Melbourne - England
won their first-ever series in Australia with a heroic 23-7 victory
over the Wallabies in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
Six Nations champions, who conquered the second-ranked Wallabies 39-28
in the opening Test in Brisbane, defended magnificently for long periods
in the second half and then sealed the win through a late Owen Farrell
Farrell, who was shifted to inside-centre for the
second game, contributed 18 points with his try, two conversions and
three penalty goals.
By winning England retained the Cook Cup and
hoisted Eddie Jones's side to second in the World Rugby rankings, some
259 days after flopping out of their own World Cup in the pool stages.
didn't have much possession so we had to defend a lot, our defence was
outstanding," Jones said following England's eighth straight victory.
looking forward to winning the series 3-0. We came here to win the
series 3-0 and that's what we want to do next Saturday."
led by 10-7 at half-time, but had to defend for long periods in the
second half as the Wallabies probed for the breakthrough try.
it never came, due to a combination of the Wallabies' sloppy handling
and England's unyielding defence protecting their try-line.
yet another tactical masterpiece by England's Australian coach Jones,
who again out-marshalled his counterpart Michael Cheika.
Wallabies scored four tries in last week's defeat in Brisbane, but could
only muster one this time through skipper Stephen Moore in the first
"We dropped a lot of ball, we ran a
lot, maybe we played too much in the wrong areas. We have to learn to
play a lot of footy, and win the game too," Cheika said.
to pay credit to England, they played very well in both games, they
played very smart and they've played in the right areas and they spoiled
a lot of good ball in the ruck. Well done to them."
boiled over with a skirmish in the 12th minute after referee Craig
Joubert had awarded a penalty to the Wallabies but he reversed it after
penalising Australia for foul play from the incident.
powerful pack struck first blood midway through the half when skipper
Dylan Hartley scored off a rolling maul close to the Wallabies' line for
a 7-0 lead.
The English supporters willed their team on singing
"Sweet Chariot" as the Wallabies made handling errors and struggled for
Farrell kicked England further ahead with a 31st minute penalty.
the Wallabies struck back with the Australian pack pushing over for a
try for skipper Moore with Bernard Foley landing the conversion from
wide out five minutes before half-time.
The try spurred the
Wallabies and they finished the opening half pounding the English
try-line and only stout defence held them at bay until the Wallabies
again lost the ball metres out giving England a reprieve.
began the second half strongly again dominating field position and the
Wallabies were finding it difficult to get out of their half.
Foley was penalised after a linesman intervention and Farrell kicked England six points clear.
Wallabies pressed the English but numerous handling errors cost them
the chance to hit the front in the dogfight with England.
England clinched the game and the series when Farrell toed ahead a loose ball and won the chase to dive on the ball.
He converted to put England out of reach by 13 points.
Farrell kicked another penalty on the siren to ice the victory to huge cheers from the travelling English supporters.
Tries: Hartley, Farrell
Conversions: Farrell (2)
Penalties: Farrell (3)