Brisbane – Owen Farrell scored 24 points as England beat the Wallabies 39-28 in a thrilling Test match in Brisbane on Saturday.
The 11-point win was the first ever by England in Brisbane and
ensures the visitors head into next weekend’s second Test with all the
The Wallabies scored four tries to three but were second best for
much of the game and were fortunate to get as close as they did.
Farrell kicked six penalties and three conversions in a
near-faultless display in front of 48 700 fans at Brisbane’s Suncorp
England, who led 29-13 midway through the second half, almost let the
match slip as Australia came storming back to get within four points at
But they held firm and when replacement winger Jack Nowell crossed in
the 80th minute, the visitors were able to celebrate taking a 1-0 lead
in the three-match series for the Cook Cup.
A win looked far from likely after Australia launched a ferocious
attack in the opening few minutes, resulting in tries to flanker Michael
Hooper and fullback Israel Folau.
England could barely get their hands on the ball and found themselves 10-0 down after only 10 minutes of play.
But the English finally got some possession midway through the half
and were able to tighten the play up and string some phases together.
They were rewarded for their effort when the Wallabies were penalised right in front and Farrell kicked a simple penalty.
He got his second minutes later to make it 10-6, but were lucky not
to go further behind from the kick-off when Foley sprinted 40 metres to
score in the corner.
However, after asking for a replay, referee Romain Poite ruled that
Rory Arnold had obstructed Luther Burrell in the lead-up and penalised
the home side.
England kicked deep and when the Wallabies infringed again at the
breakdown, Farrell added the three points to get to within a point of
The English were right back in the contest and they hit the lead after Folau threw a poor pass to nobody inside his 22.
Jonathan Joseph toed ahead and when Tevita Kuridrani couldn’t
collect, Joseph gathered the ball to cross out wide. Farrell converted
to make it 16-10.
Foley closed the gap with a penalty but Farrell kicked his fourth
right on half-time to send the visitors into the break six points clear.
They started the second half as they finished the first, full of running against a flustered home side.
They were rewarded when Marland Yarde scored following a superb break
up the middle from flank James Haskell and a long floating pass to
the right wing from replacement flyhalf George Ford. Farrell’s
conversion made it 26-13 five minutes after the restart.
The English pack were dominating and Australia were rocked when
front-rower Scott Sio, who was under enormous pressure from Dan Cole in
the scrum, was yellow carded for persistently bringing the scrum down.
A fifth Farrell penalty made it 29-13 but the Wallabies hit back when
they finally got some quick ball and some slick backline work saw
Hooper cross in the corner for his second to close the gap to 11 points.
Farrell opened the gap with his sixth penalty and a first win seemed certain as the visitors led 32-18.
However, with nine minutes to go the Wallabies were in again when
Kuridrani barged over. Foley’s conversion made it 32-25 to England.
A Foley penalty closed the gap to 32-28 but England held firm for a famous victory.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Greg Holmes, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio
Substitutes:16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 James Horwill, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Sean McMahon, 22 Nick Frisby, 23 Christian Leali’ifano
15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Danny Care, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell