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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
England v Australia as it happened
Result: England 12-10 Australia


To get involved, text us on 81111 (UK users only) or contribute to 606

By Phil Harlow


1551: "John Howard, Ned Kelly, Ian Chappell, Rod Laver, are you listening? Your guys took one hellava beating!"
kinglofthouse on 606

1549: "Ecstasy from the Kiwis in Cardiff. They're chanting 'four more years' at the Aussies."
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts in Cardiff ahead of the France v New Zealand quarter-final

1546: "The Frog is a little piece of England. It has gone absolutely bananas. Queen's 'We Are The Champions' is now blaring out and there is going to be one almighty party in here tonight."
BBC Sport's Mark Orlovac in Paris

1545: England scrum-half Andy Gomarsall says it was "sheer grit and bloody mindedness" which won it for his side, and it's hard to disagree with him.

1544: "World Champions, we are still champions for another week! I'm almost crying!"
chumbawumba2 on 606

1543: England's motto in this tournament has been "Shock The World" and they have very much lived up to that in Marseille.

Australia's players are literally on their knees as they come to terms with another World Cup defeat at the hands of England.

80 mins: Yet another handling error, after a Matt Giteau mini-break, from Australia and that's it. The final whistle goes and England's players go bananas.

England have completed an absolutely astonishing victory which virtually nobody gave them any chance of doing.

78 mins: "Chorus after chorus of Swing Low rings out - mainly to stop everyone from vomiting with nerves."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Marseille

76 mins: Joe Worsley concedes a penalty just inside his half as he is unable to resist the opportunity to have a go at the ball with his hands.

It's 45m out and about 5m in from the touchline, and Stirling Mortlock's kick has the distance but ends up wide of the left post. Will the Wallabies get another chance?

73 mins: A potentially pivotal moment as George Gregan's 700-caps' worth of experience suddenly desert him when he needs it most.

He knocks-on at the base of the breakdown and then compounds the error by leaping over the ruck to try to win the ball back, and conceding a penalty in the process.

But from dead in front of the posts - on the halfway line, admittedly - Jonny Wilkinson misses with his kick. Australia are still within drop-goal or penalty territory.

71 mins: England win a free-kick as yet another scrum goes down. They opt for another scrum which is all eating into the time left for Australia to fight back.

69 mins: Wallabies substitute Drew Mitchell cuts straight through the middle of England's midfield to set up a dangerous position for Australia.

Lawrence Dallaglio trots onto the field to replace Nick Easter.

67 mins: England are dominating territory and possession, but Jonny Wilkinson misses with the chance to make it count on the scoreboard as his drop-goal attempt goes wide of the posts.

He was under no pressure, and will know he should have done better.

66 mins: "Gut-wrenching scenes at the Stade Velodrome - grown men shaking like debutante ballerinas."
BBC Sport's Tom Fordyce in Marseille

65 mins: England are making good ground again in Australia's 22, but Josh Lewsey just knocks-on in contact.

Both sides are making lots of changes now, with Matt Stevens, George Chuter, Toby Flood and Joe Worsley all on for England.

64 mins: Dan Vickerman is penalised by the touch judge for a silly judo throw on Andy Gomarsall in back play and England make 35m through Jonny Wikinson's penalty.

63 mins: Brilliant decision-making from winger Paul Sackey as he comes off his wing to tackle Stirling Mortlock in midfield, man and ball. Had the ball got outside him, Australia had a three-man overlap.

61 mins: Australia are looking rattled. George Smith knocks on inside the 22 under pressure from Lewis Moody and England clear to halfway only for Berrick Barnes to try a ludicrously ambitious drop-goal.

It ends up wide of the posts, and about six inches off the ground.

60 mins: PEN England 12-10 Australia
England's scrum destroys Australia yet again, and the Wallabies concede a penalty as Rocky Elsom tries to get the ball from Nick Easter's grasp at the base.

Jonny Wilkinson kicks the penalty and England are back in front.

58 mins: Harum-scarum stuff in Marseille. George Gregan fires out a simply dreadful pass to no-one on halfway and Mathew Tait hacks on.

Lote Tuqiri clears up but then plays Berrick Barnes into trouble inside their 22. England turn the ball over and Andy Gomarsall puts up a steepling cross-field kick which Australia knock-on to give England a scrum.

55 mins: Berrick Barnes is showing some exquisite touches for Australia with passes out of the tackle and beautiful wide distribution. England have got to get to him.

53 mins: A beautiful pass out of contact from Berrick Barnes puts Australia on the front foot, but superlative work at the breakdown from Nick Easter turns the ball over for England.

