The Roar
The Roar


Highlights: Wallabies waste early leads, 2016 ends in bitter defeat

It's not the Wallabies people mind, it's the inconsistency. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
3rd December, 2016
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Australia gave up some early advantages on Sunday morning (AEDT) and were ultimately outpaced in the second half by a victorious English outfit, finishing with a scoreline of 21-37.

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» 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

Sefanaia Naivalu proved his worth as a starter early on in the piece, scoring the first try of the match in the sixth minute, before it was duly converted by Bernard Foley, putting Australia up 7-0.

A penalty goal in the 14th minute then gave the Wallabies a 10-0 advantage, and with such a fast start it seemed like a ground-breaking win might be on the cards against the home side.

It was not to be however. England put on two penalty goals of their own in the next ten minutes before their first try of the game, through Jonathan Joseph – and coverted by Owen Farrell – gave them a 3-point lead.

Australia retook the led before half time with two more penalty goals of their own putting them in the lead 16-13, but a dominant second half from England was too much for the visitors to withstand.

Marland Yarde put down England’s second try in the 44th minute and the conversion from Farrell but the homeside up 20-16, before an excellent solo try from Ben Youngs and another conversion gave England seven more points in their lead.

Another penalty goal for Owen Farrell moved things out to a 30-16 advantage for England, essentially sewing up the game.


Sekope Kepu would add a second try for the Wallabies in the 65th, but Foley’s failed conversion attempt meant the Wallabies were still nine point in arrears – and it would be their last score of the match.

Finally, Jonathon Joseph added his second try to the stats sheet as the clock wound down, the conversion from George Ford making the final scoreline read 37-21 in favour of the home team.

The loss caps off what has been a disappointing season for the Wallabies in which they failed to find a win against England or New Zealand in seven attempts, and only recorded victories over South Africa, Argentina (twice), Wales, Scotland and France.

For England on the other hand it means an undefeated season and they can now without a doubt consider themselves at least the second-best team in the world. Who knows how they’ll fare against the All Blacks – but that is a question for 2017 and beyond.