England’s final Rugby World Cup group game against Uruguay was always going to be an underwhelming spectacle after they were knocked out via defeat to Australia last weekend.
But the hosts put on a show for a Manchester crowd watching an England rugby match for the first time in 18 years as they ran in 10 tries to rout Pool A minnows Uruguay by a 60-3 scoreline.
There was an unlikely hat-trick of tries for 38-year-old flanker Nick Easter, while wingers Jack Nowell and Anthony Watson shared five between them and Harry Slade touched down on the break.
Uruguay, who had conceded 166 points and scored only 27 in their previous three group games, actually opened the scoring through Felipe Berchesi’s third-minute penalty, but didn’t add to their tally.
The Red Rose led 21-3 at the break as Easter added two tries to a swift reply from Watson, who put a much-changed England further clear by crossing the wash again two minutes into the second half.
Highly-rated young centre Slade, making an arguably overdue first start of the tournament, kicked his way to the try-line on 54 minutes, before Nowell started his impressive 17-minute hat-trick.
A third for Easter on what could be his international swansong gave him a reason to smile, but it was largely a sombre night for Stuart Lancaster’s side after their disappointing group-stage exit.
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