England beat Fiji in RWC opener

10:50 am on 19 September 2015

England have kicked off the Rugby World Cup at Twickenham in London, where more than 80,000 fans watched the hosts beat a dogged Fiji 35-11.

England scored four tries to one and led Fiji 18-8 at half-time, but the scoreline flatters Stuart Lancaster's side, with Fiji having a try ruled out and missing several kickable penalties.

2015 Rugby World Cup Group A, Twickenham, London 18/9/2015
England fullback Mike Brown celebrates one of his two tries with team-mates
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

England fullback Mike Brown celebrates one of his two tries with team-mates Photo: Photosport

The Pacific Islanders also copped a yellow card to their halfback Nikola Matawalu as a penalty try was awarded after 12 minutes, and England scored again 10 minutes later through fullback Mike Brown's close-range effort.

Play-by-play commentary of this morning's game

But the English were also fortunate to escape their own yellow card for a high tackle off the ball.

It was an error-riddled first half and Fiji's halfback almost made amends when Matawalu seemingly scored an amazing solo try off the back of a scrum in the 27th minute.

But replays showed he just lost control of the ball on the line.

Crusaders wing Nemani Nadolo did score just two minutes later from a high ball after a turnover from the resulting scrum, and it was 18-8 to England at half-time.

2015 Rugby World Cup Group A, Twickenham, London 18/9/2015
Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo is all over Anthony Watson of England
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Fiji’s Nemani Nadolo is all over Anthony Watson of England Photo: Photosport

First-five Ben Volavola's penalty had put Fiji within seven points heading into the final quarter, before Brown eased home nerves with his second try in the 72nd minute.

Replacement Billy Vunipola then crossed again in the last minute to make sure of the victory, and what could be a crucial bonus point.

The teams are in the so-called 'Pool of Death', which also features Wales, Australia and Uruguay.

England next face Wales at Twickenham on 27 September (NZT) while Fiji head to Cardiff to play Australia on Thursday.

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