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England hero didn't know about bonus points

2015-09-19 10:29
Billy Vunipola (Getty Images)

Twickenham - When supersub Billy Vunipola crashed over for a try in the final play of England's World Cup opening match against Fiji he did not realise how significant his touchdown could be in deciding Pool A.

England 35-11 Fiji

It took several video replays before the try was confirmed to give England a 35-11 victory.

Vunipola's last-gasp effort was England's fourth try of the match, securing a bonus point which could prove crucial in the outcome of the so-called pool of death which also includes Australia and Wales.

"To be truthfully honest, I didn't know that bonus points counted in the World Cup," the 126 kilogram Vunipola said after as he told how had barrelled his way through a wall of Fijian defenders.

"It's always very good to help the team. I think it's very important that my job off the bench is to try to up the tempo and try and help the team on the foundations that they built."

The reward for Vunipola, who was kept out of the starting line up by Ben Morgan, may be a start in the number eight jersey in England's next game against Wales.

Coach Stuart Lancaster, without singling out individuals, praised the way his bench players injected life into the team and said there could be changes to the line up next week. But Vunipola said he is counting on nothing yet.

"Everyone wants to start but in the position I'm in at the moment it's very tough and the competition's very high and that's international rugby."

When Vunipola came on midway through the second half, England had gone more than 30 minutes without scoring and Fiji had closed with seven points at 18-11.

During his brief time on the field, the England attack straightened, took a more direct route through the Fijians and produced a further 17 points in the final 12 minutes.

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