Thank you for joining me tonight. Let’s do it all again in Brisbane next weekend. Until then, here’s tonight’s match report, hot off the press. Tuck in to more from Rob, Gerard, and Angus during the week.
Dave Rennie: has had a word with Australian TV, glowing about his side’s character, and Noah Lolesio in particular, who was called up at the very last second when Quade Cooper tweaked his calf in the warm-up.
“We didn’t fire too many shots in the first half, but it was much better in the second half. Pretty comprehensive,” Rennie said.
“I thought we controlled things pretty well. The great thing about this group is we don’t panic. We’ve got some great leaders.”
“England will be better.”
England only have a week to regroup before the second Test in Brisbane. The third follows a week after that in Sydney.
In the wash-up, there’s further coverage of the Hill-Swain incident. The Australia will be rubbed out for a couple of weeks for leading with his head, but Hill may also face sanction beyond his yellow card for a previous incident when he thrust his hands into Swain’s face at an earlier breakdown.
Samu Kerevi has been awarded the player of the match bauble for a superb display of outside-back wrecking-ball running.
A memorable night for the Wallabies. Nothing went right for Dave Rennie’s side for an hour, but with 14, and then 13 men, they pulled out a miraculous 15-minute spell to score three converted tries and wrestle an unlikely victory. England will feel mugged after controlling the game for long periods and enjoying a man advantage for decent chunks.
“How good’s sport?” asks Michael Hooper.
Nic White: “Gee-whizz, we showed some real fight there.” Bloody oath!
Owen Farrell kicked the conversion to narrow the margin, but it was Australia’s night after a chaotic match in Perth.
A famous victory for the Wallabies.
80+2 mins: Arundell with another break. Penalty England 5m out. Pick and drive leads to another advantage on the line. Just 13 Gold defenders – and Jack van Poortvilet is the man gifted the task of crossing.
There’s still enough time left after the siren for Lolesio to hit the showers early for a professional knock-on.
Out of nothing, the young England sub bursts through two tackles then turns on the afterburners to whizz around the outside and touch down in the corner. Shame it will count for little, but that was a heck of an introduction to Test rugby.
Lolesio scores, of course he scores.
The phases never end. The gold wall drives forward relentlessly. 5m out in the right corner the ball is fired inside, Samu takes a step, buys himself some space and wriggles with Stuart for company over the line. Unbelievable.
76 mins: More interchanges keep the game paused. When the action resumes Kerevi and Koroibete batter the defensive line to send Australia from halfway to the 22. Both runners have been destructive tonight. The ball is recycled to Lolesio, he darts into contact before offloading to Philip. 11 phases becomes 12, the clock heads toward 77 minutes, the Wallabies are grinding superbly.
75 mins: A scrum reset bleeds another minute from the clock, and then when the game restarts the Australian pack pours through England like an avalanche. That was a massive statement of intent. The Wallabies are soaring home with 14 men.
74 mins: England are running out of time to find two scores ads the clock stops awaiting a scrum to pack down on Australia’s 22. England’s feed.
73 mins: Superb restart recovery from England sets up a frantic drive deep into Australian territory. Care and Ludlam keep the ball alive, there’s almost a gap on the right wing but the doorway is closed and the ball comes infield. The drive gets to the 5m line near the posts, Chessum the carrier, but the ball doesn’t come clear and the Wallabies get a fortunate penalty to clear their lines.
From the right touchline Lolesio kicks Australia beyond a converted try in front.
Lineout secure. Maul forms. Penalty advantage. Momentum builds. Folau Fainga’a keeps his balance, peels off and spins over. Australia cannot believe their turnaround.
69 mins: Kerevi and Sio drive Australia forward from the penalty restart. The Wallabies are flying! Kellaway chips forward, Steward covers, then Petaia flies into the England fullback to earn a 5m lineout. Everything going Australia’s way.
68 mins: 14 v 14 for the closing stages…
“Direct head contact, with mitigation” is the call from the TMO. The debate was whether a penalty was sufficient, but at the last minute it was upgraded to a yellow.
68 mins: The knock-on penalty was the consequence of England’s No 8 making contact with Hooper’s head with his lead shoulder.
68 mins: The TMO is back involved… Vunipola is in trouble.
68 mins: Those Farrell misses from the tee are looking pretty costly right now. But England are once again on the front foot in open play and soon earn a knock-on penalty.
From the right touchline, Lolesio splits the uprights and kicks undermanned Australia ahead!
64 mins: What can Australia do from this set-piece? Valetini breaks from the back of the scrum but he’s scragged. Hooper breaks the gainline with a dart. Philip makes metres. Sio keeps the ball alive. Kerevi pounds the line on the blind side. The Wallabies get to ten phases, the penalty advantage comes into play, and the ball comes out and through hands to the right. Lovely catch and pass on the angle, Kellaway straightens up, buys enough time for Petaia outside him and the youngster takes Care and ball over the line for a brilliant 14-man try!
