Australia concedes series opener against England

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia has suffered its first defeat to England in Brisbane, with a 28-39 loss on Saturday night.

In a brutal reality check, the Wallabies were left trailing England in the series, having conceded their highest ever tally at Suncorp, and with plenty of wounds to lick as they look to even up the series in Melbourne.

Penalties caused the greatest headaches for the Wallabies, with the home side on the tough end of a 13-4 count midway through the second half, conceding 15 penalties to England's eight of the night.

The much-hyped “Bodyline” was shown in the opening minutes, not more brutally than in a second-minute axing of David Pocock, by England backrower James Haskell.

Michael Hooper had the first try of the night and the first of a brace for the match in the ninth minute finishing off a deft Samu Kerevi pass to dot down.

Fullback Israel Folau added to the early highlights, evading England flyhalf Owen Farrell to score Australia’s second of the night

Australia’s debutants vindicated their call-ups, with winger Dane Haylett-Petty looking cool and calm in the opening stages, before Kerevi’s try assist.

Bernard Foley had what would have been a scintillating try disallowed after the TMO ruled obstruction against lock Rory Arnold.

England snatched their first of the night in the 33rd minute ,after a Bernard Foley fumble forced Samu Kerevi to try and clean up in the last line of defence, an ultimately futile effort with England outside centre Jonathan Joseph scoring.

Farrell was punishing with the boot for England, converting his first four opportunities and finishing with 21 points and nine goals from 10 attempts.

Haskell imposed himself at the breakdown for England, continuing his reinvigoration under the mentoring of Eddie Jones.

While the scrum proved one of the major talking points of the lead-up , a completed packdown didn’t come until the 35th minute and it was Australia that gleaned the first penalty.

That proved to be one of the few highlights in the set piece for the Wallabies, with loosehead Scott Sio sent to the bin in the 54th minute.

England won the scrum battle after Australia dominated during the World Cup. Photo: Getty Images

A pinpoint accurate Foley pass set up Hooper for his second in the 58th minute to narrow the margin.

Tevita Kuridrani made the margin an even try with less than 10 minutes to go, before a Foley penalty made it just four points.

Replacement winger Jack Nowell snuffed out the Wallabies’ chances with an 80th minute try sealing the result.

The Wallabies night was soured by the loss of Rob Simmons (back) in the 25th minute, compounded by the early exit of winger Rob Horne (concussion) as well.


(Tries: Hooper 2, Folau, Kuridrani Cons: Foley Pens: Foley 2 )


(Tries: Joseph, Yarde, Nowell Cons: Farrell 3 Pens: Farrell 6)