England gained their first important victory under Martin Johnson’s managerial tenure as they edged a pulsating second Test in Sydney to level the series 1-1.
At last we saw a side playing with freedom and not a little flair as they took risks which came off making for a superb test match for all concerned. The only shame was that having lost by 10 points in the first test the Cook Cup went to the Aussies.
The visitors led 15-13 at half-time after first Test tries for scrum-half
Matt Giteau replied with two tries for the hosts either side of the interval. But penalties from Toby Flood and his replacement Jonny Wilkinson put England back in front, and they survived two Giteau missed penalties to squeak home. The second from the Wallabies centre was a most uncharacteristic scuffed effort from right in front of the posts with 10 minutes left. So we had an England win in Sydney the first since the World Cup in 2003 and a final score of:
Australia 20-21 England
Australia (13) 20
Tries: Giteau 2 Cons: Giteau 2 Pens: Giteau 2
England (15) 21
Tries: Youngs, Ashton Cons: Flood Pens: Flood 2, Wilkinson
Australia: James O’Connor; Digby Ioane, Rob Horne, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell; Quade Cooper, Will Genia; Ben Daley, Saia Faingaa, Salesi Ma’afu, Dean Mumm, Nathan Sharpe, Rocky Elsom (captain), David Pocock, Richard Brown.
Replacements: Huia Edmonds (for Faingaa, 72), James Slipper (for Ma’afu, 53), Mark Chisholm (for Mumm, 54), Matt Hodgson, Luke Burgess, Berrick Barnes, Adam Ashley-Cooper (for Ioane, 63).
England: Ben Foden; Mark Cueto, Mike Tindall, Shontayne Hape, Chris Ashton; Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Tim Payne, Steve Thompson, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Tom Palmer, Tom Croft, Lewis Moody (capt), Nick Easter.
Replacements: George Chuter (for Thompson, 71), David Wilson (for Cole, 5-12, for Payne, 71), Simon Shaw (for Lawes, 58), James Haskell, Danny Care (for Youngs, 66), Jonny Wilkinson (for Flood, 50), Delon Armitage (for Tindall, 68).