Wings Mark Cueto and Chris Ashton each scored hat-tricks as England ran in 10 tries to beat Romania 67-3 at Otago Stadium on Saturday.
It was the first time England have had multiple hat-trick scorers in a World Cup match as the backs cut loose with an ambition that was clear from the outset.
After turning round 34-3 up, England continued the try-scoring a minute after the break when Ben Youngs went over.
Then Manu Tuilagi, who posed problems throughout for the defence, supplied the scoring pass for Ben Foden, and Tuilagi broke through himself for a well-deserved try to bring up England’s half-century of points.
Tom Croft was rewarded for a fine game with the ninth try in the 68th minute, before Ashton completed his hat-trick.
Attacking aside, England coach Martin Johnson will doubtless be pleased with the way the defence repelled the Romanians for several phases on their own line midway through the second half.
England had reached half-time with a bonus point secured after running Romania’s defence ragged.
It had taken them just two minutes to get points on the board when Jonny Wilkinson slotted a penalty.
Man of the match Cueto scored his first World Cup try in the 15th minute when Wilkinson and Ashton combined to send him in at the corner.
Seven minutes later England created an overlap for Cueto to score his second, Wilkinson this time slotting the conversion, and it was then the loose forwards’ turn to set him up, James Haskell and Croft combining to set up the third.
Ashton then crossed to bring up the bonus point, then added his second, converted by Wilkinson.
In the 38th minute, Marin Danut Dumbrava finally got Romania on the scoreboard with a penalty, but then hit a post with another on the stroke of half-time.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.