in his investigation of a Japanese midriff. England counter-ruck and win turnover ball, which is booted up field.

Maro Itoje knocks on as he tries to gather the Japanese reply.

England 3-0 Japan, 6 minutes

15:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England now are guilty of a midfield offside, and Japan begin to fizz a little as they work the phases. Kazuki Himeno makes a sizeable carry as he thunders in from the right touchline.

Ellis Genge draws oohs of approval from the England fans as he delivers a rib-tickler to Atsushi Sakate, and Japan run out of flow.

The penalty is theirs though, of course, and into the England 22 Sakate leads his team for the first time.

PENALTY! ENGLAND 3-0 Japan (Owen Farrell penalty, 5 minutes)

15:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are on the board first. The most straightforward start that Owen Farrell could wish for from the tee.

England 0-0 Japan, 4 minutes

15:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan think they are away but an offside ends their cavort up the field! Marcus Smith rather telegraphed his cross-kick for Freddie Steward, with Japan hurrying up to charge it down and then rushing through on to the loose ball.

But the visitors were up too soon in their attempts to prevent Smith unfurling that crossfield number - England penalty, and this time the call is for the points.

England 0-0 Japan, 3 minutes

15:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty advantage for England. Marcus Smith lifts a long pass over the top of the defensive line to give Jonny May his first meaningful involvement on his return to an England shirt, before Dave Ribbans has his first at all - the debutant carries well.

Back for the penalty, though - and England fancy a go in the right corner, which is found superbly. Luke Cowan-Dickie will throw the lineout five metres out.

England 0-0 Japan, 2 minutes

15:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A first hint of what Japan can do with Dylan Riley nearly breaking English shackles near the touchline. His offload chops the daisies and is fly-hacked out on the full.

England 0-0 Japan, 1 minute

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan play twice out the back in their opening passage inside the 22, kicking long to Freddie Steward, who returns in kind.

Joe Cokanasiga collects the next thump upfield from Japan, delivering a punishing carry as he angles in field.

Fine high take from Japan’s fly half Takuya Yamasawa under significant English pressure 30 metres from his own line.

KICK OFF!

15:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

To a loud roar of anticipation from the Twickenham crowd, Owen Farrell kicks off!

Here we go

15:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

James Doleman, our referee this afternoon, has a final comms check with his assistants. Japan are clad in blue today, with metallic flourishes on the sides.

England’s men in white for the first time this autumn. Owen Farrell will get things underway.

Anthems

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s a few Japanese fans dotted around Twickenham, standing proudly for a fine singing of “Kimigayo”, warmly received by the rest of the crowd.

A bit more pep in the home supporters’ accompaniement of “God Save the King” this week.

England vs Japan

15:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a balmy November afternoon at Twickenham, which rises for an impeccable observation of a rendition of the Last Post.

Team News - Japan

15:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Japan have had to wait to make their official Autumn Nations Series 2022 bow, but pushed the All Blacks mightily close in Tokyo two weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, Jamie Joseph sticks with much of the side that started that game, with only giant wing Siosaia Fifita dropping out. Gerhard van den Heever takes his place in the back three, with Joseph confident that the wing can help counter England’s aerial threat.

Totem Michael Leitch and Kazuki Himeno, one of the most complete back rowers in the world, headline the pack, but look out for Warner Dearns, the young lock whose sheer size makes him hard to miss.

Japan XV: K Inagaki, A Sakate (capt.), JW Koo; W Dearns, J Cornelsen; M Leitch, K Himeno, T Tatafu; Y Nagare, T Yamasawa; G van den Heever, R Nakamura, D Riley, K Matsushima; R Yamanaka.

Replacements: K Horikoshi, C Millar, Y Kizu, W van der Walt, L Labuschagne; N Saito, S Lee, S Fifita.

Team News - England

15:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A late change for the hosts, with Jack Nowell ruled out with an abdominal issue that hasn’t sufficiently healed. In comes Joe Cokanasiga, adding some power to an England side that has placed an emphasis on pace this week, partly due to the threat Japan pose and partly due to a slightly profligate performance against Argentina. To that end, Sam Simmonds takes the spot at number eight from Billy Vunipola, while Jack van Poortvliet will add a bit more zip from the start at scrum half.

Jonny May has endured a horrible year of injury and illness woe, but has looked sharp enough in training to come straight in from the start, but Manu Tuilagi’s minutes are being carefully managed, necessitating a first home appearance in an England shirt for Guy Porter. So, too, for Dave Ribbans, unused off the bench last week and thus making his debut in the engine room.

England XV: E Genge, L Cowan-Dickie, K Sinckler; D Ribbans, J Hill; M Itoje, T Curry, S Simmonds; J van Poorvliet, M Smith; J May, O Farrell (capt.), G Porter, J Cokanasiga; F Steward.

Replacements: J George, M Vunipola, J Heyes, A Coles, B Vunipola; B Youngs, H Slade, M Tuilagi

F/T: IRELAND 35-17 FIJI

15:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Reasonably scratchy from Ireland, but another win for the top ranked side in the world. The wounded Wallabies are up next at the Aviva next weekend.

