Planet Rugby

Australia bounce back at Twickenham

17th November 2012 16:10

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England v Australia Toby Flood of England tackles Adam Ashley Cooper of Australia

Stronger: Adam Ashley-Cooper

A powerful performance from Australia led to a 20-14 victory over England at Twickenham, with Berrick Barnes kicking 15 points.

In front of a packed crowd at Twickenham, England opened the scoring with a penalty from Toby Flood with two minutes gone, but it was Australia who held the edge early on in terms of territory and possession.

The Wallabies were on top in the opening scrums and it proved to be the foundation for Australia's first score of the afternoon as Michael Hooper burst through on the left hand side, Berrick Barnes eventually sending through a drop-goal from straight in front.

Australia continued to play with width, Nick Cummins giving the English defence cause for concern as he continued to find space down the right wing.

Flood put England back in front with a long-range penalty but Australia responded by putting the home side under pressure deep on their own try line, the TMO ruling out a score after looking at numerous replays.

A penalty at the resulting scrum however led to Barnes levelling the scores from straight in front, but Flood responded to take the score to 9-6.

Cummins then grabbed the first try of the afternoon after a poor box kick from Danny Care led to a break from Australian scrum-half Pat Phipps, who slipped through a gap in England's defence and fed an unmarked Cummins for the score.

It was England however who had grabbed the final points of the first half, a tapped penalty by Care putting Australia on the back foot before the ball went wide to Manu Tuilagi.

The Leicester centre dived and allegedly did enough to ground the ball on the line, putting England back in front and leaving the score at 14-11 at half-time.

Barnes drew both teams level at the start of the second half and then put the Wallabies in front after a perfectly weighted chip behind the defence from Beale was gathered by Hooper, leading to another penalty kick to give Australia a 14-17 lead.

The Wallabies regained possession from the restart and a break from Tapuai almost released Cummins on the outside again only for Sharples to intervene. Australia's dominance at the breakdown resulted in England being penalised, with Barnes stretching the visitors lead to six points.

An English response was needed and it came with a powerful surge towards the Australian try-line, the hosts launching a series of driving mauls towards the Wallaby line, Thomas Waldrom going close but knocking on as he dived for the score.

The home crowd did their best to lift England's performance but the error count continued to rise as Australia controlled the breakdown and the scrum, winning yet another penalty which Barnes failed to convert from long-range.

A tapped penalty from replacement Ben Youngs brought the crowd to their feet as England persisted to go for the try rather than taking the points on offer, but Australia again turned over possession, stifling England's momentum.

It was a similar story for the rest of the second half as Australia dominated the breakdown, repelling a series of attacks from the home side deep into their own 22 but emerging on top on every occasion, to clinch an important victory for coach Robbie Deans.

Man of the match: Who needs David Pocock? Openside Michael Hooper had a fine afternoon.

Moment of the match: After sustained pressure, Thomas Waldrom just couldn't get the ball down.

Villain of the match: Not a memorable afternoon for Joe Marler at the scrum, the Harlequin struggling against Ben Alexander.

The scorers:

For England:
Try: Tuilagi
Pens: Flood 3

For Australia:
Try: Cummins
Pens: Barnes 4
Drop Goal: Barnes

England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Charlie Sharples, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Danny Care, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Tom Wood, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Mike Brown.

Australia: 15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Digby Ioane, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4 Sitaleki Timani, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Radike Samo, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Mike Harris, 23 Drew Mitchell.

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