England send records tumbling

Date published: June 11 2016

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It didn't look like a day for England to make history once Israel Folau had added to Michael Hooper's early try. After two humbling visits previously though to Suncorp Stadium, they more than came good.

England had only won three times previously in Australia prior to Saturday's game and never in Brisbane, their defeats spread out across the decades in 1975, 1988, 1998 and 2004.

Eddie Jones and his squad are a stronger group than even the tired collection of World Cup winners who travelled to Brisbane twelve years ago, but when you consider the young average age of their starting side, the early lead which Australia raced out to might have rattled them.

Not this group. All that belief in their abilities from the Grand Slam campaign has now been topped up by winning in Australia, and by some margin.

The 39 points accumulated by England is the most they have ever scored in a match against Australia, home or away.

Maro Itoje's winning streak remarkably continues as well, having not lost a game in which he's started for either Saracens or England since a Premiership defeat to Exeter last May.

Owen Farrell came close to breaking the record for the most points in a game by an England player against the Wallabies, his third conversion on the final whistle taking him to 24 and one point off Toby Flood's 25 back in 2010 at Twickenham. 

Credit must go to the work done by England's forwards, James Haskell above all, but in Farrell the tourists have the reliable goalkicker which Australia clearly lack with Bernard Foley's kicking form patchy all season long for the Waratahs and now the Wallabies.

This series has more twists or turns to come – let's hope so after a wonderful opener – and Dylan Hartley was right to keep his feet on the ground afterwards. But the scale of what England have achieved deserves recognition too.

Heading to Melbourne to wrap up the series England also have a chance to come away with a winning record in a city where they have played just twice before.

Back in 2003 a 25-14 win at the now named Etihad Stadium gave England the confidence to return to Australia a few months later to win the World Cup.

Three years later in 2006 was a more familiar story, thrashed 43-18, but England headed to Brisbane this week with a far darker cloud hanging over their record, and have emerged out the other side all smiles.

Heady days for England under Eddie Jones, and they're far from done.

by Ben Coles

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