England’s forwards threatened to earn them a remarkable victory in the first Test but Australia held on to win in Perth despite being smashed in the scrum.
Converted tries from Rocky Elsom and Quade Cooper gave the Wallabies a well-deserved 14-0 lead at half-time as they played all the rugby and Cooper showed his box of tricks.
In the second period England hit back through a Toby Flood penalty and a penalty try. Cooper then scored his second try and although got a second penalty try, two late penalties ensured Australia took the trophy.
Just once England countered and showed that if they are willing to chance their arm they can produce sublime rugby, but all to often they are predictable and so easy to defend. Australia however were all about will of the wisp and flair and well deserved the final score of:
Australia 27-17 England
Tries: Elsom, Cooper 2 Cons: O’Connor 3 Pens: O’Connor, Cooper
Tries: penalty 2 Cons: Flood 2 Pens: Flood
Australia: O’Connor; Ioane, Horne, Barnes, Mitchell; Cooper, Burgess; Daley, Faingaa, Ma’afu, Mumm, Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, Brown.
Replacements: Beale for O’Connor (74), Slipper for Daley (66), Chisholm for Mumm (69), Hodgson for Pocock (78).
Not Used: Edmonds, Genia, Hynes.
Sin Bin: Ma’afu (68).
England: Foden; Cueto, Tindall, Hape, Ashton; Flood, Care; Payne, Thompson, Cole, Shaw, Palmer, Croft, Moody, Easter.
Replacements: Wilkinson for Tindall (73), Youngs for Care (59), Wilson for Payne (68), Chuter for Thompson (69), Lawes for Shaw (60), Haskell for Moody (66).
Not Used: Tait.
Ref: N Owens (WRFU).