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England blaze a trail to light up Twickenham

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Bryn Palmer | 20:18 UK time, Saturday, 13 November 2010


Twickenham

Anything you're supposed to do, we can do better.

That might have been England's mantra on one of the great Twickenham days, a scintillating Test match to illuminate this autumn series.

Weren't the Wallabies the ones supposed to play with this devil-may-care attacking approach, with this fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants bravura?

England might have been showcasing their new 'away' strip of anthracite - a smokeless fuel - but they were lighting fires all over their home turf.

Beaming, bewildered supporters were streaming out of headquarters afterwards openly wondering whether they had just witnessed the best performance by the red rose brigade since, well, ever.

They were also scratching their heads trying to remember a better try than Chris Ashton's second, after a 90m move that started in the shadow of the England posts.

Philippe Saint-Andre's classic for France at Twickenham in 1991 might have topped it, but not by much. Anyone out there like to make a claim for a better England one?

It was like the good old days of the early noughties, when England went 22 games unbeaten at the old "Fortress", and victories over the southern hemisphere's big three were commonplace.

Except the England side Martin Johnson led never won a match in quite this grand a manner. "We didn't play well in the World Cup final, that's for sure," he quipped after this stunning display, refusing to go overboard despite the result.

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Highlights - England 35-18 Australia


This was a first home win by England over one of the Tri-Nations giants since 2006, and lifts England up to fourth in the world rankings.

The 17 point-winning margin equalled their best against Australia, matching the 20-3 win of 1973 and 23-6 in 1976. England's 35 points was another best in the fixture, as was the immaculate Toby Flood's personal haul of 25 points, including nine out of nine kicks at goal.

As a statement of intent about the way this emerging side want to play, it was quite breathtaking, in conception and execution.

Tom Croft's bold pre-match claim that England's quality was a match for the Wallabies in all areas of the game proved startingly prescient.

Nick Easter later introduced the idea of "total rugby" - they were that good - but was at pains to point out England were still a way off such a feat.

If they were to win, most observers agreed, the likely route to victory would be via forward domination founded on a superior scrum, and dogged defence.

But those predictions were gloriously turned on their head as England ran the ball from everywhere, particularly in wide channels, spotting and exploiting space to the full.

The much talked-about scrum contest barely registered. There were only six scrums in the whole game, three in each half. England won two penalties and two free-kicks, Australia a penalty and a free-kick.

Two moments in the first half underlined the new, faster, bolder, dynamic England.

Ashton's opening try was a beauty. A throw to Lewis Moody at the tail of the line-out, a quick tap down, Shontayne Hape bursting through on the crash ball, Ben Youngs and Toby Flood moving the ball quickly away from the ruck, Mike Tindall's offload inside to Mark Cueto, a pop-up pass to Tom Croft, another offload to Ashton.

The deadliest finisher in the English game wriggled his way over to his evident delight. Twickenham rocked.

The penalty that put England 16-3 clear as half-time approached also owed much to the change of personnel and mindset.

The ever-alert Youngs, sizing up the situation in an instant, took a quick tap penalty 30m from his own line. Seconds later he was on the shoulder of Flood 50m further up the field, taking a pass and chipping ahead to the line.

He then scragged the back-pedalling James O'Connor, England turned the ball over and Matt Giteau was sent to the sin-bin after illegally denying a likely try.

England supporters were in state of euphoric, delirious shock.

As if to embrace this insurrection going on in front of them, they ignored repeated requests from the stadium announcer calling for decorum, having aired their frustration at the length of time O'Connor took to line up his kicks at goal by jeering and whistling the young winger mercilessly.

It seemed to have an effect, for the precocious 20-year-old missed with his first two efforts from distance and saw his third bounce back off the left upright, costing Australia nine valuable points in the first half-hour.

By the time Flood was lining up the clinching penalty with three minutes left, there was little chance or need for restraint. "Swing Low, Swing Chariot" was in full swing.

There were heroes to salute everywhere, from props Andrew Sheridan and Dan Cole, who, denied much fun in the scrum, were bundles of energy in the loose and at rucks. The second row pairing were similarly prominent, Courtney Lawes playing with the confidence and élan of a Test natural, Tom Palmer putting in several crunching tackles, including a decisive one on Will Genia to force the turnover which led to Ashton's second try.

The back row of Moody, Tom Croft and Easter revelled in the freedom, having largely negated the dangerous David Pocock and Rocky Elsom at the breakdown.

England celebrateChris Ashton and team-mates enjoy a champagne moment at Twickenham. Photo: Reuters


On only his third Test start, scrum-half Ben Youngs demonstrated exactly why he has already been lauded as a potential sensation of the age.

Whatever else he does in what should be a long and productive international career, he will already be remembered for launching one of the great England tries, seeing the space on his own line, stepping his man and releasing Lawes, who drew his own man superbly before unleashing the master predator Ashton on his 80m burst to glory.

It was a surprise to see Youngs brought off after 54 minutes, but his derring-do in that time had already secured him the man-of-the-match award.

It turned out he was throwing up blood and suffering spasms in his chests, believing he had damaged a rib, but was pretty perky in his post-match interviews.

Johnson was clearly intent on preventing the hyperbole going into overdrive afterwards, even if inside he must have been bursting with pride.

His overall assessment? "A really good reward for all the work the guys have put in. It was a good performance, wasn't it?" Ashton's second try? "Pretty special." Flood's display? "Delighted but not surprised. He runs the team very well and gives a lot of guys confidence. Mind you, I was screaming at him to drop a goal late on."

And Youngs? "He is just a really mature guy. He played very, very well. The good thing is he is only 21, he can get better. The minute you start patting yourself on the back in rugby..."

Johnson didn't really finish that sentence, but the message was clear.

One Wallaby thrashing doesn't make an autumn, and England - who face Samoa and South Africa over the next fortnight - must perform to a consistently high standard before they can be considered legitimate contenders for next year's World Cup.

Johnson did single out the "outstanding" Mark Cueto though, and no wonder.

The 30-year-old Sale wing, playing his 43rd Test, was a revelation, and must have pushed Youngs close for the man-of-the-match award.

His place, along with centres Mike Tindall and Hape, was felt to be under threat.

Questions were asked beforehand whether he could handle the pace and firepower the Aussies would be sending in his direction. How he answered them.

His first significant contribution was what we have come to expect - a purposeful chase of a Youngs box-kick, a thunderous tackle on O'Connor.

But after popping up with an offload to Croft in the build-up to Ashton's first try, his game entered a new dimension in the second half, and like many of his team-mates, he seemed spurred on to greater things in the euphoria of Ashton's second try.

After 56 minutes, all alone in his own half and with three Wallabies bearing down on him, a kick seemed the logical option. Not a bit of it.

Cueto promptly stepped off his left foot and weaved in and out and away from all three of them. It was as if Shane Williams had put on a couple of stone, grown a few inches and materialised on the England left wing.

Five minutes later Cueto jinked his way to within a metre of the Aussie line before being hauled down, and then bamboozled several more Wallabies with a piroutte routine that almost sent Ashton over for a hat-trick try.

England were almost cavalier at times in the second half, swept along in the glory of it all.

Croft went on his own with men outside him and got turned over, and before he knew it Kurtley Beale was chipping over Ben Foden and winning the race to the line.

