Ace England eye Wallaby hat-trick
Tourists have already claimed series win
Dylan Hartley has urged England to “finish the job” and complete a 3-0 whitewash over Australia after the Grand Slam champions clinched a first series success Down Under with a 23-7 win in Melbourne.
The visitors were forced to defend for lengthy periods as the Wallabies threw everything at them, but England’s defence held firm before Owen Farrell secured the win with a late try.
England had led 10-7 at the break thanks to a try from Hartley before Farrell scored all 13 points in the second half to cap a hugely impressive victory.
And Hartley insists there is no way England will switch off with a series finale to play in Sydney next weekend.
Asked about completing a clean sweep, he said: “Why not? We’re a team that want to improve. We want to contend number one in the world.
“If we want to be contenders we are going to have to finish the job next week.”
He added: “We know Australia are a proud team and we expect a big game next week. We’ll enjoy this little bit of history right now, but the message is we go again and we prepare for next week and finish the tour off well.
“Australia are a great team with a ball in hand and (conceding) four tries last week hurt our pride. The key focus this week was defence, we put bodies on the line this week and put some good shots in and we kept the score down.
“Our tactics are always the same - we just took the onus on ourselves to defend better.”
Head coach Eddie Jones echoed the comments of his skipper, insisting he would not be happy unless England left Sydney with a 3-0 series win.
“The players are already talking about (the whitewash),” he said.
“This win is for the supporters, the people at the RFU and the people in the amateur game. They’ll all be getting delight out of this game and we’re so proud to represent them.”
Australia will certainly feel they should still be in the series after being camped in England’s half for much of the 80 minutes in Melbourne. But Chris Robshaw and James Haskell excelled in defence, producing tackle after tackle to keep the Wallabies at bay.
“It has been a pretty special week, topped off by a quite incredible game,” said former captain Robshaw. “Everyone has been absolutely outstanding. It was (getting hairy) but we were spot-on. When you look at the effort the boys put in, the willingness to put in the tackle, it showed the character of the team.
“It’s great that all the work we did in the week has paid off.”
His fellow forward Haskell also praised the display and is determined to help England complete a clean sweep. He added: “Two from two but I won’t be satisfied until we go 3-0. It was a massive shift. It will be hard to take it to 3-0 – there are a lot of battered boys and Australia have a competitive squad.”
CELEBRATION TIME: Owen Farrell excelled for England; Israel Falou is left disappointed; Ben Youngs enjoyed the win; Eddie Jones was the mastermind of the victory