England pile up record score to beat Australia 44-40 and sweep series 3-0
Owen Farrell kicks 24 points in roller-coaster third test as the Wallabies are unable to match Red Rose discipline and set piece
Owen Farrell kicked 24 points as England racked up a record score to beat Australia 44-40 in a roller coaster of a third test on Saturday and inflict a first 3-0 home series sweep on the Wallabies since 1971.
Tries from prop Dan Cole, fullback Mike Brown, number eight Billy Vunipola and replacement hooker Jamie George combined with fly-half Farrell’s tally helped extend England’s winning streak under Australian coach Eddie Jones to nine matches.
“Very few sides beat Australia in Australia so it’s a significant achievement,” said Jones.
“It was a fantastic effort and we’re pleased with the 3-0 result but we realise we’ve still got a lot of work to do if we want to became the number one side in the world, and we do.”
Australia scored five tries through wingers Dane Haylett-Petty and Taqele Naiyaravoro, fly half Bernard Foley, fullback Israel Folau and flanker Michael Hooper but were unable to match the discipline and set piece of the Six Nations champions.
England won the first test in Brisbane 39-28 with their previous record points tally before securing their first series triumph in Australia with a 23-7 victory in Melbourne, largely on the back of their defence.
The tourists showed they had come to play running rugby on Saturday with some sharp early phases and they scored first when, after a burst for the line from Mako Vunipola, scrum half Ben Youngs fed Cole for the opening try.
Australia responded almost immediately, Folau feeding Matt Toomua for a dash down the line with the centre’s pass inside setting up Foley to touch down.
Eight minutes later and Australia were in front, quick ball from a ruck in front of the posts Haylett-Petty to cross in the corner.
Farrell and Foley traded penalties before England scored a second try on the half-hour mark when Brown chased down winger Anthony Watson’s chip through.
The England fly half converted to put England back in front at 17-15 but Foley’s second penalty gave the hosts an 18-17 lead at half-time.
Vunipola peeled off a five-metre scrum to touch down and the England pack stole Australia’s next line-out before rumbling up the park and winning a penalty, which Farrell converted.
The tries kept coming with Hooper snaking his way to the line after 51 minutes and allowing Foley to level the scores at 25-25 with the conversion.
Farrell kicked his third penalty after a dominant England scrum to edge the visitors ahead but Toomua soon cut through the visitor’s midfield and fed Folau for a score that restored Australia’s lead.
A fourth Farrell penalty, from a scrum, made it again a one-point game before George shinned the ball over the line and touched down for England’s fourth try.
Farrell kicked the extras and his fifth penalty gave the visitors a 41-32 lead with 13 minutes to go.
Another Farrell penalty took him to 66 points for the series and cool game management kept the
Australians pinned back until Naiyaravoro grabbed a late consolation try.
“We lost because we lost too many little moments in the game that cut off our flow. It hurts,” Australia coach Michael Cheika said.
“What we need to do is get in, work hard and prove people wrong.”