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RWC 2003 highlights – Lewsey scores five in Uruguay thrashing

31 October 2013

  • Lewsey equals all-time individual England scoring record
  • Woodward's men rack up 17 tries against Pool C minnows

England completed their Pool C campaign with a 17-try demolition of Uruguay that secured a meeting with Six Nations rivals Wales in the quarter-final of Rugby World Cup 2003.

Full back Josh Lewsey was the main beneficiary of a largely polished team performance in a glaring mismatch, the London Wasps man crossing five times to equal the national record.

Andy Gomarsall scores

Photo: Getty Images

There were also braces for Iain Balshaw, Mike Catt, Jason Robinson and Andy Gomarsall, while Lewis Moody, Dan Luger, Stuart Abbott and Will Greenwood got on the scoresheet as well. Paul Grayson kicked 11 conversions, Catt adding two in the final stages.

The only setbacks from a satisfactory run-out were a late yellow card to Joe Worsely for a high tackle and an ankle injury to Balshaw, who was stretchered off in the second half. Clive Woodward downplayed the severity of the wing’s ailment though, saying he was only brought from the field as a precaution.

England had already threatened the Uruguayan line a number of times before Moody was freed on the right-hand touchline to start proceedings in just the third minute, but the plucky South Americans were able to get a foothold in the contest thereafter – Juan Menchaca cutting the deficit with a penalty before narrowly missing another.

However, Lewsey hit a hard line and fended off Menchaca to kick-start a spree of three scores in four minutes – Balshaw gliding away on two occasions to cap the first quarter in style.

Mike Catt carries

Photo: Getty Images

He was involved for the fifth as well; orchestrating a 70-metre move that began with Gomarsall’s quick throw-in on England’s 22 and ended with Catt strolling home. A Gomarsall snipe brough number six and a half-time lead of 42-6, another Mechaca penalty Uruguay’s only consolation.

It took only 51 seconds for Woodward’s charges to maintain the landslide into the second period, Worsely showing impressive pace after a linebreak to feed club colleague Lewsey.

Luger then got in on the act before the moment that drew the biggest cheer from the Brisbane crowd – Uruguay hooker Pablo Lemone crashing over from a burly carry around fringes.

Abbott’s jinking run resumed normal service soon after though, and replacement Robinson skated over for two tries either side of further efforts for Lewsey and Gomarsall.

Catt’s second got England into triple figures before a fifth from Lewsey equalled England’s all-time individual record.

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the 2003 Rugby World Cup win, RFU.com is posting highlights and reaction from each of England's matches. On Monday, head here for reaction this one-sided affair.