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Saturday, 16 November, 2002, 16:23 GMT
England stun Aussies
Ben Cohen scored two tries
Wing Ben Cohen scored both of England's tries
England 32-31 Australia


England have recorded their first ever hat-trick of victories over Australia after a scintillating contest at Twickenham.

In a match as captivating as last weekend's 31-28 victory over New Zealand, two tries from Ben Cohen and the boot of Jonny Wilkinson ensured another southern hemisphere scalp.

England took the lead after dominating the opening 25 minutes against the world champions and produced an excellent final 20 minutes.

But they needed to draw on their deepest reserves after lapses in concentration had allowed Australia to surge into a 31-19 lead not long after half-time.

Australia turned things around courtesy of two tries from Elton Flatley and one from Wendell Sailor, stunning the 75,000 crowd.

But England showed considerable character to get back into the game and extend their unbeaten home run to 17 matches.

  Match Facts
England 32
Tries: Cohen (2)
Conv: Wilkinson (2)
Pens: Wilkinson (6)
Australia 31
Tries: Sailor; Flatley (2)
Conv: Burke (2)
Pens: Burke (4)

The home side deservedly took the lead after 10 minutes, courtesy of Richard Hill, playing in the less familiar number eight position.

Hill caught the ball in the line-out and it was spread wide to James Simpson-Daniel, whose sniping run drew three Australian defenders and allowed Cohen to score in the corner.

Wilkinson outdid Matt Burke with his spot kicks but, in a mirror of the All Blacks clash, England let their dominance slip.

That allowed Australia to creep back into the contest after eight minutes of first-half injury time.

From a scrum deep in English territory, the ball was swept out to Elton Flatley who nonchalantly cut through the opposition defence for his first international try.

Burke converted to leave his side trailing 16-13 at the break.

That score was the tonic the Wallabies needed and they made their momentum count - former league star Wendell Sailor scored just three minutes after the restart.

George Smith opened England's defence with a delightful chip and chase and the ball was passed down the backs to the former league star.

England captain Martin Johnson is tagged by counterpart George Gregan
Johnson's England fought back bravely
Three minutes later the ball spilled from a ruck virtually on Australia's line and Flatley ran the length of the field to score.

Burke converted and added a penalty to move the tourists into a 28-16 lead.

But Wilkinson's kicking kept England in the game, a string of penalties bringing them within a converted try of taking the lead.

That duly came as Jason Robinson found his first real opening of the afternoon.

Cohen made the most of Robinson's break and put the ball down for an easy Wilkinson conversion and a 32-31 lead.

Burke had the opportunity to win the game with a 40-metre kick but it missed the target and England held out for the narrowest of wins.


England Jason Robinson; James Simpson-Daniel, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall, Ben Cohen; Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Dawson; Richard Hill, Neil Back, Lewis Moody; Ben Kay, Martin Johnson (capt); Phil Vickery, Steve Thompson, Jason Leonard

Replacements: Mark Regan, Robbie Morris, Danny Grewcock, Lawrence Dallaglio, Andy Gomarsall, Austin Healey, Tim Stimpson

Australia: Matthew Burke; Wendell Sailor, Daniel Herbert, Elton Flatley, Stirling Mortlock; Stephen Larkham, George Gregan (capt); Toutai Kefu, George Smith, Matt Cockbain; Justin Harrison, Dan Vickerman; Patricio Noriega, Jeremy Paul, Bill Young

Replacements: Adam Freier, Ben Darwin, David Giffin, David Croft, Chris Whitaker, Matt Giteau, Scott Staniforth

Referee: Paul Honiss (Nzl)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Ian Robertson
"Internationals don't get any better than this"
England v Australia
Post-match reaction from Twickenham
 NOV 16-17 TESTS
 ENGLAND 32-31 AUS
 SCOTLAND 26-6 SA
 IRELAND 64-17 FIJI
 WALES 32-21 CANADA
 FRANCE 20-20 NZ
 ITALY 6-36 ARGENTINA

Links to more International stories are at the foot of the page.


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