England play New Zealand next week and are out of the running for a top seeding for the 2015 World Cup draw, meaning the tournament hosts could be drawn in the same group as the All Blacks, Springboks or Wallabies.
Australia took a commanding 19-point lead in Florence through Nick Cummins’ try and kicks by Berrick Barnes and Kurtley Beale, but would have come away with only a draw had Luciano Orquera not missed a last-minute penalty.
The Wallabies visit Wales next weekend and are the only one of the Tri-Nations powers to have lost this month, against France in the opening round of matches.
Ireland ended their longest losing run in 14 years with a surprisingly big win over Argentina, with Test debutant Craig Gilroy scoring the first of the team’s seven tries.
Even though Argentina scored two tries in the last four minutes, Ireland finished with their highest score and biggest win over the Pumas.
Elsewhere, Fiji beat Georgia 24-19 in Tbilisi and the US overwhelmed Romania 34-3 in Bucharest.