Flood did kick a relieving penalty but when Australia worked Beale over for his second try in the right corner to make it 29-18 with 15 minutes left, after England had lost their own throw at a line-out, the first slight pangs of anxiety set in.

But England composed themselves, the immense Lawes won the next line-out, and Flood kicked two more penalties to clinch a sensational victory.

Tindall, on the day he equalled Jeremy Guscott's record of 65 caps for an England centre, had hobbled off to a hero's reception, having matched the tallies of Jonny Wilkinson and Phil Vickery with his seventh win over the Wallabies.

"It's always easier when you get bagged all week," he said. "You just go out there and play and prove people wrong. As a team we have a number of different avenues to go down and we want to challenge people. We back ourselves as a backline."

Back themselves they certainly did, and a few punters might be tempted to do likewise as their World Cup odds come tumbling down on the back of this win.

As Charlie Hodgson hoofed the ball into the crowd to signal the end of an exhilirating afternoon's entertainment, Twickenham responded with a deserved standing ovation.

Australia coach Robbie Deans claimed afterwards he was "not surprised at all" by the manner of England's performance.

Outside the inner sanctum of the hosts' dressing room, he might have been the only one.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Best try at Twickenham - I don't know - but it had me smiling from ear to ear and shouting so loud my wife told me off for nearly waking the baby!

    Just tell me this isn't going to be a flash in the pan.

    We ARE going to continue to play this way, please.

    P.S. First. Always wanted to write that.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Bryn,nice article - apart from one thing. There is NO place for booing, catcalling or trying to put off the opposition kicker. I know the French have always done it but they also do it to their own and anyway, well they're French. It has no part in the rest of the 6 Nations. Other than that, for me Tindall was struggling to keep up with the young guns and Flood had a poor first half, Sheridan was largely absent - the rest played well or really well and what a pleasure to beat the Australians so comprehensively. Well done England.

  • Comment number 3.

    Get it together #2. That was outstanding. The question is will this be the strart or a one off?
    Not everyone played perfect, but the team was as good as it's been since we topped the world.

    Still have questions about johno, hate that I do, but I do. Has he been bailed out by emerging talent?

  • Comment number 4.

    #2 Sheridan was absent from what? He's a loose head prop. What were you expecting?
    Great performance from the red rose brigade.
    Lawes was immense: what an athlete. He could go on to be a world class lock. Big, powerful, fast athletic, good technique, hard as nails.
    Youngs: he must be a gift from heaven.
    As a die hard England fan, I had to keep checking it was England in the dark strip.
    World class performance on the day. One swallow doesn't make a summer. but that was a pretty good start.

  • Comment number 5.

    @sibusiso

    "Still have questions about johno, hate that I do, but I do. Has he been bailed out by emerging talent?"

    I'm not sure how you can be bailed out by talent, how is a coach going to have a winning team without "talent"?

  • Comment number 6.

    England v SA is going to be some game. The BBC keep predicting that SA will lose and yet they keep winning, but it will be a clash of two powerful teams,

  • Comment number 7.

    England are still 5th in the IRB world rankings.

  • Comment number 8.

    Regarding Martin Johnson, let us not forget he was a novice when he took the England job. It's hardly surprising that he's got better, and a little unfair to pretend that he's been bailed out by talent, when ignoring talent and overdrilling were the main charges against him in his earlier games.

  • Comment number 9.

    If, and it is a big if, we play like that permanently I believe, i truly believe, we can do it. I haven't stopped smiling since that performance it was incredible.

  • Comment number 10.

    Got to comment about Ashton's length of field try. As he accelerated away having changed direction, I was already comparing his effort in my mind to that of the legendary Prince Obolensky - a bit of rugby folklore, but it's a night for such things, I fancy.

  • Comment number 11.

    Very enjoyable rugby, great performance. Still think the England defence is a bit suspect at times and Australia had made their penalties it would have felt a lot less comfortable. But that aside looks promising for the World Cup.

    I think booing of the kicker is uncommon at Twickenham, he did take a ridiculously long time to take his kicks. So, understandable if not excusable.

    More of the same please (quality rugby, not the booing).

  • Comment number 12.

    Australia lose in both codes of the game-13th November 2010
    Ash-ton's tries pressage Ashes success!

  • Comment number 13.

    Re: No 2) thickmike. Yes, it was a shame England fans lost their patience with O'Connor and started jeering, but the bizaare thing was there was quite a bit of noise when Flood was taking his kicks too, especially when he was converting both of Ashton's tries! How do others feel about that aspect of the game?

    Re: No 7) Nathan - yep, the IRB rankings don't usually officially get updated until the Monday after a round of Tests, but I was informed beforehand that an England win would see them rise to fourth, above France.

  • Comment number 14.

    Where have all the comments gone? Are the English contingent struck dumb by a team that at last began to play to its potential? Are the Aussies in silent mourning for the sudden eclipse of the supposedly infallible Genia-Cooper partnership? has the internet closed down in Wales?
    I guess Jonno will be struggling to resist the self righteous feeling of a man who has been steadily (and mostly rightly, though with mitigation for his inexperience as a coach) pilloried for his selection, coaching team and tactics over the past year, but who has finally produced a home result to be proud of.
    Its hard to pick a weak link in this performance, though I wonder how much longer Tindall can keep up at this level - but he played out of his skin with huge heart. Hape looked very effective and seemed to have found his feet. Flood's perfomance was probably his best all-round game for England to date.
    What is so interesting is how this transformation came about. It really is a question of Foden, Ashton, Youngs and Lawes demonstrating their fearless commitment to a quick, dynamic game and seemingly finding their own way of delivering the game plan. It seemed to infect the rest of the team - and how wonderful to see Cueto having his best game for years. Care when he came on looked a much better player for having Young's example to follow, less like the demented Jack Russell he was last year.
    It concerns me that Johnson really came upon this team by accident and with apparent reluctance - and how easy it would be to dissipate the momentum. They need to continue to play together and learn how to boss a game - there was a time in the second half - around when Youngs was injured - where they could easily have given the game away through some sloppy decision-making and poor control. The South Africa game is going to be fascinating, but having watched Samoa nearly bring down Ireland today, I dont think England can afford to look that far ahead.

  • Comment number 15.

    Most of us were stunned by this English team. Its
    like they were trying to look like All Blacks in that
    outfit, and play like them as well. They outplayed
    Australia pretty comprehensively and did it in
    style. Rugby played like this is what the game is about.
    Congratulions to England.

  • Comment number 16.

    A truly great performance, it is hard not to get carried away by it. To offer a measured response, here's what I would like to see now:

    England cure the white line fever they have when they get 5m out. To be a truly top team they need to keep recycling and make the killer blow, and not rely on penalty advantage in these situations. Giteau stopped a certain try, but England should still have got the ball away and play the advantage. The same when Ashton got within a sniff of his hat trick (although I thought Care showed some of his old poor habits, not getting the ball away quickly and if Youngs had still been on it might have been different). They do this and they'll start scoring 4 tries against teams and they'll be truly dangerous.

    I'd like England to win the next 7 games: Samoa, the Boks, and the 6 Nations Grand Slam. This will achieve 3 things: it will give them an important trophy, massive confidence and knowledge that they can string 7 wins in a row together. To win the World Cup they will have to win 7 games. Two tough group games against Scotland and Argentina, then Georgia and a repecharge team, then likely QF/SF/Final of France, Australia, and NZ if it goes with the form book. If they head into the World Cup knowing they've beaten all those teams bar NZ in the last 12 months, that is great for the psyche.

