Leading rugby writers have lavished England with praise and slammed Australia after England's emphatic 40-16 Rugby World Cup quarter-final win tonight.

The Telegraph's Mick Cleary said the demons of England's nightmare 2015 Cup campaign have been "well and truly banished"

Under the headline 'England rout proves they have nerve, the belief and the weaponry for Rugby World Cup bid', Cleary says England bid for a second Webb Ellis trophy is "within reach".

"The dream is alive, the World Cup mission has lift-off and the promised land is within reach as England contemplate their first semifinal in 12 years.

"This was a keenly-edged defining moment for this England team, a sure sign that they have the nerve, the belief and the weaponry to make a serious bid for honours.


"England had the cojones and they had the class, knowing that there was a pit of dread awaiting if they were to lose but they did not blink, they did not hesitate. It was a contest that became a rout. It was the perfect time to deliver a performance of note."

Defeat, Cleary wrote, would have been "a calamity of the highest order, the ruination of the Eddie Jones' four-year project".

"This was the fixture that might have tipped the scales on the wrong side. Instead England head towards an eye-watering semi-final against either New Zealand or Ireland. The result proved that they have the temperament to deal with the stress of the big occasion, showed that they can absorb not just the pressure imposed by the opposition but also of the moment."

England beat the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Photo / AP
England beat the Wallabies in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Photo / AP

Tom Decent, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, praised Jones for "orchestrating a humiliating exit for outgunned Wallabies".

"Cape Town 1995. That Jonny Wilkinson drop-goal in 2003. Marseille 2007.

"And now Oita 2019.

"Four years after dumping England out of their own World Cup, the Wallabies have been bundled out of the quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 in an absolute demolition job at the hands of the Old Enemy," Decent wrote.

"Eddie Jones chuckled six times during six defeats from 2016 and 2018, yet laughed loudest on this seventh occasion as his team beat Australia in a 40-16 defeat that, if we're being serious, was hardly surprising given the Wallabies' patchy form since the last World Cup."


Australia's news.com.au called the defeat "humiliating" and the Wallabies "pitiful".

"In the end, the death of the Michael Cheika era couldn't come soon enough for the Wallabies.

"Australia was embarrassed at the hands of the old enemy, finally crashing out of the tournament with a 40-16 thumping in Oita.

News.com.au called the Wallabies' quarter-final exit 'humiliating'.
News.com.au called the Wallabies' quarter-final exit 'humiliating'.

"The result is Cheika's final game in charge, while superstars, including David Pocock, are also never expected to wear the Aussie gold again.

"England is now through to the semifinals to play the winner of Saturday night's other blockbuster between the All Blacks and Ireland."

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