Job not done yet, warns England's Super Maro
Yokohama (Japan) (AFP)
Towering lock Maro Itoje warned England the job wasn't done yet after he inspired a stunning Rugby World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand with a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday.
Itoje, who hounded the All Blacks at the breakdown and led the lineout figures with seven throws won, said England were building "week by week" as they seek their second world title in Yokohama next Saturday.
England will play either Wales or South Africa, who face off on Sunday, in Yokohama next week after their ruthless 19-7 victory over New Zealand, the two-time defending champions.
"It's not really sinking in at the moment but we're desperately excited, we're really honoured to be here but the job isn't quite done yet," Itoje said, when asked about the final.
"We still have one more week of hard work and hopefully a big game next week as well."
Manu Tuilagi's try put England ahead inside two minutes and New Zealand never recovered, as Itoje and Courtney Lawes led a superb defensive effort to hand the All Blacks their first World Cup defeat in 12 years.
"Fair play to the All Blacks, they're the best team in the world for a reason. We really had to play for 80 minutes... it was a good day at the office for us," Itoje said.
England started slowly in the World Cup with an unflashy win over Tonga, but they have steadily improved and handed Australia their heaviest defeat in the competition, 40-16, in last week's quarter-finals.
"I think we're just building," Itoje said. "Game by game, week by week we're building. We're pushing in the right direction.
"We haven't done the job yet but we're one step closer."
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