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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Australia overcome England at the Subiaco Oval

Australia overcome England at the Subiaco Oval

The Wallabies beat England 27-17 in Perth yesterday as the tourists went in the first of their two Tests against Australia. Quade Cooper scored twice for the hosts, while England picked up two penalty tries.

Australia got to a 14-0 halftime lead after tries from Rocky Elsom and Quade Copper set them on their way. Cooper, looking solid at number 10 once again, scored a second later on as he linked with Digby Ioane.

The most inexperienced front row in almost 30 years turned out for the Wallabies, which eventually resulted in referee Nigel Owens frustrating with him yellow carding Solesi Maafu and awarding England two penalty tries.

The host managed to soak up the resultant pressure and extended their lead with late penalties from Cooper and James OConnor.

England skipper Lewis Moody said: "We stuck at it and got on top but we have to work on our game before the second Test next week."

Coach Martin Johnson admitted that he gave his side a severe dressing down after a game in which they dominated the Australian scrum, but couldnt produce much else.

"I think this is as harsh as I have ever been with them. I said to the players that we should be pretty angry with ourselves.

"If you give it a decent shot and get beaten that is one thing, but we aided them too much and it is pretty disappointing. We made it too easy for the opposition," he said.

"It was a big effort in the second half to grind our way back into the game... but we have to get better and we can't expect to get two penalty tries every week."

The two sides meet again next weekend in Sydney.


Time: 04:28

Posted at 1:58 pm | 52 comments

Viewing 52 comments

Boycott June 13, 2010 12:39 pm

Cooper, incredible.

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Madflyhalf June 13, 2010 12:52 pm

It seemed like England didn't know what to do with the ball in hands...

Ruck, pick'n'go, ruck... slow down mate we're old and tired, pick up and do a ruck... another ruck...

And when Pococok is in the ruck = turnover

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poccio June 13, 2010 12:53 pm

australia is looking really good in the backs thanks to quade cooper who is amazing but they really got to sort out the scrummaging 'cause it was pretty disgarceful

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poccio June 13, 2010 12:55 pm

i meant disgraceful

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 1:02 pm

Really disgraceful

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Adam Johnson June 13, 2010 1:09 pm

Johnno did say it takes more than the scrum to win a match...and it does.
It takes actual brains, dynamic rucking, fast ball, intelligent backs running good angles, and actual intelligence from the players themselves.
I'm geniunely worried Johnno is treating his team like an NFL team, where everything is organised and moves planned with meticulous accuracy. That's not how rugby works. You need player autonomy. IT's depressing, as so so SO many good English players have come into the England setup, and left again completely lacking in confidence and unable to play off the cuff. IT's soul-destroying to watch.

I think the only thing it will take is either a mass player revolt or players refusing to play for England anymore. I know that sounds extreme, but it's the only way English rugby will actually get back on its feet. Hell, even bring back Brian Asthon! At least he allowed players some autonomy, and gave them freedom to play what they saw in front of them.

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Alexander June 13, 2010 1:49 pm

England slow the game down. That's their style, and a strength they should play to. The pick and go is fine. I believe if they'd stuck to it and left out the backs, they may have had another try. However, it's a risky approach; its predictable, and relies on you being more powerful than the opposition consistently (not the case). Also, with a narrow minded approach like that, you encourage big fat boys lacking fitness, and so can have rings run around them by the opposition. England's style can only work against outfits other than NZ and AUS, France and SA! Otherwise they're outclassed!!

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Iceman! June 13, 2010 2:06 pm

As an Englishman that first half was depressing. Love watching the Australian backline play, except when its against you! Mitchell, Cooper and O'Connor were all class.

England showed very little inventiveness or go forward. I blame a lot of this on some of our experienced forwards who were driven backwards because they were not aggressive enough - Simon Shaw and Nick Easter case in point. In fact Easter was just crap all round. The other major issue is Danny Care, he's just so slow in his passing and has no rugby brain. Ben Youngs was great when he came on, he gave some flat passes that actually got England making yards and looking decent.

I am a Leicester fan and biased, but Youngs and Crane have to start for me next week. Crane always makes yards and has a good offloading game and Ben Youngs is the future English 9 for the next decade.

Just keep Haskell away from the pitch. That moron is beyond useless.

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 2:31 pm

i think we should go with ben youngs, he may not be the finished article, but currently i think he's better than danny care.

