Crucial Decisions Hurt Wallabies at Twickenham

20 Nov 2017
Crucial Decisions Hurt Wallabies at Twickenham

The Qantas Wallabies have had their winning run ended in a controversial showdown with England on a rain-soaked Twickenham Stadium in London.

England scored three tries in the final eight minutes to blow out the final scoreline to 30-6, however the game had taken a dramatic turn after a potentially match-levelling try to Marika Koroibete in the 70th minute was disallowed for an obstruction.

Trailling 13-6 after a tight first half and a try to England winger Elliot Daly in the 55th minute, the Wallabies looked to have broken through when Koroibete  spun over the line in the clutches of English flanker Chris Robshaw and tried to muscle the ball down.

Referee Ben O'Keeffe went upstairs to the TMO to check grounding and a possible obstruction, and after several inconclusive looks at the grounding ruled that replacement Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore had prevented Robshaw from making a clear tackle with both arms.

That ruling proved to be a major turning point in the contest, as the match slid away from the Wallabies from there after England pounced to score their own five-pointer through centre Jonathan Joseph two minutes later.

The home side added another two tries in the final two minutes to run out 24-point winners in front of a typically boisterous Twickenham crowd.

The men in gold had failed to turn a weight of possession into points in an intense first half and went into the dressing rooms 6-0 down thanks to penalty goals to Owen Farrell in the seventh and 34th minutes.

Adding to their woes, the Wallabies lost skipper Michael Hooper to the sin bin in the 34th minute and were down to thirteen men when Kurtley Beale was ruled to have made a deliberate knock-down on a loose England pass on the stroke of half time.

The Aussies weathered the storm while two men down without conceding points, and a trademark long range penalty goal strike from Reece Hodge eventually broke the shackles for the visitors nine minutes into the second half.

Then, from a chance from broken play created by Samu Kerevi, who split the English line, came heartbreak as moments later England were in for a try at the other end of the ground.

After Kerevi sliced through on a kick return, a Tevita Kuridrani mistake allowed Ben Youngs to clear the ball downfield and winger Elliott Daly was rewarded for his chase as he reached the ball before the Wallabies backs could get there, toeing it ahead again to score an opportunistic try.

That try was not without debate either, as Youngs' kick dribbled close to the sideline before Daly reached it and was viewed several times by the TMO before the try was eventually awarded. 

A Bernard Foley penalty goal in the 64th minute put the Australians back within a converted try, but thats as close as they would get after Koroibete's strong effort was ruled a no try with only ten minutes left on the game clock.

England's final three tries all came from kicks. Danny Care found space in behind the Wallabies line with a perfectly placed kick for Joseph to slide over in the 72nd minute.

Then it was Care again who kicked for Jonny May, this time on the right side of the field in the 79th minute. May returned the favour a minute later, regathering his own kick and finding Care on his outside to score in the corner to make it 30-6 at full time.

The Qantas Wallabies will conclude their Spring Tour campaign against Scotland next Saturday 25 November at Murrayfield Stadium (Sunday 1.30am AEDT)

7 min: Owen Farrell pen AUS 0-3 ENG
34 min: Owen Farrell pen AUS 0-6 ENG
49 min: Reece Hodge pen AUS 3-6 ENG
55 min: Elliot Daly try, Owen Farrell con AUS 3-13 ENG
64 min: Bernard Foley pen AUS 6-13 ENG
72 min: Jonathan Joseph try, Owen Farrell con AUS 6-20 ENG
79 min: Jonny May try AUS 6-25 ENG
80 min: Danny Care try AUS 6-30 ENG

England 30 (Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May, Danny Care tries; Owen Farrell 2 cons; 2 pens) defeated Australia 6 (Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley pens)