    I just hope they don't let up. It is looking less and less like another false dawn, and only repeated consistent performances at that level will do now. They've set the bar and encouragingly there is still room for improvement.

    For the first time in 7 years I am truly excited about where English rugby is and is heading.

  • Comment number 17.

    No. 14:

    "It concerns me that Johnson really came upon this team by accident and with apparent reluctance - and how easy it would be to dissipate the momentum. "

    I think that Johnson has finally caught up a bit and started to realise that he had to look outside his lit of "mates" and pick on talent and form as many on the BBC boards had been crying for him to do. I'm not sure this team is an accident; it's just a shame it didn't happen sooner. anyhow, let's give him some credit.

  • Comment number 18.

    Wonderful, eye-opening game and a well-deserved victory for an English side which excelled on the day. As an ex-Brit now resident in Australia fence-sitting has become a well practised art but after yesterday? No more! Roll on New Zealand 2011 - hopefully this result is only the first of many to come for Johnson's team. Credit to him and to the determination of his players.
    Best try at Twickenham? Another suggestion - England winger PB Jackson against Scotland, late 50's, early 60's; was present but too long ago to remember exact date - along the touchline for 60-70 metres.

  • Comment number 19.

    Regarding world rankings, that loss by Australia and SA's win over Wales sees them swap places. So England will play the 2nd best team in the world again in a few weeks. It looks like the points difference is too much for England to rise from 4th to 3rd. I find the IRB's World Rankings page useful for this kind of information:

    http://www.irb.com/rankings/news/newsid=2040825.html#changes+aplenty+cards+rankings

    As Bryn points out they'll be updated on Monday. They're pretty irrelevant anyway once the World Cup groups have been decided. There are no prizes for being ranked 1st for a long time, as NZ knows well. Quite why 7.Nathan felt the petty need to point it out, only he knows, but regardless of rankings Australia were clearly second best on the day, and that is all that counts really.

  • Comment number 20.

    Cracking performance by the guys! I thought Ben Youngs fully deserved his Man of the Match, he was involved in everything good about England today and made Will Genia look pretty average, but I wouldn't have complained if the award had gone to Cueto or Ashton, or anyone else for that matter.

    It's also a marker about how far the team has come that the only other team in the calendar year to achieve back to back home and away victories over the Wallabies were the All Blacks and that's not something we've been able to say for a few years now. I'm not for one minute saying that we should be considered equal to the All Blacks, you only have to look at last week to see there is still a gulf there. But this is a major leap in the right direction going into World Cup year.

    However, I think the only way to do this win and performance justice is to continue it in the next fortnight and the 6 Nations. The Boks will pose a different problem to the Wallabies. Their firepower upfront is irreputable and has been impressive thus far, and in Morné Steyn at 10 they've got a guy who is so metronomic in his goal kicking that he won't miss many chances afforded to him. So England's Discipline has to improve markedly from yesterday. I get the feeling that the Springboks game could well define not only the autumn series, but our chances of going into next year being considered a serious threat to the title favourites at NZ 2011.

    Bring on Saturday!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Rugby is so precious about 'showing respect' whilst the place kickers are lining up. It's ridiculous. They're professional sportsmen playing in front of excited crowds - why on earth should there be silence? I suspect it's partially down to snobbery........because that's what they do in football, and this is NOT the 'round ball game'. Rugby is a raw, aggresive & partisan expression of sport, so let's not be so pretentious. Shout the rafters down: boo the oppostition, cheer your own. I suspect the kickers themselves might even prefer it to pin-drop silence.

  • Comment number 22.

    At last we're seeing what Johnson can do with a few world class rugby players in the team. Three years ago the players were average at best with very little belief.

    Martin Johnson has been consistent in much of what he has done, including his selection policy. We have watched some truly awful rugby over the past three years. However at the end of each series we always got a good game and could see some good improvements. The next series it would be the same awful start, awful rugby, awful skills and slowly we would improve.

    What has changed? We now have some world class players who are injecting their skills, abilities and passion into the team. The resulting display by by the rest of the team is unrecognisable from even 9 months ago.

    When Laws came into the squad, he arrived with everyone ranting and raving about his qualities. He had an awful start and was quickly returned to his club. Does anyone think he was sent back with a flea in his ear and told never to to return to the squad? My belief is that Johnson realised that keeping him in the squad was only going to slow his progress and develop a losers mentality. He went back to Northampton, playing and learning in the protected environment of club rugby. He has come back to England showing the form that he shows week in week out for Northampton.

    Was Johnson lucky with Laws? Or was it good man management?

    Team selection? Was Johnson meant to have chosen the right players earlier? Where was Ben Youngs three years ago when he was needed? In nappies!


    Let's keep going forward. Two more wins are essential to the ethos of getting better as any series progresses. Lets win the Six Nations but a lost game will only matter if we don't win in March in Dublin.

    Finally the World Cup is only seven games and surly we want to remember that we are a team that gets better as any series progresses.

  • Comment number 23.

    Only one thing dissapionted me yesterday and that was the refs total disregard for any scrummaging! he was a discrace. Does any one know how many SH muppets are reffing in the 6N?

  • Comment number 24.

    The world Rankings are a joke!! due to the fact that the SH teams play each other so often and they are ranked 1. 2 &3, an NH teams would have to play each of them 6 times a year (and win)to break into the click!!

  • Comment number 25.

    One small point I would make is that England’s performance against France in 2009 was also very good. The accepted wisdom – then and now – seems to have been that France ‘didn’t turn up’ but I’m not keen on that view; England really clicked on that day, probably to an even greater extent than yesterday, and put France to the sword, making them look ordinary. It would be unjust to say Australia are a better team than France or that they played better yesterday than France did in 2009. When one team clicks the other looks ordinary, almost by definition.

    So perhaps it’s a little shortsighted to say yesterday’s performance was the best since 2003. I would put it on a par with Eng-France 2009, and Aus-Eng in June 2010, which was less spectacular but achieved in much more daunting conditions.

  • Comment number 26.

    @nathan

    If you look at Johnno's selection, some of this back-line came in after injury forced his hand. granted at scrum half we're blessed to have Youngs, but danny care was/is test standard.
    The point about courtney laws is interesting, @Mark Lindley, I find it hard to be so generous as you.

    I'm not convinced by Johnno, I'm not saying he's rubbish and i haven't been calling for his head, but I'm saying that another coach might have got us here faster and might take us further. The young talent in this back line and through the team would look good with any coach.
    Two performances against the aussies and a decent half against the kiwis is not it, and had the aussies kicked more penalties in both games against them it could have been tighter yesterday and we could have lost down under.

    but don't get me wrong, keep the samoans to less than 10 and win by at least 15 and a win against an injury hit SA and i'll shut up and cheer Johnno and give him some grace at least until after the 6 nations ;)

  • Comment number 27.