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Xavier June 13, 2010 2:59 pm

What do we want? That oaf Easter out of the starting xv and Haskell in his place! When do we want it? NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 3:23 pm

Really disappointing show from Hape, expected some good things from him but he just seemed to stand there & allow Aus past without even trying to tackle & when he did it was poor.

Cooper & O'Connor were immense, Englands game just never seemed to flow & they depended too much on the power of their scrum rather than picking up the pace & running with the ball-Easter in particular, I'd like to see Hask given a shot at 8, I think hes got potential & he cant be any worse!

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vinniechan June 13, 2010 3:26 pm

I have sympathy for Care to be honest. England has been ruining young promising scrum halves for the past 2 years (Ellis, Wigglesworth now Care. That 2 year period also coincide with the rein of Gob Andrew and Johnno). I really hope we won't break Youngs as well. We need some common sense in our play. Fourie du Preez moves the ball away whether it came out hot, cold, under a pile of bodies, on the deck or up in the air. We need common sense restored NOW!!

On the bright side, I think our back 3 (if Cueto doesn't get banned. He's been our Josh Lewsy II and bailed us out of trouble the whole season) and Tom Palmer should retain their shirts.
Haskell can be a little hot headed but it certainly is unfair to call a tool when he played openside?! Haskell must start. Crane is a little one paced but he certainly has more firepower. We can move Haskell to 8 in place of Easter, or Crane to number 8 with Haskell at 6. Not that Croft has done much wrong, but we really need to sharpen our teeth.

June 13, 2010 5:13 PM

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 5:42 pm

It was an absolute bore watching England when they had the ball. It's like they didn't know what to do with it! One forward would receive the ball, stand still and get hammered. Their scrum was immense, but Oz's was incredible weak and pathetic. Something has got to change. England needs someone to inject some ingenuity/creativity into their brand of rugby.

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 5:52 pm

Cooper is one fukin hell of a good player.

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Jeff June 13, 2010 5:53 pm

These results for the NH are getting humiliating.

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 6:03 pm

OZ had no scrum, i expected that sort of destruction by England before the match.

England were terrible in the first half with only one man chasing kicks and woeful breakdown defence... both of which led to breaks by the elusive Aussie runners. The first try they were streched after noone chased the kick except Ashton and Mitchell opened England up like a can of sardines...Good finishing but simple by AUS

Second try was awful breakdown defence and a good scissors.

Third try was ABYSMAL defence they were mismatched in numbers (SCHOOLBOY) and then good pass by Cooper into space Ioane ran and offloaded.

In terms of ENG defence shocking. In terms of AUS attack simple but effective..

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mark June 13, 2010 6:26 pm

I wonder if England think they'll do well in the World Cup net year using only 9.5 (Flood was never really in the game) players instead of 15. Their unwillingness to use their backs is what cost them this game. And Martin Johnson's indecisiveness to make substitutions is paralyzing.

What a disappointing match, since England were the only NH side to make it through the first quarter of the match without getting completely dominated. That gave me a false sense of hope, it turns out.

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 6:26 pm

oz will have a scrum come world cup they had a strong scrum in november just a lot of injuries!! but atleast they play with invention and pace hate that they are in irelands pool next year i would put money on them getting to semis at least if not throwing the hat in to win it!!

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 6:34 pm

Looks like there is a big psychology issue when NH is playing against SH. SH doesn't win the games, but NH loses them. France: worst 15 min ever, Ireland: playing 13vs15. SH just has to wait for the mistakes to happen, that's ridiculous.

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tourist June 13, 2010 6:48 pm

I would've stuck Wilkinson on the pitch at half time for sure. Flood made absolutely no effort to get the ball out to his backs, and the only time England made it up the field seemed to be either a) penalty kicks into touch after winning scrums or b) their backs making runs up the field (like it's supposed to be). Wilkinson may have actually demanded the ball a bit better.

Any time the forwards though they were Munster and tried to muscle the ball over the try-line, it was only a matter of time until OZ turned it over (unless England were lucky enough to get a scrum and turn it into a penalty try).

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Prop#3 June 13, 2010 9:13 pm

If I was one of the front row, I'd probably have killed most of the backline by now...

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iceman! June 13, 2010 9:19 pm

I cannot believe people on here claiming Haskell should be in fo Easter. Yes Easter was beyond crap, but Haskell was insultingly shit when he came on. Three carries and got turned over twice, and gave away a needless penalty. Great athlete, no brain. Jordan Crane or even WardSmith should have a run.

Ben Youngs must start now. He was so much quicker in his service. And I'd go for Lawes as well - he actually carried aggressively, instead of just leaning as Simon Shaw seemed to do.

