Owen Farrell scored 17 points as England downed Australia 32-15 in their Autumn Nations Series clash at Twickenham.
The two nations may be separated by thousands of miles but it is always a classic when they go head-to-head on the field.
England have had the better of the Wallabies during Eddie Jones’ tenure with now eight out of eight wins for the England side – a record run. Their most recent match ended in a 40-16 Australian thrashing at the 2019 World Cup quarter-final stage.
Suffice to say Dave Rennie’s side were out for revenge but England held the Aussies off in a convincing victory in front of 80,000 fans today at Twickenham.
Australia fly half James O’Connor put the visitors ahead inside the opening five minutes, thanks to a 40-metre penalty, but England hit back moments later with the first try of the game.
Owen Farrell provided quick ball to Marcus Smith, who fixed his opposite man before delaying his pass and allowing Freddie Steward to burst through a gap in the Australian defence. The full back weaved his way around the last defender, and crossed the whitewash for his first Test try.
Farrell’s conversion, and a penalty in front of the sticks six minutes later, extended England’s lead by seven points.
Not to be outdone, O’Connor kept Australia in sight with a further two penalties, but a close range Farrell effort on the 17-minute mark made it 13-9.
As half time approached hooker Jamie George made a break, cantering deep into Wallabies territory, only to be brought down short. The tackle made by Tom Wright, was a shoulder to the head, and the winger received a yellow card. Farrell was successful with the resulting penalty.
O’Connor had the final say of the half though, slotting his fourth penalty on the stroke of half time to make it 16-12 at the break.
The Wallabies started the second half much like they did the first, with an O’Connor penalty, which reduced the deficit to one point.
England entered a period of control, as forwards and backs seamlessly interlinked to cause the Australian defence problems. The pressure took its toll, Wallaby prop Angus Bell was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, and Farrell kicked his fourteenth point.
Approaching the hour mark both sides wrestled for possession and territory, with not much phase play strung together by either. Maro Itoje, making his 50th appearance, was at the heart of England’s counter rucking.
Farrell extended his side’s lead, claiming his fifth penalty of the Test, and seventeenth point, before leaving the field on the 67-minute mark.
With just 10 minutes to go and a score in it, errors began to appear on both sides of the ball, but it was England who capitalised on a Wallaby error first (crossing) enabling Marcus Smith to convert a simple penalty to make it 25-15.
Raffi Quirke came off the bench to make his England debut, replacing Ben Youngs, who was featuring in his 60th Twickenham Test – the most of any England player in history.
Australia showed signs of promise as the Test entered its final minutes, but Eddie Jones’ men struck in the final play of the game, Sam Simmonds setting up Jamie Blamire for the game’s second try. The hookers sixth try in four games. Smith’s extras made the final score 32-15.
England starting XV: F Steward; M Tuilagi, H Slade, O Farrell (c), J May; M Smith, B Youngs; B Rodd, J George, K Sinckler, M Itoje, J Hill, C Lawes, S Underhill, T Curry.
Replacements: J Blamire, T Davison, W Stuart, C Ewels, A Dombrandt, S Simmonds, R Quirke, M Malins.
Australia starting XV: K Beale; A Kellaway, L Ikitau, H Paisami, T Wright; J O’Connor, N White; A Bell, F Fainga’a, J Slipper, Ro Arnold, I Rodda, R Leota, M Hooper, R Valetini.
Replacements: T Latu, T Robertson, O Hoskins, W Skelton, P Samu, T McDermott, N Lolesio, I Perese.
Yellow cards: Wright, Bell
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Source: England Rugby