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England rack up 10 tries in rampant rout of Romania

Mark Cueto and Chris Ashton both scored hat-tricks as England marched to a 10-try 67-3 World Cup rout of Romania at the Otago Stadium.

Cueto's quick-fire treble came in the space of just 12 first-half minutes as England felled the Mighty Oaks in comprehensive fashion.

Ashton added two more before the interval as England pocketed the bonus point inside 31 minutes.

The Northampton wing then completed his own hat-trick in the second half after Ben Youngs, Ben Foden, Manu Tuilagi and Tom Croft had all joined in on the try-scoring action.

If Argentina fail to beat Scotland tomorrow, England's qualification for the World Cup quarter-finals will be confirmed.

Cueto, who was starting his first match of the tournament after recovering from a back injury, had scored just one try in his previous 25 Test appearances.


But the Sale wing came roaring back into form to run in his second Test hat-trick, and the third by an England player at the World Cup. Ashton then became the fourth England man to complete a World Cup treble.

Cueto was back in England colours along with Mike Tindall as Martin Johnson fielded his strongest available side against the Romanian second string.

The eastern Europeans prioritised Wednesday's game against Georgia and once England found their rhythm the match became little more than an opposed training run.

England laid waste to the Romanian line-out, Tuilagi was prominent in midfield, while captain Lewis Moody and number eight James Haskell both enjoyed strong games.


There will still be elements that will concern Johnson, notably the needless penalties England conceded which undermined an otherwise bright start.

Johnson had blasted his men for being "sloppy" against Georgia last week -- but England did eventually find the ruthless edge he demanded.

Romania got themselves on the scoreboard with a penalty from Marin Danut Dumbrava just before the interval.

They enjoyed their best passage of play just before the hour mark, after Tom Palmer had been penalised for failing to release and the Oaks went for the corner. Romania's strength lies up front, as Scotland almost found to their cost in the opening game, and England's defensive line had to repel wave after wave of pressure.