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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 June 2006, 11:52 GMT 12:52 UK
Australia 43-18 England
George Smith crosses for his try
Australia: (19) 43
Tries: Smith, Gerrard (2), Tuqiri, Chisholm, Larkham
Con: Mortlock (5)
Pens: Mortlock
England: (6) 18
Tries: Chuter, Varndell
Pens: Goode
Con: Goode
Drop goals: Goode
England slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat as the Wallabies ruthlessly exposed their shortcomings for the second consecutive week.

Despite wholesale changes, England failed to spark once again and were taken apart by a dynamic Australia.

Two tries from Mark Gerrard and fine displays from Stephen Larkham and Lote Tuqiri were too much for the tourists.

England crossed through Greorge Chuter and Tom Varndell but were unable to mount a serious threat.

Varndell's try at the death was no consolation on a night when the winger was given a lesson by the outstanding Tuqiri.

The pressure will now mount on Robinson, with no end in sight to his team's run of poor form.

It is England's worst run of results since 1984.

England had snatched an early lead when Andy Goode's mis-hit drop-goal from 35 metres limped over the bar.

But within a minute George Smith put Australia in front.

His hack forward from broken play hit Varndell in the face, rebounded straight back to him and left him with a clear path to the line.

Worse was to follow for Robinson's misfiring team when Larkham's cross-field kick into the corner was snatched from Tait's grasp by Gerrard.

Stirling Mortlock missed the conversion attempt but England were rocked back, failing to spark in the backs and not building on their half-breaks.

With Australia happy to kick the ball deep, the tourists had plenty of possession.

But they were seldom able to do anything constructive - and then paid the price for poor defence at the other end.

On the ropes

Latham broke through four weak tackles to go clear, drew Iain Balshaw and off-loaded for Tuqiri to jog over unopposed.

The situation got worse immediately after the break. With Graham Rowntree concussed and Julian White off with a neck injury, England were on the ropes.

When Larkham put Mark Chisholm through and Mortlock converted, England were staring at the wrong end of a big score.

To Robinson's relief, Chuter seized on Peter Richards' break to run in England's first try.

It was the start of England's best period of the game.

Despite the appearance of George Gregan for a record-breaking 120th Test cap, England took the game to the Wallabies.

But with Balshaw having a poor game and Varndell utterly cowed by Tuqiri, there was precious little to show for their efforts.

Larkham then showed England's backs how it was done once again.

He timed his pass brilliantly to Gregan, who fed Gerrard to cross for his second score.

Larkham capped a superb display with a late try before Varndell's scant consolation.


Australia: Latham; Gerrard, Mortlock (capt), Rogers, Tuqiri; Larkham, Cordingley; Holmes, Freier, Blake, Vickerman, Sharpe, Chisholm, Smith, Elsom.
Replacements: Paul, Baxter, Palu, Waugh, Gregan, Rathbone, Shepherd.

England: Balshaw; Varndell, Noon, Catt, Tait; Goode, Richards; Rowntree, Chuter, White; Jones, Kay; Worsley, Lipman, Sanderson (capt).
Replacements: Mears, Payne, Deacon, Lund, Walshe, Barkley, Abbott.

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand).



SEE ALSO
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11 Jun 06 |  Internationals


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