Mike Catt slices his clearance kick and Chris Latham attempts a drop-goal from the halfway, which has the legs but just ends up wide of the posts.

51 mins: PEN England 9-10 Australia
Australia stray offside at the breakdown as England continue to pile the pressure on the Wallabies.

Jonny Wilkinson, after clearing his head from the after-effects of a heavy tackle, kicks the penalty and England are within a single point.

48 mins: Matt Giteau scythes Paul Sackey down with a great one-on-one tackle, but England are really on top of things.

46 mins: An agonising knock-on from Mike Catt as a try goes begging. England's dominant scrum forces Wycliff Palu backwards at the base and he loses the ball on the floor in the shadow of his posts.

Jonny Wilkinson scoops it up and feeds Catt in one movement, but the ball bounces off the centre's chest.

Elsewhere, Andrew Sheridan and Matt Dunning are getting to know each other, pushing each other around in a little confrontation after the scrum.

44 mins: Stirling Mortlock bursts straight through some weak English defence and sets up camp in England's 22.

A poor pass from Wycliff Palu puts Matt Giteau in trouble and England end up turning the ball over thanks to good work from Simon Shaw, and an intelligent kick over the top from Mike Catt puts England in Australia's 22.

43 mins: A poor knock-on from Jonny Wilkinson after England get the loose ball in midfield. Mathew Tait wants him to come in onb the angle but Wilkinson continues to drift and then drops the ball.

42 mins: Mike Catt is down for some time after a clash of heads at the breakdown but he is back on his feet with some cotton wool up his nose.

England win another penalty at the next scrum, and it's a positive start for Brian Ashton's men.

41 mins: Australia fly-half Berrick Barnes kick-off and we're back under way. One of these teams is 40 minutes away from the World Cup semi-finals.

1451: "What a change in atmosphere in the Frog. Despite that Aussie try there is a belief that England can do it."
BBC Sport's Mark Orlovac in Paris

1448: Incidentally, with his second penalty, England's fly-half Johnny Wilkinson became the top points scorer in Rugby World Cup history.

His six points - so far - in the match have taken him to 228 points in the tournament, overhauling former Scotland full-back Gavin Hastings' 227.

1446: "I can't see us scoring a try. Playing well though so far and a good effort to be only four points behind. I thought it was going to be a hammering."
Cold War Kid on 606

1444: "All the Kiwis around me are supporting England, so are the pockets of Ireland fans who still made the journey to what should have been their quarter-final venue. The French are having lunch."
BBC Sport's Rob Hodgetts in Cardiff ahead of the France v New Zealand quarter-final

40 mins: Jason Robinson finds touch on halfway but there is no time for the line-out as the half-time whistle blows with the match absolutely in the balance.

38 mins: "Standing room only at the Frog. Every charge forward or Johnny kick is greeted by a roar that takes the roof off. Even the French in here are with England."
BBC Sport's Mark Orlovac in Paris

37 mins: Australia infringe at the breakdown with penalty range, but Jonny Wilkinson skews his effort wide.

33 mins: TRY & CONVERSION England 6-10 Australia
It had been coming, and Australia get their reward when Lote Tuqiri reaches over out wide after wave after wave attack does for England's defence.

Stirling Mortlock straightens the line and the ball is swiftly recycled for Tuqiri to go through Josh Lewsey's last-ditch tackle and score.

Mortlock curls in a lovely conversion.

30 mins: Australia's much-vaunted backline is starting to show its colours as a lovely line from Chris Latham takes him back past four or five tacklers.

Lote Tuqiri repeats the feat on the left before being brought down by Paul Sackey. Australia are showing what they can do now.

27 mins: A great up-and-under from Jonny Wilkinson isolates Chris Latham and is followed up by a superb tackle from Mike Catt.

All of a sudden, England are getting to the breakdown quickly and in numbers, and they clean Australia out to claim possession. Excellent stuff.

Dan Vickerman concedes a penalty for trying to scrag the scrum-half at the breakdown but Jonny Wilkinson misses with the attempt.

24 mins: PEN England 6-3 Australia
Things are going England's way as they get a penalty for Australia collapsing the scrum.

Jonny Wilkinson slots the simple kick and England have suddenly got a spring in their step.

20 mins: PEN England 3-3 Australia
A great attacking move from England - probably their most fluent attacking burst of the tournament with Simon Shaw, Mathew Tait and Josh Lewsey all interlinking superbly on the left flank.

Tait puts a cheeky grubber through and Lewis Moody reclaims brilliantly on the floor. Mike Catt tries to repeat the tactic but overcooks his kick.

