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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 June, 2003, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
England clinch historic victory
Will Greenwood crashes over for England's first try
Australia 14
Tries: Sailor
Pens: Roff (3)
England 25
Tries: Greenwood, Tindall, Cohen
Cons: Wilkinson (2)
Pens: Wilkinson (2)

England rammed their critics' words down their throats with a stunning victory against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday.

The visitors ran in three tries as they secured their first-ever win on Australian soil.

Criticised before the match as one-dimensional and negative, England revelled in the dry conditions and hard pitch.

They combined forward power with pace in the backs and out-scored the hosts three tries to one with Will Greenwood, Mike Tindall and Ben Cohen crossing for England and Wendell Sailor grabbing Australia's try.

Jonny Wilkinson kicked two conversions and two penalties, while Joe Roff collected three penalties for Australia.

England started with a classic score. The forwards and backs combined to take the ball through countless phases before Greenwood crashed over for the try.

Wilkinson converted, but the Wallabies were soon on the board through a Roff penalty, and the Australian winger could have cut the gap to a point with a second penalty.

However, Roff is not a front-line kicker and it showed as his nervous effort slid past the posts.

It had been cynical play from England to give away the second penalty but they soon showed the positive side of their game with a glorious try.

Phil Waugh gets to grips with England dynamo Jason Robinson
Phil Waugh gets to grips with England dynamo Jason Robinson

Great play from the forwards at a lineout set Trevor Woodman running at the heart of the Wallaby defence and when he was halted some dazzling handling gave Tindall the chance to power over in the corner.

Wilkinson's conversion hit a post but the rest of the half was all England, with an electric Robinson run and a mighty driving maul from the pack both taking England desperately close to adding to their lead.

A couple of poor decisions to kick wasted the positions and when Australia came out firing at the start of the second half two Roff penalties saw them cut the gap to 12-9.

Wilkinson nudged England back to a six-point lead after Australia killed the ball at a ruck but the visitors looked as though they were struggling to hold on.

Australia, led by number eight Toutai Kefu, were hammering away at the England defence and with the crowd roaring them on it seemed as though England must crack.

But the visitors are increasingly self-assured and they made sure of victory with a stunning try.


Quick ball from a lineout reached Wilkinson and his delayed pass put Cohen through a gap.

The big winger stood up Wallaby full-back Chris Latham and thundered over for the match-clinching try.

Wilkinson converted and although Australia scored a stunning try of their own through Sailor, England were out of reach.

Fittingly the last word fell to Wilkinson, who has been at the heart of England's recent successes, as he stroked over a penalty on the final hooter.

Australia: C Latham, W Sailor, M Turinui, S Kefu, J Roff, N Grey, G Gregan (capt), T Kefu, P Waugh, D Lyons, D Giffin, N Sharpe, P Noriega, J Paul, B Young. Replacements: B Cannon, B Darwin, D Vickerman, D Heenan, C Whitaker, M Rogers, L Tuqiri.

England: J Lewsey; J Robinson, W Greenwood, M Tindall, B Cohen; J Wilkinson, K Bracken; T Woodman, S Thompson, P Vickery, M Johnson (capt), B Kay, R Hill, N Back, L Dallaglio. Replacements: M Regan, J Leonard, S Borthwick, J Worsley, M Dawson, A King, D Luger.

Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)

BBC Five Live's Ian Robertson
"It wasn't just the victory but the manner of it"

England captain Martin Johnson
"We dominated territory and possession in the first half"

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