In a scintillating contest England did an Australia on the Wallabies. For the first time in years England played pretty much 80 minutes of front foot rugby as they out-muscled, out-thought and at times totally outpaced the Australian back line. The much vaunted Quade Cooper was shut down and Pocock the Wallaby 7 seldom had a chance to slow down or steal the England ball. The Aussies still managed to spring Kurtley Beale twice and cause English fans to worry. However, it was by far England’s best performance under manager Martin Johnson as they equalled their largest margin of victory against Australia and enjoyed a first Twickenham win over a Tri-Nations team in four years.
The game was billed as the England juggernaut smashing the Wallaby. However it was the rapier that caused the pain as Chris Ashton scored a try in each half, the second a 90m dash to the line for one of the great Twickenham scores and he could perhaps have had another if the ball had been released to him. Fly-half Toby Flood kicked seven penalties and two conversions to end the match with 25 points, a record for an Englishman against the Wallabies.
Australia full-back Kurtley Beale scored two second-half tries, but by then an England win was never really in doubt, even when O’Connor found his kicking boots in the second period. Flood just continued to kick his goals and so we came the the hugly satisfying final score of:
England 35-18 Australia
Tries: Ashton 2 Cons: Flood 2 Pens: Flood 7
Tries: Beale 2 Cons: O’Connor Pens: O’Connor 2
England: Foden; Ashton, Tindall (Armitage 62), Hape, Cueto; Flood (Hodgson 78), Youngs (Care 54), Sheridan (Wilson 67), Hartley (Thompson 70), Cole, Lawes, Palmer (Shaw 71), Croft, Moody, Easter (Fourie 78).
Australia: Beale; O’Connor, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau (Barnes 59), Mitchell, Cooper, Genia (Burgess 48), Robinson (Slipper 55), Moore, Alexander, Chisholm (Mumm 57), Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, McCalman (Brown 58).
Reps Not Used: Saia Faingaa, Turner.
Ref: Craig Joubert (South Africa).