We’ll have plenty more reaction to Ireland’s win across the rest of the weekend, but kick off is very, very near at Twickenham, so let’s switch our focus to England vs Japan.

FULL TIME! IRELAND 35-17 FIJI!

14:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ireland 35-17 Fiji, 80 minutes

14:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Or not! Free kick at the scrum to Ireland and they may be content to take us to a close.

Ireland 35-17 Fiji, 79 minutes

14:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji make their tackles and drive through a ruck, allowing them a chance to add another late score. Ireland’s counter-ruck is illegal; Simione Kuruvoli taps and goes.

Nearly away! Waisea Nayacalevu brushes off makeshift wing Jamison Gibson-Park but can’t quite find a supporting player with his inside pass. Irish hands knock the ball on - this will be the last chance for Fiji.

Ireland 35-17 Fiji, 78 minutes

14:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yes, Gibson-Park is on to the left wing as the Irish forwards win a penalty, Tadhg Beirne’s jackal again proving profitable.

Ireland 35-17 Fiji, 77 minutes

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Mack Hansen sends a kick out on the full as two-try Nick Timoney is named Player of the Match - there haven’t been too many in Irish green to really give Andy Farrell a selection headache, but the flanker has been among the standouts.

Jimmy O’Brien departs for a head injury assessment. Jamison Gibson-Park returns, which will mean some major reshaping for Ireland. The starting scrum-half has gone on to the wing, I think.

TRY! IRELAND 35-17 Fiji (Cian Healy, 75 minutes)

14:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cap number 120 and international try number nine for Cian Healy!

The veteran prop provides the final punchy plough forward after a series of strong close-in carries from the Irish forwards.

Jack Crowley puts over the additional two points.

Ireland 28-17 Fiji, 73 minutes

14:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dan Sheehan is on as Ireland launch another offensive deep in the Fijian half. The replacement hooker is dragged back to the five-metre line but the possession is quick for Ireland.

Ireland 28-17 Fiji, 71 minutes

14:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ben Donaldson, on debut, to win it for Australia...it’s away to the right! ITALY BEAT AUSTRALIA! Good heavens - what a win and what a year for Kieran Crowley’s side, who really are a team of genuine promise.

Events in Dublin rather less dramatic, as evidenced by an idle crowd producing a Mexican wave as Fiji prepare to feed a scrum.

Ireland 28-17 Fiji, 68 minutes

14:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Barring something unforeseen, they will win this game but it hasn’t quite clicked for Ireland today. Another forward pass ends the latest promising movement, this time up the right.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Australia have scored with the clock in the red. The conversion would break Italian hearts...

Ireland 28-17 Fiji, 66 minutes

14:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji are back to 14 players, by the way, with Api Ratuniyarawa once more amongst things in the second row.

A vibrant Irish attack threatens to cut Fiji open but the last pass to Mack Hansen is forward and low.

TRY! Ireland 28-17 FIJI (Simione Kuruvoli try, 64 minutes)

14:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That is sensational from Fiji!

There appears little on as Setareki Tuicuvu faces up to the Irish defensive line just inside his own half. The full back shimmies in search of a sliver of space, producing an audacious offload off the deck to Jiuta Wainiqolo.

Wainiqolo is irresistable in the open field, using fast feet and stiff fends to pinball up field. His offload is equally dextrous, granting Simione Kuruvoli a canter beneath the posts.

TRY! IRELAND 28-10 Fiji (Mack Hansen try, 61 minutes)

14:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A fourth Ireland try at last!

Fiji’s scrum rather crumble against the full might of eight Irish forwards, the ball popping free as Setareki Tuicivu (employed as an emergency flanker) tries to keep control at the side of the set-piece.

The blindside is under-resourced, and Mack Hansen strolls in after Craig Casey’s pass. Jack Crowley converts impressively.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 59 minutes

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Towards the halfway point of this second half the clock ticks with the two tallies still unchanged after the interval. Can Ireland make something of their latest lineout in the Fijian 22?

Nope! Viliame Mata is the destroyer-in-chief of the maul, flopping merrily on the ball as Ireland bring it to ground.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 59 minutes

14:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More like it from Ireland, the crowd rising as their side begin to threaten with ball in hand. Robert Baloucoune weaves and wounds a couple of would-be tacklers with shimmying hips, and then Mack Hansen nearly finds Jimmy O’Brien with a crossfield kick.

Tadhg Beirne has been taken off the ball in an earlier phase; penalty to Ireland on halfway.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 57 minutes

14:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji’s lineout throw is off-kilter - Ireland scrum.

Italy, by the way, lead by ten against Australia under the Tuscan sun after another Ange Capuozzo score with 15 minutes to go.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 56 minutes

14:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A scrum is far from ideal for Fiji, too, who have only six men with which to power their push. Their forwards do rather well, holding parity even without their flankers, and forcing a sliced kick from Ireland.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 55 minutes

14:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This time Cian Prendergast is rewarded! The great shock of hair on the Connacht forward’s head makes him easy to spot in the depths of the Fijian maul, the ball coming to floor with Prendergast’s long limbs wrapped securely around it. Turnover, Ireland ball.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 53 minutes

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A second penalty in two minutes against Ireland and suddenly it is Fiji inside the opposition 22. Cian Prendergast’s contest for the ball was legal; the tackler on the floor allowing him access was not.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 52 minutes

14:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’ll draw a frustrated shake of the head from Andy Farrell. Ireland put the pressure on too soon at the scrum, giving away a free kick, and after Fiji boldly tap quickly, Ireland infringe.

