Captain fantastic: Chris Robshaw holds aloft the Cook Cup in a fine try-scoring performance

Captain fantastic: England skipper Chris Robshaw holds aloft the Cook Cup after a fine try-scoring performance

By Owain Jones

In a nutshell

Firstly the good news. England needed to win and duly delivered, it was their eighth win in nine Test matches. That above all else was key as England continue to lay the foundations for the Autumn. Stuart Lancaster will be thrilled at the resolve England showed to come from behind but privately he’ll be under no illusions it was a vintage England performance. On the upside, the scrum as a collective, had the upper hand over a Wallaby pack that spent most of its time trying to limit a steady flow of penalties against them. However, in Lancaster’s inbox for Monday morning will be rectifying England’s laboured play at times, handling errors, a lack of conviction in midfield and defensive frailties that were laid bare when Toomua blasted over. Owen Farrell had a mixed day in front of the posts and against better sides that could prove costly but he emerged with credit from the day. One down, two to go.

Turning point: Robshaw pounces to level scores

Turning point: Chris Robshaw pounces to level the scores

Key moment: Chris Robshaw try 49mins

England had a listless middle period where they went from 6-3 up to 13-6 down and chasing the game. It took a rousing from the Twickenham crowd to stir them into action. They gained momentum as usual, thanks to a break by Mike Brown and from the resulting play, Marland Yarde streaked 40 metres down the left wing. From the lineout and heavy pressure Mako Vunipola managed to charge down a harried Will Genia on the line and Chris Robshaw, like any good openside flanker, was first to pounce on the ball. It was a score that drew England level and back in the game.

Star man: Mike Brown

The Quins man did not put a foot wrong for 80 minutes. Whether it was taking a series of high kicks confidently, kicking and collecting the high ball, or running with conviction at the Wallaby defence and breaking the first tackler, he was comfortably England’s most complete player and a reassuring presence as the last line of defence. The only man not ot have enjoyed it, must have been Ben Foden. Honourable mention to Chris Robshaw who tackled agressively and fully deserved his try.

England v Australia - QBE International


England: Tries Robshaw (1) Owen Farrell (1). Pens Owen Farrell (2). Cons Farrell (1)

Australia: Pens Quade Cooper (2). Try Toomua (1). Cons Cooper (1)

England: Mike Brown; Chris Ashton, Joel Tomkins, Billy Twelvetrees (Toby Flood 66), Marland Yarde; Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson (Ben Youngs 54); Mako Vunipola (Joe Marler 54), Tom Youngs (Dylan Hartley 54), Dan Cole (David Wilson 66), Joe Launchbury (Dave Attwood 75), Courtney Lawes, Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw, Billy Vunipola (Ben Morgan 66)

Replacement not used: Ben Foden.

Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Toomua, Nick Cummins; Quade Cooper, Will Genia (Nic White 66); James Slipper (Benn 61) Robinson, Stephen Moore (Anthony Faingaa 68), Ben Alexander, Sitaleki Timani (Kane Douglas  62), James Horwill, Scott Fardy (Ben McCalman 49), Michael Hooper, Ben Mowen

Replacements: Kepu, Lealiifano, Foley


Stuart Lancaster, England head coach: “Any lapses put you under pressure and good sides capitalise on them so we’ll have to look at that. But overall they worked hard for each other and they worked hard for the shirt.”


Ewen McKenzie

“We didn’t handle the second half as well as we would have liked. England squeezed us a bit at crucial moments and were able to manage the game. I thought we did pretty well in the first half. We fought a 7-1 penalty count against us at the 35-minute mark, yet we led at half-time.


England made 88 tackles, missing 11. A completion rate of 89 per cent. Australia made 86 tackles, missing 20. A completion rate of 81 per cent

England ran 337 metres with the ball beating 20 defenders compared to Australia who ran 302 metres and beat 11

Mike Brown carried the ball furthest with 108m gained. Marland Yarde was second with 66. Israel Folau was Australia’s best carrier was Israel Folau with 100metres gained. Nick Cummins was second with 64

Chris Robshaw was England’s top tackler with 13, followed by Owen Farrell on 10. Stephen Moore was Australia’s only place to reach double figures with 10