Australia 40-44 England: England secure series whitewash
By Louise Warr
Last Updated: 25/06/16 9:08pm
England secured a 3-0 series victory in Australia with a 44-40 victory over the Wallabies at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Saturday.
Dan Cole and Mike Brown crossed for the tourists in the first half but it was Australia who went into the break ahead thanks to tries from Bernard Foley and Dane Haylett-Petty and two penalties from the boot of Foley.
Billy Vunipola and Jamie George swapped tries with Michael Hooper, Israel Folau and Taqele Naiyaravoro after the break but it was the boot of England centre Owen Farrell that proved decisive as England completed an historic series whitewash.
Following their exit at the pool stage in last autumn's Rugby World Cup, England have now won nine straight matches under new head coach Eddie Jones.
England, who last week secured their first-ever series win in Australia, got the scoreboard up and running in the 11th minute, a barnstorming run from Mako Vunipola splintering the Wallabies defence and creating the space for fellow prop Cole to rumble over the phase after.
The Wallabies' response was immediate with Folau exploiting a defensive error from Jack Nowell, dancing down the touchline before releasing the supporting Foley to stroll over unopposed.
England's defence came under fire again just seven minutes later when quick hands and fragile tackling sent Haylett-Petty over in the corner.
Farrell and Bernard Foley exchanged penalties to take the score to 15-10 with 13 minutes remaining of the half.
Second row Will Skelton was penalised for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Watson shortly after and on the next attack England were able to take the lead when the Bath wing chipped ahead before Brown gathered and slid across the line.
Jones rolled his dice before the half was out, replacing debutant Teimana Harrison with his club team-mate Courtney Lawes in a tactical substitution before Foley slotted a further penalty to take Australia into the break with a slender 18-17 lead.
England looked to have made a dream start to the second forty minutes when Chris Robshaw went close after an overthrown Australian lineout only to be held up over the line.
The tourists, however, didn't have to wait long to get the ball down over the whitewash, Billy Vunipola crashing over from the base of the scrum, leaving Hooper and Rob Horne in his wake.
A further three points from Farrell on 47 minutes gave England a seven-point lead, however Australia hit back when Hooper stretched over the line, Foley's conversion once again levelling the game up.
The boot of Farrell sent another penalty attempt through the middle of the uprights but once again English joy was short-lived when Matt Toomua burst through the attempted tackle of Vunipola junior, sending the ever-dangerous Folau over unopposed.
As the game entered the final quarter the yo-yo nature of the match continued, Farrell keeping his side in the hunt with his successful fourth penalty of the match before Jamie George's footballing skills came into play for the second week running as he crossed for the decisive score when he gathered his own kick ahead.
With 10 minutes remaining, Farrell and Foley continued their battle with the boot, both adding a penalty for their sides, but it was the Saracens man that had the final say in that match-up, booting his sixth three-pointer of the match to take England out of touching distance.
Naiyaravoro dived over as the clock ticked red for the Wallabies but it was too little, too late to stop England securing a series whitewash down under.