But a moment of madness from Aussie hooker Stephen Moore gifts the advantage back to England. He kicks the ball - presumably to touch - but just puts it straight up in the air putting all his team-mates offside.

Jonny Wilkinson kicks the penalty to level the scores - England are very much in this game and on top in the last 10 minutes. Moore will probably get a quiet word in his ear telling him to leave the kicking to the backs, thank you very much.

17 mins: Yet another scrum goes down. The next scrum is wheeled through the 90 before the ball is put in and the Wallabies get a free-kick.

England are well on top in the scrum, but Australia are totally neutralising their opponents' advantage.

14 mins: A lovely delayed pass from Simon Shaw, of all people, puts Jason Robinson into a massive hole in midfield. He bursts through but a great tackle from George Gregan stops him in his tracks.

Encouraging signs from England though, before Mike Catt loses the ball in contact and allows Matt Giteau to clear his lines.

11 mins: There is a bit of a set-to at the first scrum of the game as Phil Vickery hits the deck. Mark Regan is very keen to have a chat about it all with Alain Rolland, but the ref is not in such a talkative mood.

The scrum is reset and goes down again. And when it goes down for a third time, Rolland gives a penalty against England. The England pack are absolutely furious.

Fortunately for Brian Ashton's men, Stirling Mortlock pushes the penalty attempt wide of the posts.

10 mins: A questionable shoulder charge from George Smith on Paul Sackey incenses the England players and bench, but the referee takes no action.

8 mins: England reclaim the restart and launch an encouraging attack with an inventive kick from Mike Catt giving Paul Sackey a chance out wide only for the bounce to go Australia's way.

The Wallabies win the pressure line-out and soon after win another penalty as England are again penalised for holding on.

That's three penalties to nil already, and England will have to stop that statistic getting out of control if they are to have any chance.

6 mins: PEN England 0-3 Australia
England are not doing themselves any favours as they provide Stirling Mortlock with an immediate chance to open the scoring.

Nick Easter whacks into the Wallaby centre from the drop-out but is then penalised for playing the ball off his feet. Mortlock strikes the ball well and puts Australia into the lead.

5 mins: An early let-off for England as Stirling Mortlock misses with his first penalty attempt - albeit from a tight angle - after Simon Shaw is pinged for coming at the side.

3 mins: A spot of luck for Australia as Berrick Barnes's aimless kick stops about 2.5mm short of the dead-ball line.

One more roll and we would have gone 45m back for an England scrum, as it is Nick Easter takes a quick 22, but Australia quickly turn the ball over.

1 min: England show some willingness to offload in the early stages, but Andrew Sheridan is driven back several yards by a massive tackle from Nathan Sharpe.

1400: Right then, no more mucking about. Referee Alain Rolland blows his whistle and Jonny Wilkinson kicks for England to get the first quarter-final underway.

Stirling Mortlock collects, Australia secure the ball and Chris Latham returns the ball with interest with an excellent touch finder.

1358: Let's just remind ourselves of the teams on show in Marseille.

England: Robinson; Sackey, Tait, Catt, Lewsey; Wilkinson, Gomarsall; Sheridan, Regan, Vickery (capt), Shaw, Kay, Corry, Moody, Easter.
Replacements: Chuter, Stevens, Dallaglio, Worsley, Richards, Flood, Hipkiss.

Australia: Latham; Ashley-Cooper, Mortlock, Giteau, Tuqiri; Barnes, Gregan; Dunning, Moore, Shepherdson, Sharpe, Vickerman, Elsom, Smith, Palu.
Replacements: Freier, Baxter, McMeniman, Hoiles, Waugh, Huxley, Mitchell.

1355: After a massive reception for both teams from a sell-out 60,000 crowd in Marseille, England immediately go into a huddle with Phil Vickery laying down the law to his team.

Australia have a more relaxed look about them and stroll over to take their place for the national anthems.

1353: Lewis Moody, on the occasion of his 50th cap, leads England out of the dressing room.

Every single member of the starting XV get a good old manly slap on the back from Lawrence Dallaglio as they jog down the tunnel to line up alongside George Gregan and co.

1350: Just a quick reminder that the live audio commentary is available on BBC Radio 5live, and on this website - but only for UK users.

1344: Some nice shots of Australia coach John Connolly having a laugh and a joke with the Bath players - Olly Barkley and Steve Borthwick - among the English ranks.

Connolly, who coached at the Rec before taking the Wallabies role, has done a half-decent job of impersonating Eddie Jones in the build-up to this match with a few verbal grenades chucked in England's general direction.

But the smiles suggest that the England camp have not taken anything too seriously.

