Sackey scores twice as England win

AUSSIES NEXT: Tonga took the lead and scored the first try before England found their feet to keep their World Cup hopes alive with a victory at the Parc des Princes

AP , PARIS

Sun, Sep 30, 2007 - Page 22

Defending champions England finally turned on the style at the Rugby World Cup on Friday, beating Tonga 36-20 to advance to the quarter-finals.

Paul Sackey grabbed two tries for the second match in a row and Andy Farrell scored his first for England.

Sackey scored twice before the break and Mathew Tait and Farrell crossed in the second half as Tonga's inspired World Cup run hit a white wall at the Parc des Princes.

England faced the prospect of becoming the first defending champions not to reach the quarter-finals, but dominated to set up a rematch of the 2003 final against Australia in the round of eight at Marseille.

It was Tonga that took the lead in the 10th minute when Mark Cueto was penalized for holding onto the ball in a ruck and Pierre Hola converted the penalty.

England capitalized on a good period of forwards pressure when Sackey hit the line at pace running onto a short pass. Tonga managed to bring him down, but were penalized for slowing the ball and Jonny Wilkinson slotted his first penalty.

Although England had more of the possession, it was also Tonga who scored the first try when Suka Hufanga beat Wilkinson and Sackey with a swerving run and dragged Olly Barkley over the line as he touched down close to the posts.

Almost immediately from the restart, Wilkinson took a quick penalty close to the Tongan line and kicked across field deep into the try zone. Sackey caught and juggled the ball but video referee Mark Lawrence ruled that he managed to touch it down just in play for a try.

Wilkinson missed the conversion from the touchline, leaving England still trailing 10-8.

But Wilkinson restored the lead in the 32nd minute with a drop goal and he made it 14-10 with a penalty after Hale T Pole was ruled offside.

Tonga then pushed forward but fumbled inside the England 22 and Sackey picked up the ball and sprinted almost the length of the field for his second try. Wilkinson again missed the conversion as England went to the break with a 19-10 lead.

After the break, Wilkinson's usually trusty left boot again failed him as he missed a straight penalty after Latu had hit Moody with a high tackle.

Wilkinson's poor kicking continued in the 53rd minute when he kicked out on the full from just outside his own 22 giving the Tongans a lineout in a good attacking position. They forced a penalty which Hola kicked to put Tonga within a converted try of England at 19-13.

But almost immediately England hit back after Mark Cueto sprinted through Tonga's defense inside the 22 and Gomarsall spun the ball left for Tait to slide over for the try. Wilkinson finally found his range again for the conversion to give England a 26-13 lead.

England pushed forward with a series of quick passing moves slickly linking both forwards and backs to win a scrum deep in Tongan territory, from which Gomarsall passed to Wilkinson who passed to Farrell.

The tall center faked to pass back to Wilkinson before stepping inside to score under the posts.

As Tonga tired, Wilkinson got his second drop goal in the 72nd minute to give him 16 points for the match.

But the Tongans were able to leave the tournament with pride intact as Pole slid in the corner for a try in the last minute.