Wing Chris Ashton scored a late try to help England to a 16-12 win over Scotland at Eden Park on Sunday night.
The Scots held a 9-3 lead at the interval which Chris Paterson extended with a 54th-minute penalty but Jonny Wilkinson landed a drop goal and penalty for England before Ashton’s converted try sealed his side’s victory.
Scotland’ fly half Ruaridh Jackson hobbled off injured in the fourth minute to be replaced by Dan Parks.
Full back Paterson kicked the Scots into the lead four minutes later after Dan Cole was penalised at a scrum.
England were struggling at set pieces and when they conceded an eighth penalty after 15 minutes Parks extended the lead to six points, the TMO confirming his pot shot from 10 metres inside the English half had cleared the crossbar.
Wilkinson saw an 18th-minute penalty drift left and another kick from him fell short of the target three minutes later. Wilkinson got a chance to make amends almost immediately when Scotland were penalised at the breakdown but missed again.
The fly half made no mistake when the Scots gave away a fourth penalty for going in at the side, getting his team off the mark with a well-struck kick from the left.
But the Scots restored their six-point advantage when Parks landed a drop goal before the break.
An indifferent night with the boot got worse for Wilkinson three minutes after the restart when he missed a drop goal attempt from right in front of the posts.
Paterson landed his second penalty of the night after the English gave away yet another scrum penalty.
Wilkinson found his shooting boots to claw his side back to within three points when he sent over a superb drop goal followed minutes later by a sweetly-struck penalty.
Scotland’s hopes of qualifying died when Ashton got on the end of a superb long pass from Toby Flood to go over at the corner. Flood added the extras with a terrific conversion from the touchline.
Key facts and figures from match 36 of Rugby World Cup 2011 on Saturday, 1 October after England beat Scotland 16-12 in Pool B at Eden Park, Auckland.
– England’s win guaranteed them first place in Pool B. They will play France in quarter-final two at Eden Park next Saturday.
– Scotland’s only chance of progressing to the quarter-finals is if Georgia beat Argentina by more then eight points tomorrow and also restrict them to less than four tries.
– England won a RWC match having trailed at half- time for the seventh time, which is more than any other team.
– Scotland lost a RWC match having led at half-time for the fifth time, which is more than any other team.
– This was just the fourth time a team has won at RWC 2011 having trailed at half-time. England have been responsible for two of those four victories and Scotland have lost two of those four matches.
– Scotland failed to score a try in their third consecutive RWC match, equalling the record held by England, Spain and Uruguay.
– Scotland fail to score 100 points in the pool phase of a RWC for the first time. They were the only team to have done so in the first six RWCs.
– Chris Ashton scored his sixth try of RWC 2011 to set an England record for most at one RWC. He also became sole top try scorer at RWC 2011 again.
– England won a match at Eden Park for the second time and the first time since 1973 when they kept New Zealand scoreless in the second half to win 16-10.
– Chris Paterson’s first penalty took his Rugby World Cup points tally to 137, making him the sixth highest scorer in Rugby World Cup history. He finished the match with 140 RWC points.
– England were just the eighth team at RWC 2011 to win a match having conceded the first points of the match.
– Jonny Wilkinson extended his drop goal records to 14 at the Rugby World Cup and 36 in all Tests.
– This was the second match at RWC 2011 to have both teams score a drop goal. RWC 1991 and RWC 2003 are the only RWCs not to have two such matches.
– Jonny Wilkinson’s third missed penalty of the match was his 10th place-kick miss of the tournament, more than any other player.