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.
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.
It was one of those ‘bring it on’ moments, where you decided whether to stick at or you go individual and we stuck out and I thought it was brilliant.England head coach, Eddie Jones
England coach Jones feels hailed the team ethic of his men.
“We took a couple of good opportunities in the first half which put us in a good position,” said Jones. “They obviously came back in the second half through an error with us, and then we had to find ourselves.
“It was one of those ‘bring it on’ moments, where you decided whether to stick at or you go individual and we stuck out and I thought it was brilliant.”
Farrell felt England had stood up to the Wallabies challenge.
“We did what was needed,” he said. “We had the lead, Australia were throwing everything at us, and we wanted to play the game at our own pace. Thankfully we did that.”