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England 60 Uruguay 3

Published 10/10/2015

England's Anthony Watson scores the opening try of the game during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
England's Anthony Watson scores the opening try of the game during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
England's scrum half Danny Care (L) runs with the ball during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on October 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER
Uruguary's scrum half Agustin Ormaechea kicks the ball during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on October 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / DAMIEN MEYER
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Carlos Arboleya of Uruguay is tackled by Dan Cole of England during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
England's Danny Care is tackled by Uruguay's Joaquin Prada (right) during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION
England's number 8 Nick Easter (C floor) scores their second try during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on October 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
England's centre Henry Slade (R) runs in to score England's fifth try during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on October 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS
England head coach Stuart Lancaster before the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION
A young England fan waving flags in the stands before the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
The England team line up prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium on October 10, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
England's Anthony Watson scores his side's fourth try of the game during the Rugby World Cup match at the City of Manchester Stadium. PRESS ASSOCIATION
England's wing Anthony Watson (L) celebrates scoring his second and England's fourth try during the Pool A match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between England and Uruguay at Manchester City Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, on October 10, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS

A youthful England lined up for the World Cup dead rubber against Uruguay - a game that could turn out to be Stuart Lancaster's last match in charge.

Anything but a big scoreline against the south Americans - on paper the second weakest side in the tournament - would only increase the pressure on Lancaster's shoulders ahead of a review of England's performances at the tournament.

Lancaster had shaken up his starting line-up to give a chance to those who had played little on no part in the tournament so far, including Danny Care at scrum-half, and Alex Goode at full-back. There was also a youthful midfield trio of George Ford, Owen Farrell and Henry Slade.

It was not just the younger squad members given a start however, Nick Easter started at number eight at the age of 37.

England's game plan has gone out of the window at just about every point in this bitterly disappointing tournament for the hosts, so to fall 3-0 behind to the World Cup minnows in the opening minute following an offside decision was par for the course.

The lead, of course, did not last long as England started to play an expansive game with a long pass out to Jack Nowell opening up the space, with the Cornishman kicking through and Anthony Watson winning the foot race comfortably to touch down just before the ball went dead.

Owen Farrell slotted home the conversion to set up a period of England dominance, but the hosts were too frantic in their search for redemption. Henry Slade was too hasty near Uruguay's line and lost the ball, then captain Chris Robshaw knocked on near the halfway line after taking his eye off the ball.

It was left to the old head of Easter to exert England's dominance properly - a penalty led to a line-out near the visitors' line which Geoff Parling claimed, and Easter took the ball at the rear of the rolling maul to plunge over for the second try, again converted.

The confidence surged back through England's veins and Easter pounced again for his second score of the night after a succession of phases saw Danny Care halted a metre from the try-line, with the 37-year-old crashing over with little fuss.

The crowd - impressive in size considering this was essentially a meaningless match - responded with enthusiasm to the scorers. A Mexican wave rippled around the City of Manchester stadium, Jerusalem echoed from several thousand lungs.

Uruguay also responded however, defending with admirable vigour against successive waves of attacks to ensure England had been restricted to three tries at the break.

Some text-book quick-passing by the backs saw England extend their lead two minutes after the re-start.

Lined-up behind each other at a scrum, quick hands down the line saw Watson on the overlap to score his second. Farrell, for the first time this tournament, missed the kick and the score remained 26-3.

Even so England's display was underwhelming. James Haskell was having an unhappy time, knocking on twice and then giving away a needless penalty for diving straight over the ball at a ruck.

It took some good soccer skills by Slade to liven things up, showing decent control with his feet before scoring his first try for England.

Soon after Nowell got in on the act, put in for an easy score after Care broke and then timed the pass perfectly. With three-quarters of the game gone, England had a comfortable 38-3 lead.

Uruguay looked exhausted and Easter plunged over again for a hat-trick that few would have predicted.

Nowell took full advantage of tiring legs and touched down for his second score with 10 minutes left, and then again in the corner five minutes later.

A penalty try finished the job for England - but rarely will such a large victory have been so little celebrated.

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