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Anonymous June 13, 2010 9:22 pm

Well done to australia....I wouldn't say this result is humaliating.....the game for england was fairly embarrassing, but the result...well its 10 points difference....

Its a loss, and a bad loss but I think it could have been a lot lot worse for england.

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alex June 13, 2010 9:55 pm

i think the problem england has was we were very 1 dimensional. we dominated in the forwards but lacked invention in the back. personally i blame the selection of hape and tindall, they are both to similar a player and offer one option only which is route 1 rugby up the jumper and up the middle of the park. if tindall plays 13 then you need a playmaking 12 looking to play off of 13 and release the back 3 into space to attack. if hape plays 12 then you need a dynamic 13 such as tait who is going to look to get out wide into space and again bring the back 3 into the game in attack. we need to sort our tackling out as well. 48 missed tackles is too much for an international side

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roger June 13, 2010 11:10 pm

alex, how can you blame the backs when the ball almost never got out to them? Tindall make some great runs, so I'd say keep him. But Martin Johnson needs to tell his team to pass the ball.

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T June 13, 2010 11:18 pm

The contrast between the English ruck and the Australian ruck is unbelievable.

Aussie ball was hardly on the ground for 2 seconds before the forwards clear it out, cooper lets everyone know whats happening and the scrum half gets the ball away.

England on the other hand... it seems as if they are made to play slow. Firstly they need to get rid of the damn dinosaurs in the pack. Experience is all well and good, but they aren't experienced in the game that is played today, whereas the aussie's aged are.

The southern hemisphere teams hardly have 'fowards' and 'backs' anymore; they have 1 team. England have almost a wall between forwards and backs.

Also, Quade Cooper is just magic...

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birdflu June 13, 2010 11:42 pm

Not a bad game from a neutral pov.

I thought OZ defence was amazing especially on their own tryline. Their commitment to the rucks was great too. Burgess did an awesome job at scrumhalf.

England's backs were pretty much non existant.

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Anonymous June 14, 2010 1:02 am

Could England be any less dynamic......I mean really, clubs here in the states ask more questions of defence than that.

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Ziggy June 14, 2010 2:41 am

I don't think England has to "get rid of those dinosaurs in the pack". The pack was the one thing England had going for them. Did you see the pitiful Aussie scrum? Most of that was probably inexperience, but while the Aussie commentators pointed out that the avg. age of the England side was close to 30 - that experience paid off in the forwards.

The place England need to work on is the defense and getting the ball out wide. Sort that out, and I think they could've taken Australia on in a bit more formidable fashion.

Oh, and I'm from the US, too - don't kid yourself in saying our clubs could've put up more of a defense. I've seen the Eagles and Eagles Select XV play...compared to these national sides, our defense is.....well, lacking.

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granite June 14, 2010 2:43 am

Just checking for those who are saying the Aussie scrum is rubbish: It is, but we are also missing our entire first choice front row to injury.
I'd say our scrum would have held its ground if our front men weren't injured.

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goodNumber10 June 14, 2010 4:58 am

got to say as much as I'd love to defend England there is just nothing to defend.

Terrible, terrible performance.

If anyone's club team played like that you'd drop half the team and beast them in training.

The simple fact of it is these guys are under no pressure to perform by a group of coaches who do not understand international rugby any more, all these guys play in dynamic club teams so we know they can play fast rugby but they obviously feel their places are safe and they have lost all pride in playing for their country.

They literally don't deserve to wear the white shirt, and if i was one of them I'd refuse to play under these coaches any more.

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vinniechan June 14, 2010 5:20 am

Ziggy, the only thing the English pack beat the Aussie pack was scrummaging. Outside the scrum, we had nothing: our pack couldn't suck in any defenders, gain any quick balls or get any yard. The Aussies every time they carried the ball they put us on the back feet. How can we even say the English were dominate?

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Dan June 14, 2010 6:12 am

quade cooper in my opinion has been the best form 10 in the world to date.(this comming from someone who's fav player is Dan Carter) ive never seen anything like his stepping and passing. once will guinea returns watch out for Oz to win the tri nations

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Madflyhalf June 14, 2010 8:15 am

I'm not an England fan, but...
Where is Will Skinner and Jordan Crane?
Where is Abendanon?

Foden is still a great attacking fullback in broken play, but tactically he is a suicide, 4/10 he attacks the wrong side (the side where the kick cames), and 3 of that four he loses the ball or get stopped immediatly!

