England completed a historic First Test series victory against the Wallabies by narrowly beating them 23-7 in Melbourne
Dylan Hartley and Stephen Moore exchanged tries as England took a narrow 10-7 lead into the break
Owen Farrell scored the match winning try as England held out
England landed a historic series victory over Australia in Melbourne, beating Australia 23-7 to take an unassailable 2-0 lead with the third and final Test to come in Sydney next Saturday.
The victory was England’s eighth straight under former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, setting up a dead rubber next Saturday night in Sydney.
A first-half try from skipper Dylan Hartley complemented 18 points from the metronomic Owen Farrell, who also flooded through on to a loose ball for a poacher’s score in the final minutes.
It took a remarkable defensive performance to quell the Wallabies, who were typically relentless in attack, but the tourists blended discipline and ferocious physicality throughout.
England had beaten Australia 39-28 at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on June 11.
Chris Robshaw celebrated his 50th cap with an outstanding display. James Haskell finished with 21 tackles. Australia will feel that Farrell’s late try was burglary, but the truth is England had more than earned it for their work camped in their own 22.
It’s the first black mark on Michael Cheika’s international coaching resume and shows there is a lot of work ahead if the Wallabies are to break their Bledisloe Cup drought.
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Sean McMahon, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (c), 1 James Slipper
Replacements (three to be omitted): Tatafu Polota-Nau, Toby Smith, Greg Holmes, James Horwill, Dean Mumm, Wycliff Palu, Ben McCalman, Liam Gill, Nick Frisby, Christian Leali’ifano, Luke Morahan
England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Jack Clifford, 22 Danny Care, 23 Elliot Daly
Date: Saturday, June 18
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 20:00 local (10:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)