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Lessons to be learned from England's World Cup win over Fiji

England opened their home World Cup with a 35-11 victory over Fiji that has given Stuart Lancaster and his coaching lieutenants plenty to ponder.

Here Press Association Sport's Duncan Bech examines five talking points from the match.


England view their bench as a key weapon in their quest for the Webb Ellis Cup and against tiring Fiji the reinforcements - spearheaded by number eight Billy Vunipola - generated fresh momentum that ultimately resulted in a bonus point. Wales and Australia will be better conditioned than the Islanders, but it remains an area of strength for England.


Since the start of the warm-up matches England's scrum has been transformed from an area of strength into an unpredictable mess. The image of an undistinguished Fiji front five winning against the head from five metres out and duly scoring a try will hurt forwards coach Graham Rowntree, who will also want to know why his team suffered at the breakdown in the second half.


Lancaster is considering changes and rightly so as elements of the performance against Fiji were poor. Any praise of the impact made by replacements must be put into the context of Fiji's obvious fatigue in the final 10 minutes, but Billy Vunipola was outstanding while Sam Burgess also ran hard and straight instead of laterally. The structure brought by substitute half-backs Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth will also have been noted by Lancaster.


Leading only 18-11 heading into the final quarter, the World Cup hosts were challenged to demonstrate that they have the temperament for the big-match occasion and duly responded by conjuring two further tries to secure a bonus point that could prove critical when Pool A concludes. The late assault was fuelled by desire and conviction and served as further proof that Lancaster's England will fight to the very end.


Whipped up by the razzmatazz of an entertaining and polished opening ceremony, Twickenham greeted England's surge into a 15-0 lead with roars of approval. As often happens at the home of English rugby, the crowd fell silent as Lancaster's men lost their way, but just when they were needed most the 81,605 crowd found their voices once again to help inspire the late flurry.

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