England upset Australia 39-28 at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night to take a 1-0 lead in the three-test series.
Australia started impressively, scoring two well orchestrated tries. Vice-captain Michael Hooper scored first in the corner after 9 minutes when Australia found space on the short side through a break by Folau. In the 16th, Folau scored his 19th test try after Bernard Foley shaped a lovely pass for him to dive over the chalk.
Momentum suddenly changed and England took full advantage of Australia’s ill-disciplined play, Owen Farrell taking three penalty goals to make the score 10-9. Jonathan Joseph was the first to score for England, who held a 19-13 lead at half-time.
Australia were put on the back foot as soon as the game resumed, Marland Yarde scoring a five-pointer from the line-out drive to take the score out to 26-13 in the 47th minute. Australian spirits lifted briefly when Hooper crossed for his second try in the 59th minute, but an impressive defensive performance by England prevented the home team from gaining any momentum. Though Tevita Kuridrani scored in the 71st, and Bernard Foley slotted a penalty just minutes from full-time to close the gap to 32-28 closing the gap, England put the result beyond doubt when substitute Jack Nowell crossed with seconds to spare.
English forward James Haskell was awarded man-of-the-match after making 18 tackles and three turnovers. Owen Farrell’s accuracy with the boot – he succeeded with nine of his 10 shots at the uprights – proved to be the difference, giving England the perfect start to the series.
The Wallabies captain, Stephen Moore, conceded after the match that England did well to put his team under pressure at the breakdown, saying “We need to tidy that up a bit. … England played well and deserved the win.”
The victory gave Eddie Jones his seventh consecutive win as a coach with England. The next test will be at AAMI park in Melbourne on June 18.
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) June 12, 2016
Late news: The Wallabies’ star forward David Pocock is out for the rest of the series after fracturing his left eye-socket during the match. Pocock was taken off the field, bleeding profusely, late in the game. He is expected to be out for up to six weeks, though surgery is not needed. – Jesse Mullens
Photo of Marland Yarde scoring from the England Rugby Twitter feed.