    As a Scotland supporter who was working till 4:30 yesterday I was hugely disappointed at our demolition by the allblacks. I recorded the eng v aus game and watched it after the scot game not knowing the result and was cheered up no end.
    Youngs was sensational. His performance yesterday proved that it is not necessarily the standoff that dictates how the game is played or the tempo its played at. Flood appears to have developed massively because of youngs.
    As a former forward in my playing days I was initially a bit unsure of Nick Easter when he first appeared on the england scene. He was brought in as a stop gap due to injuries at the time and was probably lucky to have got his chance. Not a highly skilled player and not dynamic like a dallaglio. However my opinion of him has changed. He has turned into almost a modern day dean richards with pace. He has incredible power, hard to get knocked off his feet and seems to be in the right place at the right time. Like richards he seems to suck up the ball. He may not have the glamour of a croft or lawes who were also excellent but he appears to be the glue that holds the pack together much like richard hill. True grit and determination.

    As a scotland supporter I am happy to support england when they play like this and only hope you can build on this performance. For us after showing some promise it is back to the drawing board. I think the allblack enigma got to us. We seem able to compete with the other southern hemisphere teams but not new zealand who always seem to have us effectively beaten in the first 20 mins

  • Comment number 28.

    *RANT* I'm fed up with the BBC's obsession with getting the pre-match opinions of David Campese... This guy has been rude and disrespectful towards England rugby for as long as I can remember and the only thing that ever comes out of his mouth is utter nonsense meant to antagonize and bait England players, coaching staff and supporters alike. If you want an intelligent opinion from down under then go ask Michael Lynagh in future!*RANT OVER*

  • Comment number 29.

    "Rugby is so precious about 'showing respect' whilst the place kickers are lining up."

    Rugby demands respect throughout the game - to your own team, the opposition, the officials and the fans - so why should it be any different for kickers? It's part of what made it "a hooligan's game played by gentlemen." I'll grant that attitude isn't as prevalent nowadays, but I'd certainly take being 'precious' with regard to respect than seeing the levels evident in the 'round ball game'.

    Great game yesterday; even watching the highlights afterwards got me worked up all over again. Far and away the best England performance I've watched for a long time, and credit to everyone - players and staff - for getting it together. Two weeks until the Ashes too - let's hope this is the start of things to come!

  • Comment number 30.

    Re: No 28) Tom. Campo might have been a bit over the top down the years in his criticism of the England team, but he's generally done it with a bit of humour. I actually thought he made a valid point this time when he was talking to Matt Dawson on 5 live last Thursday, and it turned out to be pretty prescient. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/9177377.stm
    He was basically saying that if England were so sure about their attacking capabilities, they should target the Aussies where they were strong, rather than trying to make it a forward slug-fest. And with the scrum a negligible factor in Saturday's game, wasn't he spot-on in terms of what materialised?

  • Comment number 31.

    Just to turn this article in a different direction for a second, what team would you expect to be picked for the Samoa game next weekend? Would you start with the same guys who played this week, or throw in a few curve balls? Maybe a different centre partnership, and a different back row combination?

  • Comment number 32.

    That was a great victory for the All-Blacks yesterday, and New Zaland did well too.

    In all seriousness, a great victory for England but did we really have to dress like New Zealand to play like them? I fail to see why we have to have a black away kit

  • Comment number 33.

    Royal_Gooner - Sadly the RFU is not averse to milking the paying public.

    The new home shirt, is almost identical to last seasons - but with grey bits instead of red - GREY! I haven't noticed any in the St George Cross. As for Anthracite away kit, or purple last season - nonsense.

    But I have it on good authority that we will not have to wait too long - a new home and away kit will be out for the World Cup - and then expect a new home and away shirt every year.

    Also - why were we wearing our away kit at home against the Wallabies?

  • Comment number 34.

    I agree that this was a great England performance and Ben Youngs was the architect of much that was good. However, was i the only one who was a little bit concerned with his delivery. He once or twice put toby flood on the back foot with a dodgy pass...this aspect of his game has also been highlighted in some of his performances for Leicester. There is no denying his attacking talents but this may be a cause for concern.

    Thoughts?

  • Comment number 35.

    As to the Game - I was happy to see that Englands tosh from the last few years meant you didn't have to be a member of the England Supporters club to get a ticket.

    And I was delighted to be in the full (near enough) crowd yesterday.

    And what a game - its even led to the BBC overusing the phrase 'derring-do'. Awesome.

    Lawes was fantastic - I can almost see the days of a lump of a second row ended. Croft and Lawes at 4 and 5 perhaps?

    Easter once again put in a big performance, but got the credit he deserved this time. Moody was brilliant in defence, and the whole front 5 put a shift to be proud of.

    Youngs was outstanding, Flood was controlling - but the most praise should be left for the back 3. Ashton, who tracks play like no other winger I have EVER seen was outstanding, but it was Cueto who found the gaps. He was back to his sterling best. I just wish he played for a decent Club side so he can get to maintain this kind of form.

    The best bit though is there is still bits to work on.

    We lacked a cutting edge on their 5 metre line. Just still looked lost of ideas.

    Toby Flood's kicking out of hand had many wincing as it gave the Aussie backs plenty of time to work their magic.

    And I am not sure about the centre pairing - I don't know what more Tindall can offer. He had his best game for a while, but can he get better - I just don't see it.

  • Comment number 36.

    Quite simply, my best day at Twickenham ever! And the best try I've ever seen scored at Twickenham.Truly truly amazing.

    Although I don't think my Australian girlfriend enjoyed the day quite as much as I did ! :-)

  • Comment number 37.

    Rugby is a funny sport! After me criticising England last week for being one dimensional and lacking a decent running or wide game, i have been completley blown away by the transformation this week. England looked like world beaters; confident, assured, thoughtful and clinical. They ran the ball from all over the park and if the fixtures had been the other way around with Australia first, we would have seen a much tighter game against NZ the following week.
    It seems that England now have a pool of players who they will carry all the way to October 2011 and if we remain confident and play positive rugby, i seriosuly think we could be contenders in 11 months.
    Rugby is all about confidence and momentum, if we have a good 6 nations i think we will be well placed for NZ 2011.
    Lastly i just want to say how epic players like Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole, Shontane Hape, Chris Ashton and of Course Ben Youngs were yesterday. All of those guys who are young and inexperienced looked like they all had 50 caps under their belts! All mature and comfotable in that environment. Perhaps the future of English rugby isnt in such dire straits after all.
    Finally, the moment for me yesterday was not Ashtons 80m try, it was the seconds before, when Ben Youngs who pulled the ball out of the turnover on his own line, threw a wild dummy to an Aussie player and then decided England were gonna attack Australia 95 meteres out!!! What a player....

  • Comment number 38.

    Andy Hancock going the length of the field in the last minute of the 1965 Calcutta Cup to get a 3 - 3 draw.

  • Comment number 39.

    I'll grant that attitude isn't as prevalent nowadays, but I'd certainly take being 'precious' with regard to respect than seeing the levels evident in the 'round ball game'.

    ---------------------------------------------
    Hmmm I'll remember that next time a see one of you Rugby gentlemen trying to gouge someone's eye out or punching a man on the ground....

  • Comment number 40.

    Interesting comment no 23 re the referee - totally agree that he was awful and England could have won by more.
    We must make sure that the rules are not changing by stealth - the scrummage is a legitimate and effective strategy to win a rugby match and not just a way of restarting the game.

  • Comment number 41.

    As someone who doesn't have SKY, I had to be content with 3 minutes of highlights from the England game on the BBC, but boy, what highlights!

