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England 35-18 Australia

England (16) 35
Tries: Ashton 2 Cons: Flood 2 Pens: Flood 7
Australia (6) 18
Tries: Beale 2 Cons: O'Connor Pens: O'Connor 2

Mark Cueto

Highlights - England 35-18 Australia

By Aimee Lewis

England produced a scintillating performance at Twickenham to secure a deserved 35-18 victory over Australia.

Chris Ashton scored a try in each half, the second a 90m dash to the line for one of the great Twickenham scores.

Outside-half Toby Flood kicked seven penalties and two conversions to end the match with 25 points, a record for an Englishman against the Wallabies.

Australia full-back Kurtley Beale scored two second-half tries, but an England win was never really in doubt.

It was by far England's best performance under manager Martin Johnson as the home side equalled their largest margin of victory against Australia and enjoyed a first Twickenham win over a Tri-Nations team in four years.

The scrum may have dominated the pre-match talk, but this encounter was all about adventure, with a dynamic England intent on keeping possession and attacking Australia from any part of the field.

England can still improve - Johnson

England outdid the Wallabies for panache and derring-do, and the anticipated war of attrition between England's powerful pack and the visitors' mesmerising backline never materialised as set-pieces were few and far between.

The home side, playing in their new grey kit, were ignited by the irrepressible Ben Youngs who illustrated that Johnson has at his disposal a scrum-half with the talent to match anyone in the world.

The 21-year-old Leicester player, winning his fifth cap, constantly pressurised the Australia defence and put the Wallabies' mercurial outside-half Quade Cooper firmly in the shade.

The only blot on an otherwise faultless display was the number of penalties Johnson's men conceded in the first half but, luckily for the home team, Australia wing James O'Connor had an off day with the boot, missing three of five first-half kicks at goal.

O'Connor was off target with two tricky early attempts before Flood got the scoreboard moving after a thumping Tom Palmer tackle caused the Wallabies to infringe at the breakdown.

Moody puts outstanding win down to belief

England were looking dangerous whenever they had the ball, the lively Youngs causing all sorts of problems, and the home side deservedly scored the first try of the match.

Mike Tindall put Mark Cueto into space before England recycled the ball and a clever one-handed offload from Tom Croft put Ashton clear for a converted try, the winger showing impressive strength to cross the line with two tacklers on his back.

Two minutes later, O'Connor's penalty kick hit the post, but the 20-year-old quickly made amends as he found the target from 43m with his easiest kick of the match.

Flood restored England's 10-point advantage with his trusted boot and the pendulum swung even further in England's favour when Matt Giteau was sent to the sin bin.

Youngs took a quick penalty from his own 22 and quickly exchanged passes with Flood before kicking ahead for Ashton to chase. England then recycled the ball and were heading ever nearer the try line until Giteau illegally spoiled their momentum.

Flood and O'Connor exchanged penalties to make it 16-6 before the teams left the field for a well-deserved break.

England's relentless desire to attack continued into the second half and Flood quickly extended his team's lead with another penalty before Ashton scored a try that will live long in the memory.

BRYN PALMER'S BLOG

Australia were yards from scoring, but a huge hit from Palmer forced a turnover and a Youngs jink on his own tryline set the impressive Courtney Lawes free. The lock then fed Ashton on the right and the wing sprinted almost 90m for a converted try.

It was breathtaking stuff but Australia have not failed to score a try against England since November 1998, a run of 16 matches and, in the 53rd minute, they extended that record to 17.

Beale chipped over Ben Foden and raced through for a converted try to make it 26-13.

The Waratahs full-back scored his second try of the game just over 10 minutes later as substitute Berrick Barnes put him through to touch down in the corner.

O'Connor failed with the touchline conversion and Flood steadied any nerves by kicking two more penalties to put his name in the record books.


England: Foden; Ashton, Tindall (Armitage 62), Hape, Cueto; Flood (Hodgson 78), Youngs (Care 54), Sheridan (Wilson 67), Hartley (Thompson 70), Cole, Lawes, Palmer (Shaw 71), Croft, Moody, Easter (Fourie 78).

Australia: Beale; O'Connor, Ashley-Cooper, Giteau (Barnes 59), Mitchell, Cooper, Genia (Burgess 48), Robinson (Slipper 55), Moore, Alexander, Chisholm (Mumm 57), Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, McCalman (Brown 58).

Reps Not Used: Saia Faingaa, Turner.

Att: 80,002

Ref: Craig Joubert (South Africa).



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see also
We must get even better - Johnson
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Photos from autumn Tests
13 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Campese urges end to scrum focus
11 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Moore returns to Wallabies side
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Leicester 15-26 Australia
09 Nov 10 |  Leicester
Hooker Hartley gets England call
09 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
England 16-26 New Zealand
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales 16-25 Australia
06 Nov 10 |  Rugby Union


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