England’s rugby union stars take on the Aussies for the second match of their mid-year test series on Saturday 18 June 2016. With confidence high after their first test win, will England Rugby put the Wallabies to shame again?
England in Brisbane – A Record-Equalling Performance
Eddie Jones’ boys’ Cook Cup campaign got off to a flying start on June 11 when they beat the Wallabies down under for only the fourth time ever. Their win at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium was their first in Queensland’s capital city and, with a 39 – 28 score line, they also equalled their record for the largest ever winning margin in a match against the Wallabies on Australian soil.
After the game, Jones told BBC Radio 5 that England hadn’t played as well as he’d have liked. He went on to state that the Australians hadn’t played well either and “…whichever side improves the most will win the next test and that’s going to be us.”
England certainly took longer to get going than the Aussies, falling ten points behind within fifteen minutes. However, they managed to turn the game around quickly, and Owen Farrell soon brought them within one point of the Australians with three successful penalty kicks.
A try from Jonathan Joseph and a Farrell conversion put the English ahead, and Farrell added to the points with another penalty. Despite a Bernard Foley penalty boosting the Australian’s score, England were leading by 19 – 13 at half-time.
Things only got worse for Australia in the second half, with a stunning performance from James Haskell, a try from Marland Yarde, and a conversion and two penalty kicks from Farrell adding to their pain. Despite a try from Tevita Kuridrani and a conversion by Foley, the Wallabies couldn’t get back on track, and Farrell seized the final points for England in the 80th minute when he converted Jack Nowell’s try.
How Significant was the First Test Result?
Despite Eddie Jones’s cautious post-match response, the result puts the Aussies on the back foot for the rest of the series. In the run-up to the tour, England’s head coach had stressed how important it would be to secure the win in Brisbane. In an interview with the Guardian, he said: “We have to win the first one. That’s what the series is about, the first test.”
However, suffering a defeat in front of their home crowd is certain to fire the Wallabies up to ensure they aren’t embarrassed again. Therefore, despite the fact that Australia won’t have star flanker, David Pocock, to help them, after he sustained a fractured eye socket in the first game, England will have to be on form when they face their rivals at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
Will “Bodyline” Play Bring More Wins for England Rugby?
Before heading to Australia, the winners of this year’s Six Nations rugby trophy told the media that Jones had asked them to take a “Bodyline” approach to their games. Leicester Tigers and England Rugby prop, Dan Cole, revealed to the BBC that Jones had shown them clips of the England cricket team’s famous 1932 – 1933 Ashes campaign too.
Whilst, for many, the term “Bodyline” is synonymous with unsporting and overly-aggressive behaviour on the cricket field, England’s rugby players’ determined and attacking attitude was well-controlled enough to get results. Will the new, improved version of “Bodyline” play result in a series win? We’ll have to wait and see.
Are you a rugby union fan? Do you think England Rugby can win the series? What’s your opinion on “Bodyline” rugby? Leave a comment to let us know.