Steve Borthwick‘s England side were criticised for playing ‘boring’ and ‘repulsive rugby’ following their 34-12 Rugby World Cup victory against Japan on Sunday night.

It was England’s second win of the tournament, putting them at the top of Pool D and after the match, the head coach came out to defend his side’s performance claiming that ‘finding a way to win was the most important thing.’

England took the lead early in the match, with George Ford once again dazzling with the boot to guide them to victory. 

Japan did prove difficult opponents for England, asking questions of their defense throughout the game, while holding England to a 13-12 score line up until 55 minutes into the match

What came next was a bizarre moment that saw George Ford’s pass out wide bounced off Joe Marler’s head

Steve Borthwick (pictured) came to the defense of his England side following their 34-12 victory against Japan on Sunday

Steve Borthwick (pictured) came to the defense of his England side following their 34-12 victory against Japan on Sunday

Steve Borthwick (pictured) came to the defense of his England side following their 34-12 victory against Japan on Sunday

England's performance was branded 'repulsive rugby' by former France flanker Olivier Magne (pictured)

England's performance was branded 'repulsive rugby' by former France flanker Olivier Magne (pictured)

England’s performance was branded ‘repulsive rugby’ by former France flanker Olivier Magne (pictured)

It was England's second win of the Rugby World Cup sending them to the top of Pool D

It was England's second win of the Rugby World Cup sending them to the top of Pool D

It was England’s second win of the Rugby World Cup sending them to the top of Pool D

Courtney Lawes was the only player to react, with the Japanese team stopping, thinking he had knocked on, with the second row collecting the ball to score England’s second try of the game and give them the breakthrough they needed after Lewis Ludlam scored earlier in the first half. 

Marler had even poked fun at Manchester United following the match, claiming he ‘took huge inspiration from Roberto De Zerbi’s mighty Seagulls doing a demolition job on United yesterday’ after Erik ten Hag’s side were beaten 3-1. 

It was a bizarre set of circumstances, that was followed up by a moment of magic from George Ford, tapping a pin point cross field kick to Freddie Steward with his weaker foot, who collected and dotted down, before Joe Marchant completed the quartet of tries to give England a valuable bonus point win. 

England, though, were criticised by some for the manner in which they won the game, with Borthwick’s side opting to kick more in the first half instead of choosing to run the ball through the hands. 

At times during the game, England and Japan booted the ball back and forth to eachother, with Lawes’ and co kicked 42 times, while their opponents put boot to ball on 37 occasions. 

Former England and British and Irish Lions star Jeremy Guscott branded the performance as ‘pretty boring’ in his half-time analysis. 

Former London Irish and France back row, Olivier Magne, launched a scathing attack of England’s performance on Twitter. 

He wrote: ‘This English team is ugly! No desire, no joy, no consistency… It’s repulsive rugby.’ 

But Borthwick was in a defiant mood after the match admitting that while it was a challenging game, he added that he was happy with how his side ground out the win.

‘I think ultimately, players find a way and that’s the important thing,’ said Borthwick. ‘In these conditions, it was challenging. 

A bizarre try in the second half saw Courtney Lawes dot down after a George Ford pass bounced off the head of Joe Marler (bottom left)

A bizarre try in the second half saw Courtney Lawes dot down after a George Ford pass bounced off the head of Joe Marler (bottom left)

A bizarre try in the second half saw Courtney Lawes dot down after a George Ford pass bounced off the head of Joe Marler (bottom left) 

Freddie Steward (right) Scored a sublime try after an excellent cross field kick from George Ford, with Joe Marchant wrapping up the bonus point with the final try

Freddie Steward (right) Scored a sublime try after an excellent cross field kick from George Ford, with Joe Marchant wrapping up the bonus point with the final try

Freddie Steward (right) Scored a sublime try after an excellent cross field kick from George Ford, with Joe Marchant wrapping up the bonus point with the final try

Former England and British and Irish Lions player Jeremy Guscott (pictured) branded England's first half performance as 'boring'

Former England and British and Irish Lions player Jeremy Guscott (pictured) branded England's first half performance as 'boring'

Former England and British and Irish Lions player Jeremy Guscott (pictured) branded England’s first half performance as ‘boring’ 

But Borthwick (left) came to the defense of his players insisting that he was happy with how they ground out the victory

But Borthwick (left) came to the defense of his players insisting that he was happy with how they ground out the victory

But Borthwick (left) came to the defense of his players insisting that he was happy with how they ground out the victory

‘Japan kicked the ball 37 times today. I’m not sure when you’ve seen a Japan team kick 37 times.

Speaking on the improvements in his side, he said: ‘We’re seeing strides in some of the fundamental aspects of the game, and growth now in our attack. 

‘The attack always takes longest to come because it takes cohesion. Some teams have had four or even eight years together. We’ve had three months with our coaching team in place.’

Ben Earle, who was a stand out during the game, added on the nature of the victory: ‘It’s a sign of a team that’s growing and improving. 

‘We’re going to get better, and hopefully next week we’ll take a step forward as a side.’

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