A youthful England side showed enough composure to outclass Australia in a heated outing at Twickenham on Saturday.
Overcoming Australia is a landmark achievement for Eddie Jones’ new-look team that shrugged off a lack of experience to beat the Wallabies 32-15, despite not delivering their most complete performance.
England, captained by the returning Owen Farrell, were quick out of the blocks when they scored through rookie fullback Freddie Steward. The young Leicester Tiger cut through the Australia defensive line and swerved past the final defender to open the scoring.
As the first half wore on, England continued to pile on the pressure. The men in white looked to have scored their second try when Jamie George crossed the whitewash after a powerful maul. However, Australia scrumhalf Nick White produced one of the all-time defensive plays to knock the ball out of the hands of the hooker and deny England the try.
At halftime, the scoreline read 16-12 courtesy of the boot of James O’Connor, who kept Australia in touch with a fine kicking display – both out of hand and in front of the posts.
The second half, however, was one-way traffic with England completely dominating their Antipodean rivals. A yellow card for Angus Bell was testimony of how the Aussies struggled against a disciplined English pack. Bell’s departure sounded the death knell for Australia and England capitalised with a succession of three penalties to stretch their lead.
Jamie Blamire scored England’s only try in the second half post-hooter to add some gloss to the scoreline. Jones and his coaching staff will feel pleased by the performance and be particularly encouraged by the performance of young flyhallf Marcus Smith. The Quins pivot showed good composure in his toughest Test to date and looks set to feature many times for England in the future.