England end Wallabies’ winning run

Nick Kelland Roar Guru

By , Nick Kelland is a Roar Guru

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    England have recorded their biggest ever victory over the Wallabies at Twickenham, walloping Michael Cheika’s men 30-6 in wet and windy conditions at Twickenham Stadium.

    In the drizzle and the cold, the first exchanges of the game were anything but sluggish – both sides more than willing to play expansive, attacking rugby.

    It was the home side who registered first points in the seventh minute, after a half break from Chris Robshaw led to Owen Farrell knocking a penalty over from 40m out after some sloppy breakdown work from the Wallabies.

    The next 10 minutes was all the tourists, however, as they settled into things nicely. Samu Kerevi, Kurtley Beale and Marika Koroibete all created half breaks, but two forward passes in Englands’ territory killed any semblance of momentum that Cheika’s men were building.

    Indeed, Eddie Jones’ men looked tenacious in defence, and were scrambling extremely well in an intriguing first 15 minutes of counter punching as both sides felt each other out.

    As the game rolled into the 25th minute, it looked as though captain Michael Hooper scored off a delightful grubber from Samu Kerevi, however he was ruled to have been offside by the TMO and England survived again.

    As the cameras showed both coaches in their respective bunkers, it was clear how important this game meant to both.

    England fans had reason to smile in a monumental momentum swing 10 minutes later when some sustained pressure from their side saw Michael Hooper sin-binned in and amongst some frantic scrambling defence.

    Farrell kicked another simple penalty to push the margin to six with six minutes to play in the first stanza.

    Things went from bad to worse for Australia on the stroke of halftime, when Kurtley Beale joined Hooper in the sin bin for a deliberate knock down when England looked very dangerous on attack. Australia were down to 13 men, and the Twickenham crowd was absolutely rocking.

    At oranges, the scoreboard read 6-0 to England, a result that the Wallabies would’ve been pleased with considering their two yellow cards, and England’s territorial superiority.

    After the break, neither side came out slowly, as the intensity in defence picked straight back up after the break, Australia turning to Hooper and McMahon to lead their defence in another typically workmanlike performance from both. However, their problems at lineout time without Adam Coleman were glaringly obvious.

    Australia got on the board in the 50th minute through Reece Hodge, his 50m penalty goal on the angle clearing the crossbar by some distance.

    When Beale checked back in, Australia were back to their full compliment, and you got the sense that Australia had removed any momentum that Jones’ men had built with the numerical advantage.

    Twickenham was rocking again five minutes later, after one of the exchanges of the year resulted in a try to Elliot Daly.

    It started with Australia peppering the England line, before a Rob Simmons knock on allowed England to clear, and clear well through George Ford. The chase was superb, and Kerevi looked smothered, but somehow slipped past two defenders to run 50m untouched, his pass inside to Kuridrani with the line beckoning found grass, however. England then countered, George Ford’s kick dribbling wide, where Beale opted to let it run. A cruel bounce left him with egg on his face, however, when Daly chased through and toed 40m to score himself.

    Farrell’s conversion was spot on, and all of a sudden, England led by 10.

    Australia were the next to score when Foley nailed his first penalty of the night, after Mario Itoje was ruled offside at ruck time. With 15 to play, the home side led by just a converted try.

    It appeared that Australia’s momentum surge had continued in the 70th minute, when a set piece on halfway saw Foley turn a ball back inside to Koroibete who stormed 30m, before crashing over two phases later. Upon review by the TMO, however, Stephen Moore was ruled to have obstructed a tackler in another controversial moment, and England survived again.

    In a cruel twist, England rolled up the field 5 minutes later, and a clever box kick from replacement scrum half Danny Care resulted in Jonathan Joseph running through and sliding three metres to put his side two converted tries ahead, and seemingly killing off any chance Australia had to steal a win.

    The last three minutes was a disaster for Cheika’s men, as England scored twice in two minutes to blow them completely away.

    First, Care grubbered through for Johnny May who slipped past two to score, then try assister became try scorer when the replacement halfback pounced on a Reece Hodge knock on to score untouched in the corner.

    In the end, it was England’s biggest ever win over Australia at Twickenham, however you’d be hard pressed to find a fan who felt the scoreline reflected the closeness of the contest.