62 mins: … that dominance not including Koroibete pounding Nowell at the restart and earning a very handy attacking scrum on the left wing.
Farrell gives England some breathing space on the scoreboard to reflect their dominance on the field.
59 mins: Again Australia can’t capitalise with the ball in hand and England respond with a huge bomb that’s too hot for Lolesio. Slipper picks up the scraps but he can’t release and the whistle blows. Farrell has another shot for goal.
59 mins: England enjoy a few phases of quick ball near halfway but there’s little momentum. Eventually there’s some air and Smith spins the ball wide to … Itoje! And the big fella can’t hold onto the pass on the touchline.
59 mins: The Wallabies can’t hold onto the ball for long though and a neat kick from Nowell turns the gold defence on its heels, extracting a hurried clearing kick. England controlling ball and territory at the moment.
58 mins: England secure the lineout but the maul moves at glacial pace forcing Care to shift inside to Nowell on the burst. The defensive line holds firm and then a phase later there’s a turnover when the industrious Hooper is denied possession when a white shirt holds on to the pill on the ground.
56 mins: England kick to the right corner and again mount a fierce attack. Vunipola looks to step around the outside but the Wallabies have enough bodies to smuggle the ball out… for another lineout, and another huge heave.
55 mins: Kerevi puts Smith on his backside with a bullocking carry on halfway. Koroibete can’t do likewise and loses the ball in the carry. On the ground Lolesio is outnumbered and England win the penalty. That was a real show of strength from England’s forwards in contact there.
Rennie is going to his bench early, trying to shuffle his pack and account for the man disadvantage.
53 mins: England now have the scoreboard advantage, as well as the man advantage. All about game management for the tourists now. Australia recognise the situation and try to run their way out of their own half, but they continue to be pushed backwards, Kellaway especially profligate, so White concedes defeat and box kicks. Steward shows off his brilliant leap again, Smith kicks downfield and Kellaway is again smashed in a tackle. It doesn’t matter much those because both Hill and Genge infringe at the breakdown. Very very sloppy from England.
51 mins: Farrell drags his second kick for goal across the face. This wasn’t easy from the right touchline.
This time England shove their way over! The short lineout, the medieval maul, and Genge comes up with lots of head pats.
48 mins: England secure the 5m lineout throw but the home defence is superb, denying the maul any momentum, and White pilfers and breaks! Counter on? No… Hooper is penalised for entering the maul incorrectly. England get another shot.
47 mins: Good lineout from England allows Vunipola to break. Penalty advantage so Farrell tries to kick, twice, on both occasions England recovering scrappy ball – the latter after excellent play by Nowell. Another penalty advantage, this time in range, but England keep the ball alive to the left until play is called back. Farrell kicks to the right corner. Heave o’clock.
45 mins: It’s now 14 v 15 on the field, but the Wallabies have the advantage on the scoreboard. White box kicks to halfway after the restart but Steward again shows his grace in the air with a supreme mark. England have some momentum and a series of phases cross the gainline – until Smith is mugged after taking the ball into contact and Australia clear.
Koroibete runs into Leota, but like a pinball only builds up more momentum to hit the line at pace and earn a penalty advantage. White orchestrates multiphase play behind the penalty but it loses impetus and the kick for goal is gratefully accepted. Australia have inched ahead on the scoreboard either side of half-time with some nifty running rugby exploiting England’s indiscipline at the ruck.
41 mins: England accept the restart with 14 men, but they will soon be back to their full complement – unlike the Wallabies.
The big lads are back for another 40 minutes of action. Hopefully we get a little more rugby this half.
Obviously the headlines (no pun intended) were mainly on Australia’s side. The bad news began when Quade Cooper felt his calf tighten in the warm-up, it continued when Tom Banks broke his arm in a fall, and got a whole lot worse when Darcy Swain landed a nut on Jonny Hill following a scuffle. It also remains to be seen if Allan Alaalatoa will return to the field following an HIA.
Maybe you saw things differently at home, but the only rugby of interest to stand out that half was England’s use of Smith and Farrell. The two lines of attack look very dangerous but the combinations with ball in hand haven’t been executed just yet. If they find their runners, that could become a very exciting development.
Not much rugby to report in Perth but in amongst all the stoppages there have been plenty of injuries, a couple of cards, and five shots for goal, of which four have gone over. Scores level at the break, but England will expect to benefit from their man advantage in the second half.
40 mins: Lovely short one-two lineout from Porecki. The short side run sets up momentum with the ball shifted quickly from left to right. The speed of the move forces to England to scramble and in doing so Curry concedes a penalty and Lolesio cannot miss the shot at goal from gimme range.