The Wallabies 2019 World Cup campaign is over after going down 40-16 to England in the Quarter Final in in Oita. An English defensive masterclass that went a long way to winning the game with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill impressive in keeping the Wallabies attack in check.
The Wallabies didn’t help themselves with some interesting tactics, especially in attempting to exit their 22. A double to Jonny May in the early half got England in front and despite a brief period in the second half where the margin was reduced to just one, it was all England in the 24-point win. Owen Farrell was also impressive in the game with 100% kicking off the tee and also added a try assist as England scored four tries to one.
The Wallabies opened on fire with 18 phases of attack but a knock on in the English 22 got them out of trouble. Jordan Petaia didn’t look out of place as his early involvements were causing the English defence a few problems.
Some Kurtley Beale brilliance in open play off a turnover got the Wallabies downfield and a high shot in midfield saw Christian Lealiifano open the scoring with a penalty goal.
Off the restart, England had the Wallabies under pressure after knock-on from Allan Alaalatoa in his own 22 as the Wallabies attempted to run it out. A David Pocock ruck burgle looked to get them out of trouble but it only delayed England opening their scoring with a well worked try in the left corner to Jonny May as Tom Curry sucked Reece Hodge in to leave May with a simple run to the line in his 50th Test.
May then stunned Australian with his second try just three minutes later as the ball was intercepted in a mix up with Pocock and Lealiifano in the English half and Henry Slade found open space and kicked ahead for May to collect and score his second.
Lealiifano and Farrell exchanged penalties with the Wallabies ambitious exit plan lucky not to be punished further as Beale attempted to chip it out and landed easily in the hands of the English but they couldn’t gain any advantage of their field position.
The ‘Pooper’ combo combined with some key tackles from Tolu Latu was working well to keep the Wallabies in the game with a some crucial penalty wins to keep the English attack at bay.
The scrums had been a real lottery throughout the half under Jerome Garces and the Wallabies eventually came up with the winning numbers just before half time for Lealiifano’s third penalty of the half for a 17-9 scoreline at the break. England would have been happy with only conceding the three points to keep the Wallabies more than a converted try behind.
The Wallabies started the second half with a brilliant try to Marika Koroibete inside three minutes. A Reece Hodge wide ball found Petaia with an overlap and he hit Koroibete on the inside and evaded Elliot Daly to reduce the margin to just one point after Lealiifano’s conversion.
England weren’t rattled by the close margin and it took patient play before a brilliant pass from Owen Farrell found Kyle Sinckler in midfield as the gap widened and no one could stop him for his first ever Test try.
Owen Farrell kicked England further ahead with a penalty goal after the Wallabies put themselves under pressure in their own half and were easy pickings for the English defence as Jamie George caught the Wallabies too high in contact for a maul turnover.
The Wallabies overall game was summed up around the 60-minute mark after a penalty where they took the scrum instead of a simple three points ended up with no reward after hammering the English line for more than ten phases with the English defence more than up to the task.
From there it was all England as they turned the screws to deny the Wallabies any possession. Farrell added his third penalty as England ticked over the 30 point mark and with the Wallabies chasing the game in the last few minutes, Anthony Watson swooped in intercept a Kurtley Beale pass to round out a dismal night as England equalled their biggest win over the Wallabies 40-16.
The Game Changer
The Wallabies were down by eight and had a penalty under the sticks just before the 60- minute mark but came up empty after hammering the English line and from there it was all England.
The G&GR MOTM
Tom Curry – There were plenty putting their hand up from England but Tom Curry was impressive with a defensive masterclass with 15 tackles and also had a hand in May’s first try.
Score & Scorers
Penalties: Lealifano 3
Tries: May 2, Sinckler, Watson
Conversions: Farrell 4
Penalties: Farrell 4