Rugby: England, France and Wales win

England's Chris Ashton bursts clear to score his side's fifth try against Georgia

Story highlights

  • France, England and Wales secure vital Rugby World Cup wins
  • Six Nations teams defeat lowly opposition after hard-fought matches
  • France and England scoring second victories in the competition
  • Wales edge Samoa for first win in New Zealand
England and France set themselves on course for the quarterfinals of Rugby's World Cup with their second wins of the competition in New Zealand Sunday.
Fellow Six Nations side Wales also revived their hopes with a hard-fought 17-10 win over Samoa after their narrow opening defeat in Pool D to defending champions South Africa.
Martin Johnson's England saw off another determined challenge from Georgia 41-10 to stay on top in Pool B, while France beat Canada 46-19.
The French were troubled by the Canadians, who only trailed by a converted try after an hour before Damien Traille grabbed a breakaway try and Vincent Clerc crossed twice late on to make the scoreline flattering.
Marc Lievremont's team will have to improve against hosts New Zealand in Auckland next Saturday, with the losers likely to face England in the last eight.
England were scarcely more impressive against a Georgian team who have impressed in the World Cup and were also in touch at halftime.
But England pulled away after the break with Shontayne Hape and Chris Ashton scoring two tries apiece with Delon Armitage and Manu Tuilagi also going over.
After the off-field furore involving Mike Tindall, who captained the side in the opening win over Argentina, England were looking for a big performance but Johnson was disappointed with their display.
"If we are happy with those standards we will go home early," he told AFP.
Wales were behind in Hamilton as they trailed 10-6 at the half, but were sparked into life by winger Shane Williams's 67th-minute try, his eighth in the World Cup.
"We knew today was a must-win game," said coach Warren Gatland."