The Wallabies have sent England crashing out of the World Cup in their own backyard with 33-13 win at Twickenham. Bernard Foley was the star with a haul of 28 points coming from him with two tries and 100% kicking off the boot in the pressure game.
The Wallabies scrum which had been talked about all week managed to nullify the hosts with a number of penalties coming their way and dominate at times.
The opening minutes was fast paced wit the Wallabies given great field position following a mistake from England fullback Mike Brown after putting his toes on the sideline deep in his own 22 off a Bernard Foley kick.
The Wallabies looked certain to score but Brown made up for his earlier mistake and tackled Israel Folau with a man overlap to let the hosts off the hook and but after a series of scrums to the Aussies, they eventually settled for three points from Foley after eight minutes.
There was an early injury problem for the Wallabies with Rob Horne forced to leave the field with a shoulder injury with Kurtley Beale on his place.
England hit back soon after with their own three pointer to Owen Farrell after the Wallabies scrum were penalised with Scott Sio losing his bind and collapsing. That started to give the English confidence with Jonathan Joseph and Brown in particular starting to find small gaps around the rushing Wallabies defence.
Brown was involved again but this time for a knock on trying to collect a tricky kick and this lead to a prolonged passage of play that was a bit scrappy at times but eventually saw Foley sneak through the defensive line for the opening try (with a superb offload from Sekope Kepu in the lead up) which he converted to make it 10-3 after 20 minutes.
The scrums had been talked about in various forums during the week (including this one) with both teams deemed the culprit from referee Romain Poite but there was one call that went in the Wallabies favour and from the lineout David Pocock made a nice run into midfield to setup position and Foley hit Beale with an inside pass then backed up to go over for his second try of the game and converted to make it 17-3.
As expected England came out all guns blazing in the second half but were halted at the breakdown with brilliant work from David Pocock causing them all sorts of problems.
The scrum again came into question with Poite taking the time to explain to Joe Marler a few observations of his game so far that resulted in him being hooked and another three points off Foley’s boot to extend the margin to 17 at 20-3.
Foley was unlucky not to gain an intercept with the English hot on attack but the pressure finally proved too much for the Wallabies as English winger Anthony Watson made the most of a wide ball and scored in the corner. Farrell’s conversion reduced the gap to ten points with 20 minutes to go.
The Wallabies blew a great attacking opportunity in the opposition 22 with a loose pass from Phipps undoing all the good work and all of a sudden the English had a penalty 30 metres out from the Wallabies line and Farrell landed the easy shot at goal to make the margin just seven.
There was more drama with England reduced to 14 men for the rest of the game after Owen Farrell was carded for taking out Matt Giteau without the ball and Sam Burgess could consider himself lucky for taking Hooper high in the same play.
Foley landed a pressure penalty to restore the ten point lead and the another shortly after from a dominant scrum to make it 13 but there would be more scoring in the bag for the Wallabies as Matt Giteau aded the icing to the cake to secure a 33-13 and send the hosts crashing out.
The Game Changer
Following the Wallabies early lead, England had the momentum in the second half but a poor kick from Watson and Farrell’s yellow card resulted in Foley’s penalty to restore the ten point margin.
The G&GR MOTM
Bernard Foley 2 tries, 28 points and 100% kicking in a pressure game is all that needs to be said.
Score & Scorers
Tries: Foley 2, Giteau
Conversions: Foley 3
Penalties: Foley 4
Penalties: Farrell 2
71 min – Owen Farrell (England) – Yellow