England 52-13 Japan: Eddie Jones' team produce clinical performance to beat Brave Blossoms at Twickenham
England held a 24-6 half-time lead and produced a physical and much cleaner performance than they had done against Argentina last weekend; Eddie Jones' side take on New Zealand next at Twickenham Stadium, Japan travel to France
By Emma Thurston at Twickenham Stadium
Last Updated: 12/11/22 6:00pm
Marcus Smith and Guy Porter each scored two tries as England produced a clinical performance to beat Japan 52-13 at Twickenham.
Freddie Steward, Smith and Porter all crossed for tries in the first half and Owen Farrell added further points to create a 24-6 half-time lead. Takuya Yamasawa scored Japan's first-half penalties.
Ellis Genge and Porter's second try extended the lead early in the second half before Naoto Saito crossed for the visitors.
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Siosaia Fifita's sin-binning then resulted in a penalty try for England before Smith went over for his second try of the match.
Eddie Jones' team will now prepare to host New Zealand next weekend at Twickenham Stadium. The All Blacks have a meeting with Scotland prior to that on Sunday.
"It was a frustrating loss last weekend against Argentina," said Steward, who was named man of the match.
"We wanted to bounce back and put on a good performance. We addressed the problems and found solutions. Today it clicked."
England made five changes to the starting XV with Jonny May returning after injury and Jack van Poortvliet selected to start at scrum-half. David Ribbans was on debut at lock, Guy Porter replaced Manu Tuilagi in midfield and Sam Simmonds donned the No 8 jersey. Jack Nowell was a late withdrawal due to an abdominal injury.
Captain Atsushi Sakate was selected to lead Japan from the front row alongside Keita Inagaki and Jiwon Gu. Stalwart Michael Leitch added to his 76 caps after being selected at six with Kazuki Himeno and Tevita Tatafu completing the back row.
Six days on from that disappointing defeat to Argentina, England found their flow quickly. After already turning down a kickable penalty, Farrell slotted an easy three to open their account with four minutes gone.
England's pack exerted themselves physically from the outset with Genge timing booming tackles in open play and the scrum dominating.
A scrum penalty handed England field position for their first try; following a purposeful maul, a wraparound play was finished by Steward at pace. Farrell's extras completed a 10-point haul after 12 minutes.
Steward was instrumental in England's second try too. The full-back weaved his way through in broken play, found Jack van Poortvliet on his shoulder and then the power of Joe Cokanasiga kept the move alive.
Cokanasiga, a late starter after Jack Nowell withdrew due to injury, rode a solid tackle from Yamasawa before popping a try-creating offload to Smith. Farrell added another two points from out wide.
England's Autumn Internationals
|Sunday, November 6||England 29-30 Argentina||2.15pm|
|Saturday, November 12||England 52-13 Japan||3.15pm|
|Saturday, November 19||England vs New Zealand||5.30pm|
|Saturday, November 26||England vs South Africa||5.30pm|
Japan responded on the 30-minute mark to make it 17-3 via the boot of Yamasawa.
The Brave Blossoms then boosted their confidence with a 30-metre Michael Leitch break. Centre Dylan Riley took the ball on, and only an illegal infringement from Jonny May prevented a try. May was sent to the sin-bin for not releasing and Japan doubled their points tally to six.
Porter's first international try capped a positive 40 minutes for the home side and another Farrell conversion finished the half with England 24-6 up.
After the break, Seungsin Lee arrived at fly-half for Japan and was quickly put to work as Jonny Hill was penalised for a high tackle. Lee's attempt missed and once May returned for England, they pressed on until the full-time whistle.
Genge's direct line from close range was yet another illustration of England's ongoing physical dominance, as were the solid tackles coming in across the park.
Porter had added a second try of his own before Japan finally responded again via the speed of Saito after 58 minutes to make it 38-13.
England's pack remained utterly dominant as the Vunipola brothers and Jamie George arrived in the final quarter.
When Fifita was forced to pull down a surging maul illegally, England gained a penalty try for their sixth of the match and with 14 men on the field, the home side gleefully used the extra space as Smith capped off a productive day at the office.
England take on New Zealand next Saturday at Twickenham Stadium with a 5.30pm kick-off. Japan travel to Toulouse to meet France on Sunday at 1pm.