England have made it five wins in a row against Australia with a 30-6 win at Twickenham. It was a game the Wallabies will probably claim as a missed opportunity after they worked back into the game after being second best in most areas and looked to have levelled the score before the game turned back in England’s favour with ten minutes remaining as they scored three late tries to blow the final score out.
The Wallabies were down to 13 men at one stage with both Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale in the bin for infringements and they did well to hold England out in that period before the late drama.
The opening five minutes was a kick fest between the two sides with England getting the better of that contest in the drizzle, attempting to pin the Wallabies down their own end.
The hosts got the scoring started with an Owen Farrell penalty after six minutes from about 40 metres out after Michael Hooper got caught at the bottom of a ruck.
The Wallabies had their struggles when they got the ball, with a few forward passes mixed in with rushed passing putting them under pressure and halting any momentum.
The scrums were a good contest in the opening 20 with the Scott Sio going head to head with Dan Cole one to watch. The Wallabies claimed a few free kicks on their feed to give them come confidence.
Bernard Foley had a chance to level the scores from a handy position but his attempt off the tee was a shank, much to the delight of the Twickenham crowd and shortly after they spurned another shot at goal but fluffed the lineout in the English 22.
The Wallabies thought they had scored the opening try to Michael Hooper but he was ruled in front of the kicker from a Tevita Kuridrani grubber kick. Marika Koroibete found the gap and only had to dive on the ball to score but the bounce of the ball evaded him and it fell to Hooper but the TMO ruled it out.
The Wallabies came under real pressure around the 30 minute mark with England receiving multiple penalties in the attacking 22 and referee Ben O’Keeffe had enough of the ill discipline that included a few collapsed mauls and general offside and Hooper copped his second yellow card in as many weeks. Farrell added his second penalty goal to make it 6-0.
There was a bit of helter skelter play just before the break as the Wallabies made their way downfield after a big hit from Kuridrani spilt the ball. The ball again evaded the Wallabies after being toed ahead but England were able to recover.
Kurtley Beale joined Hooper in the bin after he deliberately knocked the ball down attempting an intercept but the Wallabies pinched the enusing penalty to go to the break only 6-0 down despite a 9-3 penalty count against them.
The Wallabies opened the scoring in the second half with Reece Hodge landing a long range penalty and would have felt confident after keeping England from scoring during the period they were down to 13 players.
England were the next to score in the 55th minute in an unusual sequence of play. Samu Kerevi had somehow managed to find a gap but Kuridrani dropped the ball and then England kicked down field and the ball looked like it would roll in touch but somehow didn’t and Elliot Daly got in ahead of Beale and kicked ahead to score the try. Farrell’s conversion made it a ten point margin.
With the match entering the final 20, Foley reduced the margin to seven after they received a number of penalties in their favour.
After another penalty (after a warning), the Wallabies kicked to the corner but came up short with England able to disrupt the maul. This came after what could have been a five metre scrum after England scrambled to get the ball dead.
Shortly after the TMO again ruled out another Wallabies try this time Marika Koroibete was denied after Stephen Moore was ruled to have obstructed Chris Robshaw from making the tackle. It was a real turning point as it would have likely drawn the match level at 13-13 with ten minutes remaining.
But then momentum swung back to England as they sealed the match with three late tries. Jonathan Joseph scored after sliding over in the wet for England’s second of the match after a kick over the top from Danny Care and that was followed up Jonny May collecting another kick ahead and he twisted his way over the line.
With time up, England added another to Danny Care to blow the final score out but it was a win England thoroughly deserved but there will certainly be a few talking points from this one.
The Game Changer
The no try to Marika Koroibete with ten minutes to go.
The G&GR MOTM
As much as I’d rather chew glass, Joe Launchbury had a good game for England and gets the nod in slightly less controversial circumstances.
Score & Scorers
Penalties: Hodge, Foley
Tries: Daly, Joseph, May, Care
Conversions: Farrell 2
Penalties: Farrrell 2
32 mins – Hooper (Australia) – Yellow
40 mins – Beale (Australia) – Yellow