How England beat Australia in the Third Test

Australians are well aware that wandering Poms were once sent to their shores to endure a period of hard labor and learn from their misdeeds.

Their sporting successors have played on this script in this rather uneven, fractured but ultimately satisfying series. They suffered, they failed, they recovered.

England came back from what could have been a fatal morale blow by losing the first Test in Perth to win in Brisbane and Sydney, which is not exactly the case in any code of football.

They may be a far cry from the quality of the team that triumphed in the Southern Hemisphere in 2003 before securing the Big One a few months later, but this generation has come off the canvas after another inadequate Six Nations campaign. to land some telling blows.

They’re far from contenders to beat the world, but they’re, at least, back in the ball game. You don’t win series by chance in this part of the world.

Join The Roar experts Brett McKay, Harry Jones and Jim Tucker for their verdict on the third test

While it is true that comparisons to previous events in Wellington would not be at all flattering – the grits of bread and water to be compared to the champagne and caviar on offer at the Cake Tin – England resisted the dash and also developed several players. which will surely be in the spotlight in white for many years to come.

The likes of fullback Freddie Steward, king of the skies again, wings, Tommy Freeman and, at one point, Henry Arundell, halfbacks Marcus Smith, who had his best game of the tour, his Rapid Heel Opportunistic Essay The Frosting, and Jack van Poortvilet.

Why oh why did Eddie Jones drop the young Leicester No9 on the bench in favor of Danny Care to unceremoniously hang the Harlequin off the pitch after 37 minutes?

International coaches sometimes have too much time to think and tinker. Van Poortvilet was terrific at Suncorp and showed that kind of form when he came to the SCG. Jones has been ruthless in what he’s done (as he has been before), although he never really raised his hand to admit he got the wrong pick in the first place.

There are a number of positives England can report on their move to Heathrow in the coming days, including a change of captain. After an injury-plagued season, it appeared Owen Farrell’s armband change to Courtney Lawes might just be a stopgap appointment. Well, so much for that theory.

Lawes was a revelation, in a typically laid-back manner, bringing his own brand of down-to-earth and tough attitude to the group. England looked in good spirits regardless of being on their feet after starting with a whimper on the west coast. Lawes, along with the likes of Ellis Genge, another to have completed the journey with some credit, managed to instill a sense of camaraderie as well as toughness in the team, crucially forcing Jones to trust the players more. and let them take responsibility.

You saw it at the SCG. England were ordinary in the first half and defied the run of play going into the break with an 11-10 lead following a late try from Steward. At this point in a season in the northern hemisphere, especially after a Lions tour last summer, heads can roll easily when bodies tire. Instead, it was England who went from strength to strength, particularly from the bench where the arrivals of hooker Luke Cowan Dickie, prop Mako Vunipola and lock Nick Isiekwe were particularly impactful.

England will not be swept away by the series triumph, however uplifting. They know there have been mistakes in their game, heaviness in their attack, occasional lapses in defense. Their pack was professional rather than dominant. The maul wasn’t as helpful as he had been in Brisbane, but he did enough. But they are back in business when it comes to results and that will stand them in good stead as the one-year countdown to the World Cup soon strikes.

Courtney Lawes of England and her team mates celebrate victory with the Ella-Mobbs Cup. (Photo by Jason McCawley – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

The justifiable question marks that were being raised against Jones continuing through to the tournament in France have now been allayed. Eddie had been feted during the week at his old stomping grounds in and around Coogee. This love may be short-lived (and Jones has as many critics in his homeland as he has in England in the last 12 months), but it will do him good.

He knows this is far from a vintage Wallaby side, who were badly handicapped by injury in early Tests, and that France and Ireland are still setting the standards.

Australia were much more committed and direct than they had been in Brisbane, with debutant Nick Frost showing well up front while Tom Wright caused problems behind. The Wallabies failed to capitalize on their advantage, however, fretting and fumbling, allowing England breathing space.

It’s been a thrilling three-week stint across the southern hemisphere, with the north bouncing back from initial setbacks to stage tantalizing finals in Wellington, Sydney, Cape Town and Santiago del Estero. This allowed for excellent visualization.

Enjoy it while you can as World Rugby has decided to set up a World Championship of Nations with one-off tests in the July and November windows. As always, rugby spends too much time meddling with its laws and structures. (By the way, how stupid did it look to have water cuts in the middle of each half with the thermometer in Sydney below 10C? Maybe they thought the game was played in London where we are expecting a 40C heat wave).

There was a real tension around these meetings on Saturday. The new Nations Championship will do well if it manages to recreate that. I have my doubts.

England, then, head back to the sunny highlands, far, far from a finished article with doubts still over their best midfield formation but in playful spirit. As for Australia, well at least the Kiwis are suffering even more.

Sport gb1

Back to top button