Wallabies seal series win in Brisbane

So much is at stake for Australia and England as they meet in the second meeting of the three-game tour at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

For the Wallabies, who claimed the spoils in the opening clash, they are looking to seal a series victory and start their Test season in the best possible way. It would represent a superb result against a country they have fought against since Eddie Jones took charge of the Red Rose.

In eight successive matches they have barely come close, but in Perth on July 2, 2022 they finally ended six years of frustration. This was despite there being just 14 men left in the second half as they physically bullied England into earning a 1-0 lead before the second international.

It’s a sign that Australia is growing under the leadership of Dave Rennie, who has made incremental improvements since taking the reins in 2020, but also that tourists are falling back a lot with Jones still at the helm.

His job isn’t on the line at the moment, with the RFU backing their man and oddly insisting this team is getting better, but you wonder if enough dissenting voices could lead to change if those pretty appalling performances turn out to be. continue.

It must be so frustrating for England fans to see a talented team not playing to their potential, a problem that has existed since the end of the 2019 World Cup.

Jones once again changed the squad in an attempt to find the right formula, with Tommy Freeman and Guy Porter making their debuts and talented young scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet taking over for Danny Care, but perhaps the ‘Australian is not the right man. After?

The England boss continues to change things, from players to coaches, but at some point there has to be progress. With Australia in the know after a lackluster first half last weekend and improving their squad with the addition of Taniela Tupou, the Wallabies will imagine themselves inflicting more misery on the English.

They have an extremely powerful backline, with Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete and Hunter Paisami all excellent ball carriers, and with the visitors downsizing behind the scrum by knocking out Joe Cokanasiga, the home side will look to be direct one more time.

What happened during the first test

England must have regretted their inability to turn their dominance and power play into points as Australia came away with a 30-28 victory. The Red Rose controlled the first half and also had the advantage of seeing Wallaby lock Darcy Swain off for a header, but they could only enter the break level at 6-6. Although there were just 14 men left and Ellis Genge made the jump for the Red Rose early in the second half, the hosts dominated the final quarter and scored three tries through Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga’a and Pete Samu. It sealed an impressive win and took them 1-0 up in the series, although Henry Arundell and Van Poortvliet landed late for the tourists.

what they said

Australia head coach Rennie expects both teams to improve this weekend after an error-ridden first half in the opening Test match in Perth.

“We felt like we had our toes in the water in that first half, the guys understood better the lift and the intensity required at this level,” he said.

“I expect England to be better too, so it should be one hell of a game.”

Rennie also discussed Swain’s red card and believes players, coaches and officials learned from the incident and what potentially led to the lock’s reaction to Jonny Hill’s antics.

“It’s surprising that the first offense, the push to the face, was quite aggressive and was not seen by any official,” he said.

“Maybe if that had been the case, it would have been sorted out and Darcy wouldn’t face justice. Everyone’s awareness is a little clearer on that now.

England boss Jones insists debutants Freeman and Porter are ready for the rigors of Test Rugby after being named to start the second Test.

“We believe this is the future of the team and we believe these players are ready,” he said. “We always try to make sure the young players are ready to play and we think Guy and Tommy are ready to play.

“We’ve made some changes to the backline looking to give the way we play a bit more punch. We felt we didn’t take chances as they prevailed against Australia in the last game.

“Porter plays with a lot of punch, he takes the line and he places himself well between the defenders. The way Australia defends itself must be able to do that.

“Freeman finds the ball. We wanted our back three to be more in the game last weekend and we think Freeman is the type of guy who can find the ball.

“Both are balanced, they get along well. They have trained very well since we got them. »

Players to watch

After a superb second-half performance, Australia kept much of the squad in place, but it’s interesting to see Paisami Hunter returns in place of Len Ikitau. The Brumbies center has a calf injury which means the Reds man has a chance to return to the XV. Paisami had a stellar first season in Wallaby gold but struggled in 2021 and was later dropped by Rennie. However, the talented full-back has continued to perform in Super Rugby and the head coach will hope he has learned from last season’s disappointment.

