England beat South Africa in World Cup quarter-final versus Australia.

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By Creative Media News

The Red Roses of England advanced to the World Cup quarterfinals with a 75-0 victory over South Africa, extending their unbeaten streak to 28 games. Rosie Galligan in the second row and hooker Connie Powell each scored three tries to highlight the dominance of England’s pack, whose set piece and maul crushed the Springboks.

All but one of the tries were scored by forwards, with Abby Dow’s 64-minute effort on the right flank displaying superb ball control. Poppy Cleall and Sadia Kabeya each scored two goals, with Shaunagh Brown and captain Marlie Packer also scoring. Tatyana Heard, the inside center, was named the game’s most valuable player, which is revealing. She carried with strength and commanded the game’s tempo.

England beat south africa in world cup quarter-final versus australia.
England beat south africa in world cup quarter-final versus australia.

Before next Sunday’s quarterfinal match against Australia, England head coach Simon Middleton will have to make a difficult midfield selection. Middleton was confident in his post-match interview, labeling the media’s response to England’s 13-7 victory over France as “stupid.” Last week, England struggled to penetrate a resolute defense. In their last group game, there were no similar issues.

However, the fragmented start was understandable given the 15 changes to matchday 23. Their attack was often hampered by handling errors, so England reverted to a simple strategy of kicking to the corner and maintaining possession with the forwards. Six minutes into the game, Galligan opened the scoring after grabbing a lineout and touching down from a maul. South Africa continued to concede penalties at the breakdown and was down to 14 points when Catha Jacobs was yellow-carded for an unsafe tackle.

England gained three scrum penalties in ten minutes with an extra player in the pack. They frequently lost possession of the ball, but when they did not, they were dangerous. Before the half ended, Cleall, Galligan, Brown, and Powell all scored from close range. Cleall responded to a query about the aesthetics of a rolling maul by stating, “I enjoy looking behind me and seeing my hooker score a try.”

After emerging from the tunnel, England rediscovered their groove. Within a minute of the start of the second half, Powell was out again. This appeared to inspire the Red Roses, who began to loft the ball. A rare run by Jess Breach down the left flank offered the impression of backline togetherness, but the ball was again lost in contact.

Things finally came together after 51 minutes, when Packer completed a brilliant move by exchanging passes with Cleall from a lineout. Soon after that, Galligan scored her third goal, assisted by Heard’s straightening and offloading in the tackle off the back of some deft play by Dow, who opened up space down the right flank.

The South Africans were tired at this point. They defended as well as they could, but the English appeared likely to score on every attack. Three attempts were reported within four minutes of the hour mark. All involving rapid passing and powerful carries, Cleall, Kabeya, and Dow crossed the try line. Heard had an integral role in all of them.

Heard stated of her award-winning performance, “I liked it.” “It’s so nice to have the ball in front of you. It was terrific that we gave our forwards room to play and that they were so dominant. I simply wanted to put forth my best effort.”

Helena Rowland will undoubtedly start at number 12 against Australia, but England’s depth is remarkable. They cleared the bench before Powell completed her hat-trick from another maul and Kabeya scored late with Rowland initiating a deep move. Galligan may have scored the fourth goal, but she crossed the goal line.

How Nollie Waterman and Maggie Alphonsi discussed England’s performance during the post-match analysis on ITV could have led one to believe that the team came close to losing or displayed a lackluster performance. This is a result of the high standards the team has established over the past four years. Every knock-on or misplaced pass is unexpected. Any deviation from a flawless demonstration of their abilities is seen as an anomaly.

However, a stunning victory coupled with a clean sheet is the ideal launching pad for the knockout rounds. England will face more difficult opposition, but their pursuit of World Cup triumph is on track.

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