Just the ticket: confident England deal blow to Australia in brutal clash
Red Rose do unthinkable for first time in Brisbane, but coach Eddie Jones is downplaying significance of felling number two ranked team
England rugby union coach Eddie Jones said he was not getting carried away despite his side recording their first win over Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.
England fly half Owen Farrell scored 24 points as England beat the Wallabies 39-28 in a thrilling opening match to start their three-test series.
The 11-point win was the first by England in Brisbane and came against an Australian side ranked number two in the world.
“What we’ve done tonight is give ourselves one more game in the series,” Jones said.
“We made history tonight, but that’s not enough for us. It’s all about next week.”
The Wallabies scored four tries to three, but were second best for much of the game and were fortunate to get as close as they did.
Farrell kicked six penalties and three conversions in a near-faultless display in front of 48,700 fans at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
England, who led 29-13 midway through the second half, almost let the match slip as Australia came storming back to get within four points at 32-28.
But they held firm and when replacement winger Jack Nowell crossed in the 80th minute, the visitors were able to celebrate taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series for the Cook Cup.
A win looked far from likely after Australia launched a ferocious attack in the opening few minutes, resulting in tries to flanker Michael Hooper and fullback Israel Folau.
England could barely get their hands on the ball and found themselves 10-0 down after only 10 minutes of play.
But the English finally got some possession midway through the half and were able to tighten the play up and string some phases together.
“We struggled in the first 10 minutes,” Jones admitted.
“Australia put a lot of pace on the ball, which we don’t encounter in games in England.
“It took us a while to find the pace of the game and once we did I thought, the next 45 minutes we played some good rugby.”
Once England settled into the game they were rewarded for their efforts with consecutive penalties to Farrell.
After the second and with the score at 10-6, England were lucky not to go further behind from the kick-off when Foley sprinted 40 metres to score in the corner.
However, after asking for a replay, referee Romain Poite ruled that Rory Arnold had obstructed Luther Burrell in the lead-up and penalised the home side, a decision that left Australian coach Michael Cheika shaking his head.
“It’s not obstruction, the (defender) went to the wrong guy,” he said.
Cheika argued that Poite had asked whether there was any reason why he couldn’t award the try.
“If it was ‘try or no try’, different story, but when he says ‘is there any reason why I can’t award the try’ it has to be clear.
“But anyway, that happens, you have to go with the punches.”
England kicked deep from the penalty and when the Wallabies infringed again at the breakdown, Farrell added the three points to get to within a point of the Wallabies.
The English were right back in the contest and they hit the lead after Folau threw a poor pass to nobody inside his 22.
Jonathan Joseph toed ahead and regathered to cross out wide, Farrell’s conversion making it 16-10.
Foley closed the gap with a penalty but Farrell kicked his fourth right on half-time to send the visitors into the break six points clear.
They started the second half as they finished the first, full of running against a flustered home side.
They were rewarded when Marland Yarde scored following a superb break up the middle from outstanding flanker James Haskell to make it 26-13 five minutes after the restart.
The English pack were dominating and Australia were rocked when front-rower Scott Sio, who was under enormous pressure from Dan Cole in the scrum, was yellow carded for persistently bringing the scrum down.
A fifth Farrell penalty made it 29-13 but the Wallabies hit back when they finally got some quick ball and some slick backline work saw Hooper cross in the corner.
Farrell opened the gap with his sixth penalty but with nine minutes to go the Wallabies were in again when Tevita Kuridrani barged over.
A Foley penalty closed the gap to 32-28 but England held firm for a famous victory.