Full-back’s finish puts visitors 11-10 up at the break
Watch: Freddie Steward try gives England half-time lead
A Freddie Steward try just before the break gave England the lead over Australia in the deciding third Test – and the visitors went on to close out a 2-1 series triumph by winning 21-17 in Sydney.
The Wallabies had the better of the first half, causing England problems with their variety in attack, but the visitors nudged ahead thanks to a clinical finish from Steward.
And the scoring pass came from Jack van Poortvliet, who replaced Danny Care at scrum-half in the 37th minute – a big call from Eddie Jones.
It meant that England led 11-10 at half-time, which was something of a surprise.
They had been under the cosh for most of the opening 40 minutes as Australia were able to find space out wide – England’s one-on-one tackling letting them down.
That was exploited best in the 24th minute when Tom Wright was put away down the right wing after a one-two with Nic White, his try giving Australia the lead for the first time.
Noah Lolesio converted from the touchline and then added a penalty to make it 10-3 at the half-hour mark.
Yet England came back into it in the last ten minutes. First they took advantage of an error from the Wallabies, Reece Hodge kicking into touch when the ball had been taken back into the 22 and giving England a lineout ten metres out.
They tried to work a set play from the maul and it misfired, but they were subsequently awarded a penalty that Owen Farrell put through the posts.
Another attempt rebounded off the posts but Courtney Lawes then won a penalty as he targeted White at the breakdown and from that they kicked for a five-metre lineout.
Lewis Ludlam got close from the maul and as the ball was spread wide Tommy Freeman, who had an impressive first 40, looked set to score a try only for Wright to haul him down.
England were patient, though, recycled following a strong Lawes carry and van Poortvliet went to the blindside and Steward stepped inside Wright to score.
Farrell missed the conversion but England went in at the break 11-10 up. Finely poised.
A Marcus Smith try, the boot of Owen Farrell and the hard graft of Courtney Lawes helped England to hold off a Wallabies fightback. They won 21-17 in Sydney to take the series.
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