England have crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages, in doing so, becoming the first host to do so after losing 33-13 to Australia at Twickenham
England exited their own World Cup in humiliating fashion at Twickenham as they were thrashed 33-13 by a well-drilled, innovative Australia side. Bernard Foley was the star of the show, with 28 points on the board, including two first-half tries. For England, who had a brief resurgence in the second-half with an Anthony Watson try, a monstering at the scrum and coming second-best at the breakdown will have only compounded their deep disappointment.
Israel Folau, Will Genia, Kurtley Beale. We could go on, but they are all players who are so comfortable with the ball in hand. They toyed with the England backline for the two first-half tries, weaving intricate moves on England’s 22 that stretched the defence ended with two slick Bernard Foley tries. After the break they showed their clinical side, when England were a man down, they worked the ball wide and Adam Ashley-Cooper sent Giteau away. It was mesmerising, clinical and a nightmare for England.
David Pocock is on another level
After two years out with two knee constructions, David Pocock has returned to put in consistent world-class performances, even playing at No 8 to accommodate Michael Hooper. Against England, he was a constant menace, stealing ball on the deck, swatting defenders with his oversized biceps and cutting down English defenders at will. A staggering display and he will be a certain contender for World Player of the Year
Twickenham has often been looked down on for a sterile atmosphere but on Saturday night, HQ’s faithful backed England to the hilt. Swing Low bellowed around the old stadium time and time again as they tried to inspire England to victory. The support was heartening to hear and their backing will be required in the months to come.
He may not have the You Tube skills of his more celebrated contemporary Quade Cooper but Bernard Foley had the perfect game this evening – certainly his best in a Wallaby shirt. Twenty-eight points of Australia’s 33, means he is rightly lauded in the Southern Hemisphere and beyond. Take a bow, Bernard!
England losing the breakdown battle.
Several times, when England were on the front foot, David Pocock or Michael Hooper stole the ball to regain possession and nullify any England momentum. England had been warned of their dual threat but were powerless to stop the world’s best 7s from disrupting any clean ball. The questions over Steffon Armitage‘s continued exclusion will only grow in the coming days.
A perceived strength of England was the scrum, so often their saviour against the Wallabies, but it shows the work of Mario Ledesma that when given penalties, they chose to pack down to gain the advantage. Joe Marler had a particularly tough evening and replaced after 49 minutes. They gave away five scrum penalties. Memories of Marseille in 2007 were well and truly banished for the Wallabies.
Israel Folau is human
Three times in the first ten minutes Israel Folau’s handling let him down. First he was unable to shift the ball onto Rob Horne for a certain try, second he dropped a perfectly weighted cross-kick from Bernard Foley and thirdly he spilt a kick from Mike Brown which resulted in a breakway. Even the greats have off days, though it will surely be just an aberration.
Hooper’s a lucky boy
Just as the first-half came to a close, after Adam Ashley-Cooper had made yardage on the flank. Michael Hooper ran through the ruck and hit Mike Brown with the shoulder without his arms, sending Brown backwards. It was uncalled for and the citing officer maybe called in for a closer look with Wales on the horizon.
5 – Penaties England conceded at the scrum, compared to Australia’s two
394 – metres carried by England, compared to Australia’s 251
7 – Linebreaks by England, compared to 5 by Australia, they also beat more defenders, 18 to Australia’s 15
13 – Brad Barritt was the game’s top tackler. Stephen Moore and Joe Launchbury were second with 11
67 – Metres carried by Mike Brown. Next best was Anthony Watson with 66. Australia’s best carrier was Adam Ashley-Cooper wtih 47
England: M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, B Barritt (S Burgess 64), J May (G Ford 40); O Farrell, B Youngs (R Wigglesworth 49); J Marler (M Vunipola 49), T Youngs (R Webber 60), D Cole (K Brookes 53), J Launchbury (G Kruis 68), G Parling, T Wood, C Robshaw (capt), B Morgan (N Easter 57)
Try: Anthony Watson
Pens: O Farrell (2)
Cons: Owen Farrell
Yellow card: Owen Farrell (70)
Australia: I Folau (M Tomuaa 64); A Ashley-Cooper, T Kuridrani, M Giteau, R Horne (K Beale 10): B Foley, W Genia; S Sio (J Slipper 57), S Moore (c) (T Polota-Nau 64), S Kepu (G Holmes 57), K Douglas, R Simmons (D Mumm 64), S Fardy (B McCalman 75), M Hooper, D Pocock.
Tries: Bernard Foley (2), Matt Giteau.
Pens: Bernard Foley (4)
Cons: Bernard Foley (3)
Referee: Romain Poite (Fr)
Man of the Match: Joe Launchbury
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