England stormed into the World Cup semi-finals as two tries from Jonny May underpinned a record-equalling 40-16 victory over Australia at Oita Stadium.
May celebrated his 50th cap by touching down twice in the first half but a seventh successive win against the Wallabies was truly founded on a ferocious defence led by man of the match Tom Curry.
Four years ago it was Australia who dumped England out of their own World Cup at the group stage, but their revenge for that humiliation was crushing.
Owen Farrell revelled in his return at fly-half in place of George Ford, with his pass to Kyle Sinckler for the third try showing his class as ringmaster in a return to form for England’s captain.
From the kicking tee he was immaculate as four penalties and four conversions made up a 20-point haul.England run Australia ragged in a devastating Rugby World Cup quarter-final performance
CREDIT: GETTYSinckler goes over for a first international try CREDIT: PA
And in further vindication of Eddie Jones’ decision to drop Ford in favour of a more muscular midfield, it was Slade’s cunning interception and astute grubber that presented May with his second try.
Afterwards, England captain Farrell praised the efforts of his team to get the job done.
“Our boys did well in defence and then managed to get some field position off the back off it. When we do that, we know we can be dangerous.”
England: Daly, Watson, Slade, Tuilagi, May, Farrell, Youngs, B.Vunipola, Underhill, Curry, Lawes, Itoje, Sinckler, George, M.Vunipola
Bench: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Cole, Kruis, Ludlam, Heinz, Ford, Joseph
Australia: Beale, Hodge, Petaia, Kerevi, Koroibete, Leali’ifano, Genia, Naisarani, Hooper, Pocock, Arnold, Rodda, Alaalatoa, Latu, Sio
Bench: Uelese, Slipper, Tupou, Coleman, Salakaia-Loto, White, Toomua, O’Connor