    I share the concern of others that while this performance was impressive, England still lack consistency. Until we get into the routine of winning, rather than losing, I shall reserve judgement. We have lacked confidence for so long that it's become a habit, but I am cautiously optimistic. Indeed even the glimpse of that performance I got - for a moment I couldn't tell who were Australia and who were England, the roles had been reversed! - certainly gives me hope for the future.

    PS: It was just so good to see England playing proper rugby and not the dreary "kicking game" that so long characterised English rugby union! To be the best we have to beat the best, in this case it is the southern hemisphere nations; we have to emulate the way THEY play and adapt it as much as possible.

  • Comment number 42.

    'It was just so good to see England playing proper rugby and not the dreary "kicking game" that so long characterised English rugby union! To be the best we have to beat the best, in this case it is the southern hemisphere nations; we have to emulate the way THEY play and adapt it as much as possible.'

    We won a world cup and reached two other finals by playing a kicking game based around a strong set of forwards that did not 'emulate' southern hemisphere rugby. Yes we need to play a more expansive rugby, but to completely abandon something that has proved so successful seems a bit foolish.

  • Comment number 43.

    I don't know why people were so worried about the future of English rugby anyway. We have plenty of young talent and our U20 sides have been second best only to New Zealand at the majority of world championships for the last 5 years. In other words our youth has been better than that of Australia and South Africa.

  • Comment number 44.

    "I'll grant that attitude isn't as prevalent nowadays, but I'd certainly take being 'precious' with regard to respect than seeing the levels evident in the 'round ball game'.

    ---------------------------------------------
    Hmmm I'll remember that next time a see one of you Rugby gentlemen trying to gouge someone's eye out or punching a man on the ground...."

    ---------------------------------------------

    I did grant that it wasn't as prevalent nowadays :P

  • Comment number 45.

    Two things. Number 23. "SH muppets" referreeing. Totally agree. It may be just a little conspiracy theorist but it seems to me that England get more SH (and for that matter SA) refs in the 6 nations than the other nations. Some would say that that means England are used to them but they invariably come up with something new, usually in the front row. Anyone remember the world cup final. England's front row, virtually unpenalised throughout the tourney, suddenly almost pinged off the park. I know there are differences in interpretation but there shouldn't be at this level!

    Time that place kickers take. Simple answer which can be enforced at all levels. 45 seconds (for example) after the awarding of a penalty or a try stop the clock. Nobody is penalised for taking too long over the kick but it can't be used to run down time. Should the try be awarded after video referral (rare in Old Wafflehamians 6ths games, but still) then the clock is restarted for the required amount of time and restopped.

    Sadly, living in France, I had to make do with a very workmanlike French win over Fiji for my Rugby yesterday. Average performance but a lot of inexperienced players and absolutely foul conditions. Don't write off "Lse Bleus".

  • Comment number 46.

    Another thing that got me about our change strip is that they didn't even call it what it was and that it's Black not Grey.

    It's a lot similar to when Rangers football club released an orange away kit and called it tangerine.

    But enough about the kits. A great win for England and hopefully we can continue into the acendecy up to and beyond the World Cup.

  • Comment number 47.

    Evening all!

    Amid all the euphoria of that performance I just want to mention my favourite point of the game: Chisolm picking the ball off his shoelaces and having the guts to attempt to sprint on his own! Amazing! :)

    Whilst I try not to get too carried away (im failing by the way!) it was arguably the best English performance I've ever seen. I just pray we keep it up!

  • Comment number 48.

    For info for those who are interested, the kicker has 1 minute from the award of the kick (be it a penalty or conversion attempt) to execute it.

    Law 21.4(b)

    In the case of a conversion. the kick is simply not allowed, with a penalty, a scrum is awarded to the opposing side if the time limit is exceeded.

    Bryn, I did not have live access to the game (shame for the 40 odd million English people that the BBC can only afford the other home nation games live...), did O'Connor tale more than 60 seconds on any of his kicks?

  • Comment number 49.

    Re #23 & #45 - probably a blessing that we didn't have many scrums against the Green & Gold.

    Last week with the ABs, and in a couple of weeks against the Boks we had / will have proper scrums. The Australians are very smart (to give them their due) because they're often not terrific scrummagers and IMHO game the ref to avoid getting into set-piece battles.

    Also, I believe that Andrew Sheridan has a weakness with his scrummaging - if he can't grab a handful of the opposition's shirt, he hits the deck (and gets pinged). This seems to be the case with strips that are tight-fitting.

    Anyone else have thoughts on the above?

  • Comment number 50.

    Re: NO 31) DrinkUmBungo. Johnson was asked the question in the post-match press conference about selection for the Samoa game, and he mentioned there were a few bruised and battered bodies around, and that 'we have a good squad'. So I took that to mean there might be a few changes for next week. I'd say there's a chance Hendrie Fourie may get a first start at flanker, with Moody possibly getting a rest (and a new captain - Easter?). Tindall also looked pretty shattered when he came off, so they may give Delon Armitage a run at 13 (might as well assess potential World Cup options). David Wilson could be a possible starter at tight-head too if they want to rest Cole. But MJ will want to maintain the momentum from Saturday, and they can't afford to take Samoa too lightly. The team will be announced on Wednesday this week btw.

    Re: No 48) oadbywygg1 - O'Connor did seem to take a long time, and may have gone right up to that one-minute limit, or even a shade over it. I didn't time it, but I'd be surprised if a ref ever pulled up a player over it anyway. Sometimes I think you just have to accept that some players have a routine and stick to it. Though maybe the Sky boys will put a stop-watch on him? Alas, I don't have access to the pictures either.

  • Comment number 51.

    "I'm fed up with the BBC's obsession with getting the pre-match opinions of David Campese... This guy has been rude and disrespectful towards England rugby for as long as I can remember and the only thing that ever comes out of his mouth is utter nonsense meant to antagonize and bait England players, coaching staff and supporters alike."

    Well said, number 28. Evidently, the good Mr Campese shares the (really quite boring) preoccupation of many embittered ex-colonials with their resentment of England, as if the English rugby community had anything whatever to do with their imagined grievances. Apart from his expertise being limited to threequarter play, Campo is a stirrer of fearsome reputation and is unflinchingly parochial with it. It has rubbed in no end of salt that the England side has at times seemed bent on justifying his malicious prognostications - much to his delight, I'm sure.

    Anyone who takes him any other way is being plain silly, the BBC foremost. Perhaps we spectators too should take him a little less seriously. I'm sure he has been enjoying a good laugh each time he applies the needle.

    Anyway, almost each time he applies the needle. Profound thanks to the England side for exposing his mischievous antics. My joy is complete.

  • Comment number 52.

    You guys crack me up! One win and your on the road to be Rugby World Cup Champions - give yourselves a break - Australia as seen against Wales last week are not the toughest opposition from down under. I am not sure what difference one win and one week makes, but it sure doesn't turn middle of the road mediocrity into utter brilliance, get hold of yourselves....

    Time will tell, but with Martin "the thug" Johnston at the helm,, I expect there to be some more heavy weather ahead for you guys.

    All that said I am very envious that you won yesterday and Wales couldn't do the deed. I will be travelling from the US to watch the NZ game at the Millennium Stadium in two weeks and relish the chance to get a major scalp and enjoy over exuberating the day after too.

