Fourteen-man Wallabies end losing streak against England
MATCH REPORT: The Wallabies snapped an eight-game losing streak against Eddie Jones’ England with a 30-28 win in Perth on Saturday.
Australia’s win was even more impressive considering that they played with 14 men since the 34th minute after Darcy Swain received a red card for headbutting Jonny Hill.
The home side showed their courage to stay in the fight and score three second-half tries to end England’s domination of Australia that dates back to 2015.
The Wallabies led 30-14, but England scored in the 80th and 83rd minutes to close the margin to two points.
As well as losing Swain to a red card on 34 minutes, which will likely see him sit out the series, Australia also suffered carnage on the injury front. They lost playmaker Quade Cooper (calf) in the warm-up, fullback Tom Banks (arm) and prop Allan Alaalatoa (concussion) all by the 25th minute.
Noah Lolesio came into the starting side to replace Cooper while James O’Connor was called down to the bench from the hospitality suites at Optus Stadium.
Lolesio’s radar boot proved decisive with the youngster kicking three conversions and three penalties amongst the haul.
Banks suffered a sickening broken arm, landing on it as he contested a high ball and was taken in a medi-cab from the ground.
Despite the disruption, the Wallabies went into half-time at 6-6, with Lolesio kicking a penalty after the hooter to level.
England were pinged again at the breakdown three minutes after the break and the Australians took the lead for the first time in the match.
But it was short-lived with the visitors scoring the opening try of the night, driving the ball over from a line-out through prop Ellis Genge.
It looked like Eddie Jones’s men were starting to get on top but the Wallabies refused to lay down.
Their forwards hit the ball up through 10 phases before sending it wide with wing Jordan Petaia rolling across the line in the tackle.
Lolesio’s conversion from the sideline gave the home side a 16-14 lead.
England then lost Billy Vunipola to a yellow card for a dangerous tackle and the Australians took advantage with reserve hooker Folau Fainga’a peeling off a maul to touch down.
They extended their advantage to 16 points in the 78th minute through a Pete Samu try and Lolesio conversion.
England debutants Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet crossed late, but it was Australia’s night.
Man of the match: Wallabies entre Samu Kerevi was a handful in the midfield for England. Marika Koroibete was also a big man to bring down and he made some serious metres. Flyhalf Noah Lolesio showed great composure with ball in hand and with the boot to help guide his team to victory. For England, veteran scrumhalf Danny Care showed he still has something to give on the international stage, while Jack Nowell and Billy Vunipola were two of England’s Best ball runners. However, the award goes to hooker David Porecki, who made his debut for the Wallabies. He was outstanding in all facets of play. He was his team’s best defender on the field, and he got his team over the advantage line with some strong carries. Porecki also made himself useful at the breakdowns as well.
Tries: Petaia, Fainga’a, Samu
Cons: Lolesio 3
Pens: Lolesio 3
Tries: Genge, Arundell, Van Poortlviet
Cons: Farrell 2
Pens: Farrell 3
Red card: Darcy Swain (Australia, 34′ – foul play, headbutting an opponent)
Yellow cards: Jonny Hill (England, 34′ – foul play, hair pulling); Billy Vunipola (England, 68′ – foul play, high tackle); Noah Lolesio (Australia, 81′ – cynical play, deliberate knock-down)
Australia: 15 Tom Banks, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Len Ikitau, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nick White, 8 Rob Valentini, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Rob Leota, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Darcy Swain, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell.
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 James Slipper, 19 Matt Philip, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Jordan Petaia.
England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Joe Cokanasiga, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes (Captain), 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Jack van Poortlviet, 22 Guy Porter, 23 Henry Arundell.
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
Additional source: AAP