Sun, Jun 27, 2004 - Page 24 News List

Australia beats England


Australia's Clyde Rathbone scores during the first half against England at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Saturday.


Last-minute starter Clyde Rathbone scored three tries yesterday as Australia broke a five-game losing streak against England with a 51-15 win over the Rugby World Cup champions.

The South African-born Rathbone was a late substitution for winger Wendell Sailor, who suffered a hamstring injury in the pregame warmup. Jeremy Paul, who only passed a fitness test earlier Saturday for an injured knee, scored two second-half tries and Lote Tuquiri added the sixth for the Wallabies.

Flanker Richard Hill and captain Lawrence Dallaglio scored England's tries, the team's first of its Southern Hemisphere tour after 36-12 and 36-3 losses to New Zealand.

"We took the opportunities when they came," Wallaby captain George Gregan said. "We've certainly been on the wrong end of the scoreline for the past four years, so it was good."

Man-of-the match Joe Roff, with 21 points after kicking eight of 11 attempts, put Australia ahead 6-0 with penalty goals in the fifth and 11 minutes, but Charlie Hodgson brought England back to within three points 10 minutes later.

That was the closest England came all night.

"We have had a very tough tour, well-beaten in three games," said Dallaglio during trophy presentations to Australia for the Cook Cup.

"We made a lot of mistakes tonight, and they made us pay for them. We have to take stock and go back and not panic," he said.

Roff said it was an enjoyable evening.

"The preparation this week was spot on," said Roff, ``and just to come out and play the way we did ... it was great to be a part of.

"The quality of the ball we got from up front was great. We were able to use that and the guys on the wings scored a some tries. It was a lot of fun."


* Australia 51 (Clyde Rathbone 3, Jeremy Paul 2, Lote Tuqiri tries; Joe Roff 5 penalties, 3 conversions) def. England 15 (Richard Hill, Lawrence Dallaglio tries, Charlie Hodgson penalty, conversion)

* New Zealand 41 (Mose Tuiali'i, Tana Umaga, Joe Rokocoko, Sam Tuitupou, Mils Muliaina tries; Andrew Mehrtens 5 conversions, 2 penalties) def. Argentina 7 (Federico Aramburu try; Hernan Senillosa conversion)

Hill piled over in the corner after a pass from winger Ben Cohen 12 minutes before the break. It left Australia with a 16-8 lead after the conversion was missed.

Rathbone, 22, put the home side up 21-8 with his second try just 15 seconds before halftime after some slick passing from Roff.

New Zealand 41, Argentina 7

Flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens scored 16 points with an impeccable kicking display yesterday as New Zealand beat Argentina 41-7 in a one-off rugby union international.

The 68-test veteran, starting a test for the first time in two years, kicked two penalties and converted New Zealand's five tries to flatter an unimpressive All Blacks performance.

No. 8 Mose Tuiali'i scored New Zealand's first try in the fifth minute of his debut test and Sam Tuitupou scored another in his first run-on appearance for New Zealand.

Speedster Joe Rokocoko scored his fifth try in three tests this season, his 22nd in a 15-match career, while captain Tana Umaga crossed for his 28th test try in his 56th appearance.

Mils Muliaina added New Zealand's final try 15 minutes before fulltime and Mehrtens' conversion -- his seventh goal from as many attempts -- took his record points tally for New Zealand to 948.

Argentina proved a much tougher obstacle for New Zealand than was predicted after the All Blacks this month completed a two-test sweep of world champion England to restore their No. 1 world ranking.

"It was messy, a tough night at the office," said New Zealand coach Graham Henry.

"I think we'll be better off for that, we've learned a bit about ourselves," he said. "Argentina played well and put a lot of pressure on us but there were some positives."

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