  • Comment number 53.

    Great article Bryn, Amazing display England!

    Great to see the shackles come off so many of the England players. England played a great brand of rugby and scored two fantastically enterprizing tries. Great physical commitment that the Australians couldn't live with and skill to match.

    A mention for Martin Johnson, Having taken over England with little coaching experience and quite frankly failing to impress with some selection and post and pre match comments, I must say that with these autumn international selections and his pre and post match interveiws I'm really starting to believe he is turning the corner as the England manager along with his team!

  • Comment number 54.

    Ian, I think we have the right to be excited, we know there is still a massive difference between us and New Zeland, but beating Australia twice in a row, home and away means we should feel confident about beating them come world cup time, being 3-1 up in world cups. As for France, who knows, they decide whether they win or loose, and should be a good match for England come the six nations. Ireland seem to be on the decline and wales are out of sight at the moment. However saying that, England knows that they all love beating us, and will give that extra 10% to try, and no doubt there will be no easy six nations games, thats for sure. However, the south africa is the big one for us now. If we can beat them, and win the grand slam. England can confidently claim they are world cup challengers. Although i think we will have to bank on either france australia or south africa beating new zeland in the semis or quatres, because i just dont think england can beat them.

    The future looks bright for english rugby, but we know that its a long way to being world cup contenders.

  • Comment number 55.

    This was the first time I'd actually got myself to Twickenham to see a match, and I think I picked a good one. Fantastic game and a great atmosphere.

    People weren't booing to put the kicker off. We waited in silence each time, but he took so long that people started shouting, which then descended into booing.
    The Aussie fans should have booed him too. He was terrible. You have to feel sorry for the guy though. He probably cost his team the game.

  • Comment number 56.

    Alan, After watching England for so long playing a bland style of rugby I think England fans are some what relieved to see their side play and win with style over the number 2 ranked side in the world.

    And why not the world cup, we made the final last time and won it the time before and this time we are going to do it playing a more Welsh style of game!

  • Comment number 57.

    Who wouldn't be excited after that sort of a performance, especially after those we have had to endure in the recent past! If people are keen to point the finger when things don't go the way we want then surely we should be equally hasty to pile on the praise when they do! If we can go on now to build a consistent run of this fine form then exciting times must be around the corner.

    During a long and lonely drive home i dreamt this up.. perhaps someone might continue it for me? (i think you will know the tune...)

    They looked to our tryline and what did they see? Exploding forth to carry ball home? The aussies saw chris ashton in front of a grey* sea, surging forth to carry him home...

    *or is it black?

  • Comment number 58.

    @Ian Estephan Owen,

    You're travelling from the US to watch Wales play NZ? And you relish the chance to get a major scalp? And you think England fans need to get a hold of themselves....I trust you have other plans. Cardiff is lovely at that time of year, I recommend Christmas shopping in the numerous arcades, it is very festive.

    Besides, if Wales do pull off the miracle, if the whole country doesn't descend into a delirium of hyperbole about how they beat the All Blacks to be repeated for decades to come, I will be very, very surprised. Probably as equally surprised as I will be if they win. And I think England have a very good chance of winning the World Cup. It is likely that they'll beat Scotland and Argentina in the group. They will most likely play France in the quarter, who will be beatable, there is usually little between them and us. The semi is looking like Australia if it goes to form, and we just saw they have the beating of them currently, which would leave a final against NZ, where anything could happen.

    As unlikely as it is that anyone will beat NZ at home and it still being a year away, England fans thinking they can win the World Cup, and Johnson and his team truly believing they can win it is exciting and justified. It's what separates us from Wales, who I think as a team and a nation don't truly believe they can win it and would take a semi final as a massive success.

  • Comment number 59.

    As I said last week for me it was never about the result this weekend. Australia were the weakest of the trinations teams by a long way and always there for the beating.

    I among many other English people had to pinch myself several times throughout the match not least of all for THE TRY!!!! WOW

    For me it is after the matches against SA and the six nation teams that we will truly know if we are contenders.

    Do we have 22 world class players? (15 is not enough) Tindall has definitely risen to the task of quieting the critics but as we are all asking can he improve for next year (probably not)

    So perhaps let him enjoy his last game against SA and then blood someone new for the six nations (and the game against Samoa)

    But I have to ask again was that England?

    If any of you care to watch the match against the All blacks again you will see England started the first 20 minutes in the same vane however they knocked the ball on, missed touch, lost line-outs etc.... however they tried to play rugby but didnt succeed. Had we executed against the all blacks like we did on Saturday I would love to have seen the All Black response. I am not saying we would have or should have won but would the All blacks have reacted or would have done as usual that is you get in there faces they wither. The main reason they have not won the world cup now for such a long time they are not able to change their game plan either it works or it doesnt.

    Howaver if we beat Argentina (not guaranteed in the opening game of the world cup) I do agree that we need the all blacks to beat France. Our record against the All blacks especially in world cups is abysmal at best :)

    Cracking performance against (the best back line in the world wait isnt that the all blacks!!!!!! surely) a team that is weak at the moment. Great intent lets not make it a flash in the pan.

    The great news is it really wasnt a perfect performance far from it we kicked 4 times in the first half and 3 times the kicks were useless. We missed one certain try and several good chances for others. We cant finish from 5 metres out. We gift wrapped a try to them because of a poor line-out. Lets sort this out over the next 7 games and then yes realistically we can challenge for the world cup.

    Still smiling a try scored from under our own posts...... LOVE IT

  • Comment number 60.

    Twickers was jumping on saturday.

    I am reserving my total joy until we play the BOKs who will offer a far more physical challenge than a lightweight Aussie team.

    come on lads!

  • Comment number 61.

    As a primarily rugby league fan, it was good to see some open attacking rugby from England - particularly with 2 RL converts playing well.

    However, whilst overall it was an outstanding performance from the england team, I would say there are 2 key opportunities for improvement:- 1) if you are playing this type of game, Tindall needs to go - he was clearly shown to be too slow on a number of occasions, 2) The back 5 when playing wide need to improve their decision making - yes, Laws released Ashton once, but he and croft had several other chances to do the same, but got it wrong - if done correctly, England would have really run away with the game.

  • Comment number 62.

    The key elements that made me smile for once were

    1/ Attacking intent - we want to beat the oppo not just score more than them on the scoreboard. Taking the game to the opposition and winning is so different to hanging in there and winning.
    2/ Playing without fear - its just wonderful to see us playin with heads up and attacking with ball in hand and trusting their ability and our strengths. Its great having a strong set piece to fall back on but with Croft ,Lawes , Foden , Youngs , Cuetto and Ashton you would be mad not look to run .

    P.S Please don't make wholesale changes for Samoa. Make 1 or 2 and then if we have the game won early we can bring on 5 subs at half time .

  • Comment number 63.

    Great game and to beat the Aussies like that is a fantastic result. Lets hope we really build from here to the next world cup and that was, quite rightly, always Johnson's focus so if it comes together for then that is great.

    Only one issue what was that we were playing in !!! This is the national team not a commercial club and we have every right to expect them to play in the correct kit. We play in White at home. Frankly it is rubbish as a change kit as well. I wouldn't but it in a million years. Remember Euro 96 football when the England change kit was also grey and we were playing Germany. The crowd all went out and bought retro 1966 kit instead, the official kit suppliers missed the boat then big time. We play in White and the change kit should probably be red not some grey nonsense.