1341: Formula One champion-elect Lewis Hamilton (is that tempting fate?) takes a few moments out of his day in China to send his compatriots the following message: "All the best - I know you can do it, your country's behind you and I'm behind you. Never give up."

1335: Could a win actually be bad for English rugby? Vinotackler on 606 certainly thinks so.

"I am pretty amazed we've reached this far - a win today would be one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.

"If we go out at semi stage the backward-thinking RFU hierarchy will congratulate themselves and we will continue our freefall."

1331: The England players get a big old cheer as a big group of them, led by Martin Corry, trot out onto a baking hot pitch to go through some last-minute preparations.

1325: Afternoon all, I'm taking over from the inimitable Olly and will be providing you with the live updates from the match and all the atmosphere from Marseille for the duration.

Mark Orlovac, our man in Paris, is working extremely hard. He's watching the game in The Frog & Rosbif pub in the French capital. No, seriously, he's working very, very hard - and here's the proof:

"It's a lovely day in Paris and the English flags are flying outside the pub.

"Plenty of English to watch the game but the mood is not good. They are expecting an Aussie win."

By Oliver Brett

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

1316: BBC blogger Tom Fordyce whizzes a text over from Marseilles: "Sensational atmosphere down at the Stade Velodrome - hordes of hugely excited punters loosening their vocal chords and throwing back the 1664."

1314: Paul Sackey and George Gregan have got matching giant headphones plugged in as the players walk into the changing-rooms. Every player looks admirably calm, but what's going on beneath those placid exteriors?

1311: We need Jonny Wilkinson's kicking-boots firmly strapped on today, don't we? The man himself has not shown water-tight form when kicking through the posts in this World Cup and here's his view: "Sometimes it happens for you, sometimes it doesn't. In this tournament, some have gone wide that should have gone through, while others have gone through that shouldn't have done anything of the sort."

"England can't win. Don't be stupid, get your money on Australia to win with a 12-point head start - 'cos this will happen... We're like tortoises with zimmer frames except for Sackey"
Robsonkristian1 Rugby Union 606

1304: It seems to be all about Berrick Barnes, today, doesn't it? Here's another quote from him in the build-up - revealing perhaps a bit too much: "I have spent a fair bit of time on the toilet and I do get nervous"

1300: As the fans begin to head to the turnstiles in earnest in France's second biggest city, a reminder of past England v Australia World Cup matches. They have won two each, with England winning the last two with drop goals - Wilkinson breaking Aussie hearts in extra-time in the 2003 final and Rob Andrew's kick clinching the 1995 quarter-final in Cape Town.

1250: Here's Brian Ashton making England sound like a car-wreck: "We've been written off by everybody around the world. I suspect we've been written off in our own country as well. What bigger motivation to turn the form book on its head."

"I think we've talked up the idea of underdog status, improving form etc etc so much that the journalism that was intended to give us a faint hope today has mutated into an idea that England will win." Hmmm, it's never long before the scribes get it in the neck as well.
That was from alan, on 606 Rugby Union 606

1242: England's World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson on BBC Radio 5live: "My heart says England but if I'm realistic I'd go for Australia. I can't see us scoring tries against them and I can't see us stopping them scoring tries. The kicking of Jonny is not going to be enough."

1237: "Absolutely no sign of the rain we were promised - it's scorching it down here," says BBC Sport's popular blogger Tom Fordyce in a text message from Marseille. Tom adds: "If they weren't serving beer that actually tastes of something you'd think you were in Queensland." Now my friends, Queensland is where England beat Wales in their quarter-final at the last World Cup, so the vibe should be a good one.

1233: There seems to be a lot of interest in how young Australian fly-half Berrick Barnes will go today, eg: "I actually think Barnes will have a reasonably decent game. I suspect if Oz lose it will not be anything to do with him. He appears a decent player."
kwa444 Rugby Union 606

"Despite England's improvement in recent games I will have to go for Australia and their dangerous backs to walk away with the spoils. Their pack is no longer sub-standard and will match England's. With that platform, Berrick Barnes and the rest will do the business." Wales forward Ryan Jones on the BBC Rugby World Cup blog

1226: "Fans are marching in their thousands towards the Stade Velodrome"
BBC blogger Tom Fordyce in Marseille

1222: "To be playing in a quarter-final of a World Cup is amazing. I didn't think I would be on this tour, let alone playing in this game. It's unknown waters going out there but I'll try to enjoy the moment and not get too nervous." Australia fly-half Berrick Barnes, who watched the 2003 World Cup final, aged 17, on his grandma's knee (well in her house at least)

1215: Here's some words from one of England's heroes four years ago, Martin Johnson on BBC Radio 5Live: "We've got to play ourselves into it, get ahead early on, just be tenacious and get them under pressure. I don't know if you ever get domination in games like this. We've got to outwork them. The scrummage is not going to win this game but it can be a factor. We've got to make them tackle. We want to see guys like Andy Sheridan carrying the ball and staying on their feet. Then we've got to spot opportunities and take them."

