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Saturday, June 26, 1999 Published at 12:49 GMT 13:49 UK


Sport: Rugby Union

Wallabies do it again

Ben Tune reaches out and touches down Australia's first try

Australia 22-15 England

Despite the magnificent new surroundings of Stadium Australia, it was an all-too familiar story for the tourists in Sydney.


Ian Robertson reports from Sydney
This Centenary Test commemorating a first representative game 100 years ago was England's tenth failure Down Under since regular Tests began in the 1960s.

Bath's Matt Perry scored twice for the visitors, with Jonny Wilkinson converting the first to give England a 7-0 lead, before the young fly-half kicked a second half penalty.

By then England were behind as Ben Tune scored two tries in three minutes just before half time.

Fellow wing Joe Roff scored the third try, and supplied a coversion, and David Wilson finished England off with a try shortly before Perry's consolation second.

The blues

The game did not look like an Australia versus England encounter, with dark blue playing a lighter shade of the same colour.


[ image: Perry scores England's first try before the Australian comeback]
Perry scores England's first try before the Australian comeback
The jerseys were replicas of those worn in the original 1899 game at Sydney Cricket Ground between the home side and a representative English team.

England were in the duller shirts but made the brighter start, creating the first scoring chance when Jeremy Guscott was stopped by Roff five metres from the line.

Six minutes later they took the lead after Richard Hill and Tim Rodber made good ground from a line-out on Australia's 22.

Wilkinson showed quick hands, and when Mike Catt missed out centre partner Guscott, Perry finished things off down the left.

The try was confidently converted by Wilkinson, and England looked in control.

Standards fall

That all changed as the tourists concentration wavered, if only slightly, and the hosts exploited the drop in standards to the full.

In the 36th minute, they shifted the ball to the right and Tune ran in and touched down despite close attention Perry and wing Dan Luger.


[ image: David Rees tries to stop Joe Roff's run]
David Rees tries to stop Joe Roff's run
Roff's kick hit the upright, but it was just three minutes before the Aussies - and Tune - were scoring again.

Roff's brilliance created it, as he athletically tipped the ball across to Tune, raiding down the left on this occasion.

The Queenslander dived over for a his seventh try against England, a new Australian record.

Roff missed the kick again, but England's fine start had still been spoilt.

Lead extended

The second period started with the first of three unsuccessful raids down the left for Dan Luger, and a clever cross-kick from Catt almost put Guscott through until Roff got back.

The wing was the Australian try-scorer in the 49th minute, as the Wallabies opened up a 10-point lead.


[ image: Tune stops Martin Corry's progress]
Tune stops Martin Corry's progress
Consistent work near England's try-line left the visitors running out of numbers.

Scrum-half George Gregan supplied Roff, who ran underneath the posts before adding the two points.

England then suffered a blow when the excellent Kyren Bracken limped off to be replaced by Matt Dawson.

Wilkinson reduced the arrears with a penalty, to leave them just a coverted try behind their opponents.

But the Australians extended their lead to 22-10 with a 75th minute try by David Wilson.

There was some doubt as to whether Wilson had actually grounded the ball, but referee Hawke awarded the try and England were sunk without trace.

Perry finished a fine individual display by claiming his second try in injury time but yet again, the Wallabies had simply been too strong for England on their own soil.

Australia: Latham, Tune, Herbert, Grey, Roff, Horan, Gregan, Panoho, Paul, Noriega, Giffin, Welborn, Cockbain, Wilson, Kefu. Replacements: Little, Burke, Whitaker, Strauss, Williams, Crowley, Kearns.

England: Perry, Rees, Catt, Guscott, Luger, Wilkinson, Bracken, Leonard, Cockerill, Garforth, Johnson, Rodber, Hill, Back, Corry. Replacements: Beal, de Glanville, Dawson, Clarke, Grewcock, Ubogu, Greening.

Referee: C Hawke (New Zealand).



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