  • Comment number 64.

    We did very well against Australia - we finally played the expansive and flowing game that we used to play in the early 00's and that, with the team we have now, should be playing with on a regular basis. I'm just amazed that the formula hasn't been found until now.

    As good as we were though, and as chuffed as I am that Chris Ashton decided to switch codes from League, we need to make sure that we build on this and try and gain the consistency that we used to have. The thing about the World Cup Winning team of 2003 was that we could drill out these sorts of performances like it was second nature and I'm yet to see this from any of the sides that have played under Martin Johnson thus far. However, I would personally love to see MJ prove me wrong and for us to have a good finish to this series and a barnstorming 6 Nations in order to set us up well for the World Cup.

    World Cup favourites is ridiculously farfetched, if we'll be honest - one absolutely outstanding performance against a Southern Hemisphere side in 3 years isn't enough to consitute anywhere near that sort of title. However, if we establish ourselves as the best NH side through winning the 6 Nations, that's when I might start thinking we've got a ghost of a chance. Until then, I still back France as the NH's best shot at getting the big one - if they can maintain the same form as last season, they are shoe-ins for semi-finals, if not further.

    So, to summarise, England are still a work in progress. Like MJ said, there's still room to improve, but once the improvements are made and they start showing that they have the ability to win tournaments, that's when we can start thinking about England as contenders for the World Cup.

  • Comment number 65.

    38. At 2:02pm on 14 Nov 2010, TimB wrote:
    Andy Hancock going the length of the field in the last minute of the 1965 Calcutta Cup to get a 3 - 3 draw.
    Re: 38
    Go on BBC, be good sports, and make a clip of the Hancock try available on the web for those who, unlike fifty-somethings like TimB and me, have never seen it

  • Comment number 66.

    RE Ian 52

    I am not really sure it is fair to say any blogger has said that we can win the WC now "au contraire" most people seem like me to be keeping there fingers crossed that we continue to play the way we did Saturday and I believe almost everyone has made a comment about our need to improve....

    SA is a big game and the 6 nations tournament bigger still. If we can get a run of consistent performances who knows....

    We have to be up there as one of the favourites though given our form in world cups we have appeared in 3 of the last 5 finals

    No lets not get over excited, but, yes lets have a bit of belief :) We won Saturday partly because we expected to win.... and because the supporters expected us to win and that feeds into the dressing romm I believe giving the boys more confidence. If you notice when the crowd is nervous like against NZ so is the team.

  • Comment number 67.

    PS. was there TV in 1965.....

  • Comment number 68.

    Lord knows what lies ahead, but that's for tomorrow...for today, I'm just enjoying the result!

  • Comment number 69.

    "Cueto promptly stepped off his left foot and weaved in and out and away from all three of them. It was as if Shane Williams had put on a couple of stone, grown a few inches and materialised on the England left wing."

    Don't you dare put that lumbering useless excuse for a winger in anywhere near the same category as Shane. Cueto is not even fit to clean his boots. One run does not make a legend. Also, nice to see that the size of this blog seems to have expanded by about a million times on the back of a win for the Red Rose - pathetic.

  • Comment number 70.

    Does that comment remind anybody else of the Brittany Spears Fan

  • Comment number 71.

    nahbuh not sure if you realise but last weeks blog was bigger not sure exactly how many comments but I think around a 100

    Wales probably should have won against SA maybe that is your real frustration.

    I would think a welshman being compared to a world cup finalist was actually quite complimentary, but, enjoy winning the 6 nations the year after a world cup.... Thats when everybody else is starting to prepare for the next one.

  • Comment number 72.


    The win was brilliant but if there's a weak link in the squad I'm afraid it's Charlie Hodgson. This is not because of his ability but his temperament in big games. The replacement 10 should be Barclay who can also play Centre!

  • Comment number 73.

    I am lookomg forward to SA England clash. Must admit, as a SA fan, if England play like they did on Saturday, they will easily beat the Boks.

  • Comment number 74.

    Just awesome. Every facet of our game. The complete performance

    BUT, it will count for nothing if we do not back it up against Samoa and SA. Johnno is right. We need consistency and the ability to play with that control and intensity for 80 mins week in week out.

    It was better than the 2003 world cup final. We actually bad below par that day !

  • Comment number 75.

    For me it rivaled the performance of 2002 when we were I believe around 15 points adrift of Australia with 20 mins to go and we managed to win 32-31 a win which set up the world cup campaign. We believed after that game.

    The difference being Saturday was probably 60 minutes of excellence not 20.

    Bring on SA

  • Comment number 76.

    Well Perterkirk1, (#65) if the BBC do put together a clip of Andy Hancock's try and you want to compare it to Ashton's, keep this in mind; Ashton's seemed to be over quicker, probably because he was running faster, but he also had the sense to touch down by the posts to get the extra two points. Had Hancock done so, England may have won the match in '65!

  • Comment number 77.

    Just a quick word on the cat-calls and whistling to put off the kickers - to be fair, this was only really happening when they were taking sooooooo long to take a kick. After 90 seconds people were getting impatient, and the kicker deserved a hurry-up.

  • Comment number 78.

    Just wondering Bryan...
    if you still rate the wallabies back-line the best in the world?

  • Comment number 79.

    gavincam

    As for Bryn I don't know, but I certainly do.
    One defeat against a fired up team does not lower your status.
    Just as one win against the world's best backline doesn't make you world beaters...

  • Comment number 80.

    *Bryn* sorry.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm sorry, I'm still struggling to see how a full strength Oz backline is better than a full strength AB's backline.
    The Oz backline haven't been in particularly fine form at all this year.
    And Quade Cooper is too much of a liability himself and most teams now know to expose this.

  • Comment number 82.

    I am English and as I said earlier how can you possibly have the best back line in the world and not win games....... ?????

    It is a bit like the question of why were NZ favourites for the 2003 world cup.

    Although perhaps this comes back to the fact that the top 3 play each each twice a year earning them ranking points as somebody else pointed out.

    What is it they say lies, damn lies and statistics

  • Comment number 83.

    PS; I just found this

    Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

    Excellent

  • Comment number 84.

    What i would like to know is...
    1. How can the bbc only show highlights of the england game, yet full games for the other home nations?
    2. Why only 3 mins of highlights, surely more would be better?
    3. If they are highlights how can they not show the crunching cueto (i think) tackle of o'connor that was a fantastic display of watching the ball and man before contacting when the reciever hits the deck??

    Rant over

  • Comment number 85.

    I agree the term BBC surely implies British and therefore England no?

  • Comment number 86.

    Eexactly. i really gets me wound up. the other home nations get the chance to watch where ever they are, yet england fans have to either pay for sky or go somewhere else (usually the pub) to watch it. Not that i mind going down the pub to watch it mind you :) ...

  • Comment number 87.

    It is about the one thing I can say the French get right apart from the cheese and wine of course. Every French rugby and football match is screened on "normal" tv.

    Thank god the autumn tests are being shown here all be it on canal sat.

    Also watched the game again and I actually think apart from kicking a bit too much the aussies did play pretty well. Anyway we will know more after SA

    Also since when did we see Shane Williams tackle someone and drive them 2 metres backwards? I agree excellent timing of the tackle by cueto not quite the same a Josh Lewsey's on Mat Rogers but good none the less

  • Comment number 88.