Its partnership with Samu Kerevi will be vital. As a combination it’s not one that particularly offers variety but to some extent that may not matter. Australia achieved success by being direct and driving their heavy hitters over the win line. Kerevi led the way in this regard and he was followed by people like Rob Valetini, Rob Leota and replacement Pete Samu.

The England midfield defense struggled to cope while there were also gaps around the ruck which were exploited by the hosts’ forwards. If it happened again, and this time for 80 minutes, it would be a long evening for tourists. Anthony Seibold has always seemed like an odd date and there has certainly been a dip in efforts from the Red Rose off the ball.

Jones hopes the English born but Australian raised Guy Porter can plug some of those holes after a great season for Leicester Tigers. As the head coach puts it, Porter is “tough,” renowned for his work ethic and never backs down, but he’s also smart. He is also an excellent defender, but one wonders if he has the physical qualities to play at the highest level.

Some may cite someone like Conrad Smith, whose organizational skills later in his career replaced the need for a running threat at 13, but the All Black great was also a superb playmaker and liaison man. Doubts remain over whether Porter can offer those traits to a struggling backline.

One player with no shortage of speed is fellow debutant Northampton Saints Tommy Freeman. After a try, Jones appears to have abandoned his philosophy of having at least one killer behind the scrum by dropping Cokanasiga and bringing in the larger fleet of Freeman feet. Able to play as a full-back or on the wing – where he is based on Saturday – the youngster is an exciting runner who takes good lines and is very difficult to contain in space.

Main one-on-one

We were denied this battle in November due to Covid and injuries but on Saturday Taniela Tupou and Ellis Genge will – hopefully – figure it out. They have become key cogs in their respective packs, both in their set-piece work and free-range efforts, and are among the world’s leading players in their positions.

Tupou is a force of nature and impresses every time he is on the pitch. Often used as an impact player off the bench, the Reds tighthead will start this weekend and be a top ball carrier for the Wallabies. He is also a good scrum, although the prop still needs technical improvement, and will look to press an English free-kick that faltered in the second half last week.

Genge had the upper hand over Allan Alaalatoa but the latter’s injury arguably proved to be a blessing in disguise for the hosts as James Slipper, despite not being in position, consolidated the front line. He did a magnificent job of neutralizing the threat from powerhouse Leicester and Tupou will now look to gain dominance up front.

If they do, it’s curtains for England, given what the Wallabies managed to do with the ball from the front foot in the first Test. Genge, who had a good game for the Red Rose last weekend, still needs to step up his efforts in Brisbane. It’s a big ask for him to send Tupou back in gear, but he needs to at least get parity if the tourists are to stay in the contest.

Prediction

Adding Tupou will make Australia stronger as we don’t know exactly what England are trying to achieve with some of their changes. So that points to another win for the Wallabies, especially if they can keep 15 players on the pitch. Australia by 10 points.

Previous results

2022: Australia won 30-28 in Perth
2021: England won 32-15 in London
2019: England won 40-16 in Oita
2018: England won 37-18 in London
2017: England won 30-6 in London
2016: England won 37-21 in London
2016: England won 44-40 in Sydney
2016: England won 23-7 in Melbourne
2016: England won 39-28 in Brisbane

The teams

Australia: 15 Jordan Petaia, 14 Tom Wright, 13 Hunter Paisami, 12 Samu Kerevi, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Noah Lolesio, 9 Nic White, 8 Rob Valetini, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 Rob Leota, 5 Cadeyrn Neville, 4 Matt Philip , 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 David Porecki, 1 Angus Bell
Replacements: 16 Folau Fainga’a, 17 Scott Sio, 18 James Slipper, 19 Nick Frost, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Jake Gordon, 22 James O’Connor, 23 Izaia Perese

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Tommy Freeman, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes (c), 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Ollie Chessum, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Jack Willis, 22 Danny Care, 23 Henry Arundell

Date: Saturday July 9
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
To start up: 8:00 p.m. local (11:00 a.m. BST, 10:00 a.m. GMT)
Arbitrator: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Williams (New Zealand), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

READ MORE: Five scenarios to follow in the second Tests, including South Africa’s selection and Ireland’s response

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