Hape, Ashton at double for England to end trying week

Updated: 2011-09-19 08:01

(China Daily)

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Hape, Ashton at double for England to end trying week

England (L) and Georgia contest a scrum during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match at Otago Stadium in Dunedin Sept 18, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Georgia on Johnson's sides' mind after tense battle in Dunedin

DUNEDIN, New Zealand - Shontayne Hape and Chris Ashton scored two tries apiece as England beat Georgia 41-10 at the Otago Stadium on Sunday to set the seal on a tricky week for Martin Johnson's side at the World Cup.

New Zealand-born Hape struck twice in the first half as England, bidding to reach a third straight World Cup final, took command of Pool B after last week's 13-9 win over Argentina despite again conceding a rash of penalties.

Victory though was what England needed after the furore surrounding its night out in Queenstown last Sunday, which led to allegations Mike Tindall, England's skipper against the Pumas, had behaved improperly in a bar.

But Georgia, which had to cope with a four-day turnaround after a 15-6 defeat by Scotland on Wednesday, briefly had a shot at the greatest World Cup upset of all-time.

It was only 17-10 down at halftime after England, for the second match in a row, had a player yellow-carded, with hooker Dylan Hartley sin-binned shortly before the break by experienced South African referee Jonathan Kaplan.

"We made it hard for ourselves and gave away a lot of penalties, but we came away with six tries," England skipper Lewis Moody said.

"Fair play to Georgia, they played a fantastic game. We have got some things to work on. But you can only win every game that is put in front of you."

Hape, Ashton at double for England to end trying week

England's Chris Ashton scores a try during their Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Georgia at Otago Stadium in Dunedin, Sept 18, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Georgia skipper Irakli Abuseridze said: "It was a very hard tough game. Very hard to recover after the Scotland game.

"But I am thankful for my guys. They showed so much courage and engagement. I think we need much more practice and games like this to perform better."

England, with fit-again skipper Moody recovered from a knee injury, ran the ball from the kick-off.

And their approach was rewarded with a fourth-minute try when former Kiwi rugby league international Hape, in for Tindall in one of eight changes Johnson insisted were solely due to squad rotation, burst off a ruck and ran in unopposed from 45 meters.

But there was no avalanche of points similar to England's 84-6 win against Georgia in its only previous meeting, in Perth during the 2003 World Cup.

England scrum-half Ben Youngs was harried out of possession at the base of a scrum and Georgia worked the ball to Irakli Machkhaneli who reached for the corner before being bundled into touch, with the video referee denying the wing a try in his 50th Test.

Agence France-Presse

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