    Re: No 38) Tim B and no 65) peterkirk1. I've asked our technical bods if they can dig the Hancock clip out of the library, so we'll see. But you can watch one of the other great Twickenham tries - Richard Sharp's against Scotland in 1963, where he sells three sumptuous dummies on the way to the line - as part of the 1960s Ruck n Roll Years package we made for the Six Nations a couple of years ago. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/7873270.stm

    And this link might also take you down memory lane for some other great Twickers tries down the years...
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/england/6437660/Twickenham-centenary-have-your-say-on-the-greatest-try-scored-at-home-of-English-rugby.html

    Re: no 69) nahbuh. You seem to have missed the point, which is that Cueto has rarely - to my mind - seemed to be the sort of winger that beats people by jinking and stepping round defenders a la Shane. But he did this not once, but at least THREE times on Sat (after 56, 61, 67 mins, and he made another break with 5 mins left). I'm not suggesting this means he ranks alongside Shane, who will go down as one of the all-time great wings of British rugby, just that it was a surprise to see Cueto exhibit those sort of qualities, which have rarely been apparent in his Test career until now.
    If you don't believe me, take a look at the full highlights again on BBC iplayer.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00w43mr/Rugby_Union_2010_2011_England_v_Australia_Highlights/

    Re: 78) gavincam and 79) hermmy. I think it's a close call between the Australia and New Zealand backlines, but the All Blacks have the advantage of having a much more stable forward platform. The Wallabies did alright with what they were given on Sat and still manufactured two great tries for Kurtley Beale which we might be talking a lot more on another day. The difference was that England's pack dominated the collisions, rucks and tackle area, so their backs had far more quick ball to work with. And boy didn't they use it well (mostly). But let's not be too quick to judge on any one game.

  • Comment number 89.

    @ Crazyjenkins01

    1) Because BBC has the rights to the other matches, while Sky has rights to the England match. Therefore the BBC can show all of the other matches but only what they have bought off Sky for the England match, presumably they (correctly) felt extended highlights would be sufficient. You may argue why the BBC wasn't showing the England matches in the first place but really once Sky set their sights on something they're pretty difficult to outbid.

    2) Just look a little closer - there are extended highlights available on BBC iPlayer, offering 50 minutes of the match which should be more than enough really. They're halfway down on the right-hand side of the main Rugby Union page.

    3) To the best of my knowledge, these highlights do include that. But I may be wrong, I watched them a couple of days ago.

  • Comment number 90.

    "Except the England side Martin Johnson led never won a match in quite this grand a manner."

    Short memories about the MJ/Sir CW era; we started the Noughties with expansive champagne rugby, flat miss passes flung across the line and the back three taking the ball at speed.

    This was never better done than at Cardiff in 2001 when Wales were put to the sword in glorious style, with Balshaw in coruscating form.

    It was only in the AIs in 2002 that we started to adopt a more conservative style, maybe as the winning streak got longer and we got more paranoid about protecting it. Certainly by RWC 2003 we had the look of a tired boxer on the ropes hanging on for the bell, falling back on experience and ring-craft to get through.

  • Comment number 91.

    2 great tries Bryn!!!!!!!!!

    1 great try yes and 1 gift wrapped, a mistake at the line out and as we know the most dangerous ball is turn over ball.

  • Comment number 92.

    Re Aus v NZ backlines

    I think Australia have the best "exploiters" of space, for want of a better term. They regularly manufacture a try out of a 5-on-5 situation, which no other teams seem able to do. They are a mxiture of highly talented and well drilled.

    The ABs have a simpler, more physical approach and rely heavily on overlaps created by several phases of battering, as well as counter-attacks exploiting disorganised defences. Having said that, they have Carter who is more Australian in style: he is able to create space.
    They also now have SB Williams, who really does add an extra dimension to their game.

    So yes, for the mo I would still go for Aus, but after a few more games with SBW, maybe NZ would sneak it for me.

  • Comment number 93.

    @89 Un9nventivename,

    Cheers for that, i'll have a look when i get home from work!

  • Comment number 94.

    BTW average of 1 minute and 10 seconds per kick on the penalties so illegal time. Hence the boos and whistles

  • Comment number 95.

    and about 40 seconds for the English penalties

  • Comment number 96.

    Re: 84) Crazyjenkins01 and 85) JonSouthern. Thanks to 89) Uninventivename for his explanation on why we can't show the England games live. I can also give you this more official response from the BBC's Head of TV Sport:
    "The BBC does its best to cover as much high profile live sport as possible. But the sports rights market is extremely competitive, and we simply cannot afford everything. We have to spend the money provided by the licence fee very carefully.
    "We were able to secure live TV deals with Wales, Ireland and Scotland for their autumn internationals, and a highlights deal with the RFU for England's matches. Sky renewed their longstanding deal for live England matches in the autumn.
    "We still think this collection of rights provides good value for rugby fans on the BBC; and it is worth noting that almost as many watched our England v Australia highlights programme on BBC3 on Saturday as watched it live on Sky; and then the audience for the BBC2 Sunday repeat of those highlights was watched by over double the size of the live match audience."

    As already mentioned, you can watch the full (50 mins) highlights on BBCiplayer. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00w43mr/Rugby_Union_2010_2011_England_v_Australia_Highlights/

    Re: No 91) The Holy Hooker. Fair point, England did play some great rugby in 2001 and 2002, when Brian Ashton was in charge of the backs. The 2001 game in Cardiff you mention, the 'Balshaw Ballet' against France at Twickenham the same year and the 31-28 win over the All Blacks in 2002 are all stand-out games from that period. And the 2003 win in Melbourne before the World Cup was probably that side's most complete display. I'd argue though that they had the advantage of an all-conquering pack, which set the platform for those backs to flourish. England's forwards also played a blinder on Sat, but the game has changed massively, and I've never seen an England side - even in the SCW era - play that sort of counter-attacking rugby with such elan.

  • Comment number 97.

    A really top shelf performance. Now lets not make our classic mistake and get swallowed up in an orgy of self congratulation that makes us get ahead of ourselves, lose perspective, and irritate most of our main competitors into bringing us back down to earth. This was a very good win, played in style, when we beat a talented but inconsistent side at home in November, scoring two tries in 80min. If we keep playing well, we'll be right in there come world cup time with a 6 nations title under the belt and an effective and soul enhancing style of play. Ashton's second was an excellent score, good instincts, quick hands and fine lines run by a natural finisher. It was not one of the great tries, but it was very, very good and one feels there are more like that on the way. Let's beat Africa and go to NZ as a team capable of beating anyone, but still hungry to find that extra edge against the top couple of sides.

  • Comment number 98.

    Bryn,

    understandably the BBC can't afford everything, but i for one still believe home nation matches like this should be available to every home nation supporter to watch, not JUST sky subscribers, but i do see what you are saying and much as it goes against the grain for me there obviously needs to be a balance between costs for the BBC.
    Thanks for the link, 50 mins is longer and much better that the 3 ive seen (my maths is great isnt it?!) so that will help ease the pain of having to yet again (graon) go down the pub (groan) have a few beers with the boys (massive groan) and watch England triumph over Somoa! :)

  • Comment number 99.

    A great, promising performance.

 

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