YELLOW CARD! Api Ratuniyarawa is sent to the sin bin! Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 51 minutes

14:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A third card of the day for Fiji - Api Ratuniyarawa hits the deck, precipitating the collapse of the latest Irish lineout drive. Fiji will play the next ten minutes with 13 men.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 50 minutes

14:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland win a jackal penalty in midfield, and it’s time for more changes: Cian Prendergast is on for his Ireland debut, replacing Kieran Treadwell; Tom O’Toole replaces Tadhg Furlong; Craig Casey swaps in for Jamison Gibson-Park.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 49 minutes

14:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Though that’s another atypically sloppy error from Ireland with the chance to exert pressure - a man at the tail of the lineout is offside as he tries to disrupt Simione Kuruvoli’s pass.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 48 minutes

14:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A solid enough exit from Fiji. Frank Lomani joins his starting half-back partner Teti Tela on the bench; Simione Kuruvoli and Ben Volavola are now together in the halves.

Fiji thread a clever diagonal grubber through on the left, with Setareki Tuicuvu shepherding into touch with Mack Hansen in close attention.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 47 minutes

14:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But again an inaccuracy costs Ireland in good attacking position. The lineout isn’t straight and Fiji will have the scrum feed.

RED CARD! Albert Tuisue is sent off! Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 46 minutes

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s red! Shoulder to head with no clear wrap, and no mitigation - off goes Albert Tuisue for the remainder.

Joey Carbery leaves to applause from the home crowd, with Munster starlet Jack Crowley on for his Ireland debut at fly-half.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 46 minutes

14:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Back to the Aviva Stadium, and TMO Chris Hart will be needed - Joey Carbery stays down after a double hit, with Albert Tuisue’s shoulder looking uncomfortably close to the fly-half’s head.

Late England team news

14:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Action from Twickenham follows events in Dublin, and England have been forced into a late change: Jack Nowell has been ruled out with an abdominal wall injury, with Joe Cokanasiga called in to the starting side. A blow for Nowell, who England hoped would be fully over the issue for kick off.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 44 minutes

14:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oh, Fiji! The first extravagant dance of the second half comes up the right touchline, Jiuta Wainiqolo at the heart of it after Frank Lomani’s initial sprint around the corner. Setareki Tuicuvu is in support, but the visitors rather run out of steam thereafter, and Ireland earn a scrum.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 42 minutes

14:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kieran Treadwell thunders on to a pass, hitting a lusty line to nearly make a telling cut. But Fiji reform defensively, and Mack Hansen fumbles an inside pass.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 41 minutes

14:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We’ve seen precious little of Jiuta Wainiqolo so far today, which is a shame, but the creative wing makes a metre or two with some jab-stepping after taking the kick off.

Back row colleague Setareki Tuicuvu makes a mess of an Irish kick and hurries a clearance away, making only 15 metres or so. Ireland lineout just outside the Fijian 22 - but the hosts are down to 14 for now with Jimmy O’Brien receiving treatment in the backfield.

Back out there

14:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji are already assembled for the restart as the Irish XV stomp back on to the pitch. Joey Carbery will get the second 40 minutes underway.

Action elsewhere

14:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A rather tasty result is brewing in Florence - Italy are good value for a 17-8 half-time lead against Australia.

The angel-faced Ange Capuozzo finished off this beauty of a score.

H/T: Ireland 21-10 Fiji

13:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three tries for Ireland, but you suspect Andy Farrell won’t be entirely happy with that first half performance. The home side have had plenty of ball in the Fijian 22 but have been a little short of accuracy at times, with the visitors improving defensively as the half wore on.

Fiji faded in the second half against Scotland last week - can they produce a better showing after the interval this?

HALF TIME! IRELAND 21-10 FIJI

13:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 40 minutes

13:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji earn a turnover penalty, though, and that’ll do us for the first half.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 39 minutes

13:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fiji’s lineout is again messy, but Frank Lomani slithers between the forward bodies to ensure his side have some form of ball with which to work.

But not for long! A forthright counter-ruck is triggered by a secure Garry Ringrose tackle behind the gainline, and Ireland have the ball. Toed up the left, Fiji forced out - Ireland again with a lineout to throw deep beyond enemy lines.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 38 minutes

13:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Steelier stuff from Fiji. A stern inspection of an Irish carrier’s ribs forces a knock on, and Eroni Mawi then drives through Tadhg Furlong at the scrum.

Ireland 21-10 Fiji, 36 minutes

13:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There is, in fact, no penalty to come back to, so it will be Fiji’s lineout ball. That’s an efficient exit - long lineout into midfield giving the space for a thumped kick up towards the ten-metre line.

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