Owen Farrell yesterday scored 24 points as England beat the Wallabies 39-28 in a thrilling Test in Brisbane.
The 11-point win was the first ever by England in Brisbane and ensures the visitors head into next weekend’s second Test with all the momentum.
The Wallabies scored four tries to three, but were second best for much of the game and were fortunate to get as close as they did.
Farrell kicked six penalties and three conversions in a near-faultless display in front of 48,700 fans at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
England, who led 29-13 midway through the second half, almost let the match slip as Australia came storming back to get within four points at 32-28.
However, they held firm, and when replacement winger Jack Nowell crossed in the 80th minute, the visitors were able to celebrate taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series for the Cook Cup.
A win looked far from likely after Australia launched a ferocious attack in the opening few minutes, resulting in tries to flanker Michael Hooper and fullback Israel Folau.
England could barely get their hands on the ball and found themselves 10-0 down after only 10 minutes of play.
However, England finally got some possession midway through the half and were able to tighten the play up and string some phases together.
They were rewarded for their efforts when the Wallabies were penalized right in front and Farrell kicked a simple penalty.
He got his second minutes later to make it 10-6, but England were lucky not to fall further behind when Foley sprinted 40m to score.
However, after a replay, referee Romain Poite ruled that Rory Arnold had obstructed Luther Burrell in the lead-up and penalized the home side.
England kicked deep and, when the Wallabies infringed again at the breakdown, Farrell added the three points to get to within a point of the Wallabies.
England were right back in the contest and they hit the lead after Folau threw a poor pass to nobody inside his 22.
Jonathan Joseph toed ahead and, when Tevita Kuridrani could not collect, Joseph gathered the ball to cross out wide. Farrell converted to make it 16-10.
Foley closed the gap with a penalty, but Farrell kicked his fourth right on halftime to send the visitors into the break six points clear.
They started the second half as they finished the first, full of running against a flustered home side.
They were rewarded when Marland Yarde scored. Farrell’s conversion made it 26-13 five minutes after the restart.
England were dominating and Australia were rocked when front-rower Scott Sio, who was under enormous pressure from Dan Cole in the scrum, was yellow-carded for persistently bringing the scrum down.
A fifth Farrell penalty made it 29-13, but the Wallabies hit back, with Hooper crossing in the corner for his second to close the gap to 11 points.
Farrell opened the gap with his sixth penalty and a first win seemed certain as the visitors led 32-18.
However, with nine minutes to go, the Wallabies were in again when Kuridrani barged over. Foley’s conversion made it 32-25 to England.
A Foley penalty closed the gap to 32-28, but England held firm for a famous victory.
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