"Australia have been making surprisingly nervous noises about the match as if they don't feel at all confident (such as complaining about being intimidated and out-muscled unless the referee steps in)" Cricketing_stargazer on 606
Rugby Union 606

Nice little line from The Independent's rugby correspondent: "Mike Catt knows what it is to save England's bacon in a World Cup quarter-final, having performed the feat against Wales on the Queensland coast four years ago. This afternoon, he will attempt to do it a second time, against very different opponents on a very different stretch of shoreline."

1205: This just in from BBC blogger Ben Dirs: "Ladies and gentlemen, the Rugby World Cup officially went mental last night. I am nursing the mother, father, uncle and aunt of all hangovers and Tommy has just darkened my mood by informing me that some bloke has broken the Golden Bloggernaut Rule. But I refuse to let a misplaced jobby keep me down for long. Today is sure to be a humdinger, whether England win or lose."

"If Gommie can keep getting quick ball and put Skippy on the back foot they won't like it! Keep kicking the penalties 'cos it will wind them up and bring back memories of 2003" - That's more like the stuff we want to hear, theclaretkid Rugby Union 606

1152: Yet another Australian puts the boot in, this time Eddie Jones, coach of the Wallabies in the 2003 World Cup final: "I don't think have a gameplan. That's been quite evident in the way they have played in the lead-up games." Wouldn't it be nice to stuff some of this talk back down the throats of the Aussies...

"Our forwards are terrible with Corry, Vickery and Kay all past it" - A lovely bit of positive thinking from ruthere909 on 606 Rugby Union 606

Here's some stuff on the Stade Velodrome itself, where the action will take place in barely two hours time: "The stadium is stunning, a vertiginous three-tier main stand is flanked by three crescent-shaped open stands; 20,000 can occupy the sideline banking while there are 14,000 seats at each end. The ground is sited amid an ornamental park and wide streets with a Metro station within 100 yards.

1145: So much for my weather forecast, BBC Radio 5Live rugby correspondent Ian Robertson has a far more colourful take on what the heavens have in store for us. He says: "The weather could play a major part. The forecast today is lightning and heavy rain. If that happens, England could win."

1138: Some interesting words from Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock on the eve of the match concerning his dodgy shoulder: "Realistically it's not going to be 100%, but basically it's as good as it can get. It's a shoulder that I'm going to have to get treatment on and manage it, but I've got a lot of confidence in it." Sounds to me like a few hard hits from the big guys in the scrum might be in order.

"The English pack need to dominate big time and Wilko kick everything. The Aussie backs are miles better but then again they can't do anything without the ball... If england do win NZ will smash them by 30 plus points"
JB1973 on 606 Rugby Union 606

1125: A quick weather forecast for you: Highs of 24 degrees, but a chance of a shower.

Our popular bloggernaut resident Ben Dirs has sent us this little snippet: "Some of the more interesting sights last night? A rubbered Welshman nearly falling into the Med tickled me, while a gang of lads from Leeds cupping imaginary breasts and puckering up to a cabbie in an attempt to locate the red light district wasn't far behind."

...Blimey, can you beat that? Do let us know by text or on 606. Rugby Union 606

1120: Let me remind you of the team news for this match. England make FIVE changes from the side that beat Tonga: Simon Shaw, Jason Robinson, Mike Catt, Phil Vickery and Mark Regan are all in. Toby Flood is on the bench following late injuries to both Andy Farrell and Olly Barkley.

For Australia, Stephen Larkham is not fit, so Berrick Barnes starts at fly-half. Stirling Mortlock is fit and starts at centre.

1115: Right, it's less than three hours to go until the biggest match so far of this year's Rugby World Cup. England v Australia - one of the great rivalries in many a sport, but only one team can advance to the last four.

Rugby World Cup photos
06 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England 12-10 Australia
06 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England v Australia ratings
06 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
Josh Lewsey's column
05 Oct 07 |  English
Zinzan Brooke column
05 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
Wallabies expect 'dirty' English
04 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England replace Farrell with Catt
05 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
Mortlock fit to captain Australia
04 Oct 07 |  Rugby Union
England 36-20 Tonga
28 Sep 07 |  English
Australia 37-6 Canada
29 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Rugby World Cup 2007 fixtures
20 Sep 07 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment


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