Eng­land cruise in se­cond half

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

Eng­land com­pleted a highly sat­is­fy­ing Novem­ber se­ries with a crush­ing four-try vic­tory over a ragged Aus­tralia on Sat­ur­day, claim­ing a record sixth suc­ces­sive win in the 50th meet­ing of the old sport­ing ri­vals.

Eng­land had much the bet­ter of the first half but could add only two Owen Far­rell penal­ties to Jonny May’s early score and Aus­tralia, who barely mus­tered an at­tack in the first half-hour, some­how reached the break at 13-13 after an ex­cel­lent try by Is­rael Fo­lau and two penal­ties for Matt To’omua.

It was one-way traf­fic in the se­cond half though, as su­perb tries by El­liot Daly and Joe Cokanasiga took Eng­land clear and Owen Far­rell capped it off four min­utes from the end be­fore Fo­lau got a con­so­la­tion try.

The re­sult fol­lowed wins for Eng­land over South Africa and Ja­pan and a one-point de­feat by New Zealand but capped a dire year for Aus­tralia, who have now lost 11 of their last 15 matches.

Af­ter­wards, Aus­tralia coach Michael Cheika ac­cepted that Eng­land de­served their vic­tory but was in­censed at what he called the “lu­di­crous de­ci­sion” not to pe­nalise Far­rell for a no-arms tackle on Izack Rodda at the end of the first half.

Penalty

The ref­eree ruled that Rodda had been the man drop­ping his shoul­der as he bore down on the try­line and awarded a penalty for an ear­lier of­fence, which Aus­tralia kicked to end the half at 13-13.

“I want to make it clear ob­vi­ously that Eng­land were the bet­ter team and de­served to win so I don’t want it to be seen like a carry-on,” Cheika said of the in­ci­dent that Clive Wood­ward said should have been a penalty try.

“But the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion that Rodda tried to take him on with his shoul­der is lu­di­crous. That’s what you do when you carry the ball.”

Cheika said that the ref­er­ees’ meet­ing he at­tended two weeks ago de­cided that a sim­i­lar shoul­der-first tackle by Far­rell at the end of their win over South Africa three weeks ago, which was also ruled le­gal, should have been pe­nalised.

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