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The Roar


Five talking points from England vs Wallabies Spring Tour Test

England are moving closer to the No. 1 world ranking. (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)
Roar Guru
3rd December, 2016
8903 Reads

England has defeated Australia by a comfortable margin at Twickenham by 37 points to 21, the hosts outscoring the visitors by four tries to two in a hotly contested match.

The encounter was played at a fierce pace throughout and was a game that certainly epitomised the old saying, ‘a game of two halves’ as the Wallabies had the better of the first half before the English pulled away in the second.

All the wash-up from England vs Wallabies:
» Match Report: Wallabies waste early leads
» What changes should Australia make for 2017?
» Vote on our DIY Player Ratings
» Re-live the match with our live blog
» Watch all the highlights from the match

Here are my talking points from the match.

Tactical kicking
The Wallabies look to play an exciting brand of rugby and of course it is enjoyable to watch and brilliant when in full effect but it would seem to me a touch of conservatism might serve the Wallabies well at times and help to conserve the players’ energy levels through 80 minutes.

The English kicking game was superb in this match and assisted them in working their way back into the match after a sluggish start and keeping the pressure on Australia when the English were in front.

Set piece
A very solid area for the Wallabies against a formidable set piece side, punctuated with a tighthead that the Wallabies scored their first try from. An area of concern at times, it was a strong performance in these areas to finish off the season.

Lopeti Timani
He had a great game in my view and certainly adds plenty to the Wallaby efforts, particularly with ball in hand with several strong runs. With David Pocock heading overseas next season, Timani looks to, and probably should be, the longterm Wallaby No.8.

English confidence
Despite a poor first half by their own standards, the English managed to keep themselves within touching distance before a vastly improved second half effort allowed them to secure the victory.


Watching the match, I did not feel the English were in much danger of losing the match regardless. They look a well organised and confident outfit who obviously believe they can and will win, and have developed some impressive depth to boot.

Under Eddie Jones this unit continues to improve and there is little doubt that they will be knocking on the No.1 rankings door in due course.

Wallaby depth
Coach Michael Cheika has blooded a number of new players this season, several with great promise however it will continue to be an area to work on after limited impetus from his bench in this match, unable to foot it with England in the second half.

Of course the long season is a consideration and an argument could be made for the timing of his use of the bench however I can imagine he will have a close eye on his decided key areas come Super Rugby next season as he looks to continue to build this Wallaby side.

In the end, the Grand Slam dream was not to be for the Wallabies, nor a semblance of revenge against the English side which had defeated them 3-0 at home in June.

The Wallaby players have now ended their long season and will look forward to a well-earned break before kicking into the 2017 Super season though I imagine Cheika and his staff will be putting in a few Christmas hours this year as they assess 2016 and look beyond.

Those were my talking points from this match, what are your thoughts Roarers?