Should we talk about Hape??!
Bring Wilkison 10 and Flood 12!

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Nick June 14, 2010 9:08 am

Easter is a big useless lump. I think it was summed up by one ruck that England took the ball into. He just stood around looking disinterested and then when they tunred the ball over he went in at the side...in front of the ref.

I'm happy to use the pick and go game if it's dynamic, but ours isn't, it's slow and predicatable. Most teams know how this works and it's fairly apparent as we kept going backwards when we used it.

In fairness to the backs, I though Hape had a decent defensive game and it was good to see tindall looking for work. Although they weren't he most exciting combo I think it's more secure than Tate or Barkley.

Here's the one problem with the England management, why do they have to move players out of ther natural positions. Hape is a naturally and outside centre, so we play him inside. Lawes is a 2nd row but the management want him as a back row player I just don't get it.

Youngs was great, a real injection of pace. I can understand the comments about replacing flood, but think back to the 6N, Wilkinson was usually so fair behind the gain line he was nearly on another pitch. I really don't think it's the 10's fault, it's all to formulaic so it must be the management.

I guess the only good that England can take from that is that there scrum was great and it wasn't a first string front row (if you consider Hartley, Vickery and Sheridan aren't touring).

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murph June 14, 2010 9:37 am

Not to discredit England but Australia's scrum was appalling. However, it did not have to be that way. Australia could have at least matched England if Deans had selected Laurie Weeks at tighthead. The Queensland front row matched the front rows of the Crusaders, Stormers and Bulls in the recent S14 season - in other words, the front rows of the All Blacks and Springboks. In the wake of injuries to Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota Nau, Ben Alexander and Benn Robinson, Deans quite rightly selected Ben Daley and Saia Fa'ainga but inexplicably failed to use Weeks. Tighthead is the most important position in the front row. Weeks was instrumental in the revival of the Reds scrum. There was no coincidence in the late season decline of the Reds and Weeks's late season injury (along with that of big Van Humphries). Ma'afu had a decent season but not a great one, and he was helped out by having Ben Alexander and Stephen Moore alongside him. He was shown up badly against England and his lack of performance almost cost the Wallabies the game.

Additionally, Deans should think seriously about whether he should continue to use Dean Mumm at lock. He's just not big or powerful enough. He's a good blindside but not quite big enough to play at lock in internationals. Notably, the scrum did stabilise to an extent when Mumm was replaced by Mark Chisholm.

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mat June 14, 2010 10:16 am

the scrums were so mismatched cause the oz front row had 1 cap between them, england are not the dominant scrummagers they used to be, watching the 6N the england scrum was possibly the worst in the competition.
rugby is a squad game now with injuries so common, but oz just dont have depth in the front row.
without the scrum it would have been an embarrasing score for england

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JJ June 14, 2010 10:36 am

Greg Martin you are a useless cunt, coopers pass was forward not "dead flat" you fucking chump. Crap commentator, crap player during his time.

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Anonymous June 14, 2010 11:05 am

LIES! Greg Martin is tops!

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Anonymous June 14, 2010 11:45 am

You've got a lot of anger in you JJ..... take a deep breath man!

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Voorblad June 14, 2010 2:06 pm

Good win for australia, not as emphatic as SA and NZ wins over better opposition, so dont get to excited saying that Aus wil take tri-nations, although i have to admit aus backline looking the best of the three SH teams.
England were shit, should have lost by alot worse, Johnson was a great player but he reaaly is lacking as a coach, he's still clinging on 90's rugby.

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pilapica June 14, 2010 2:26 pm

yay for cooper!!

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Anonymous June 14, 2010 4:51 pm

Voorblad - totally agree with you. As an England supporter the decision to play non-intuitive rugby means that we lose ugly rather than losing excitingly.

Although our backs are not brilliant a few of them can break the gainline and score with quick ball. Johnson needs to go and we should bag an SH coach. Oz are a good team but they seemed to drop the ball an awful lot more than I expected. I was thankful for this as at least the score was less embarrasing! Tri-nations between the Boks and Oz methinks...

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rico June 14, 2010 5:47 pm

How many times did Chris Ashton even get the ball? Twice? I had forgotten he was even in the game for most of it.

Part of it might be his fault (experienced and good wingers know to come looking for the ball), but I think part of the blame is simply that England didn't get the ball to him.

England DO have talent in their backs (dunno why their supporters keep denying this), but it doesn't seem like they do because the ball never gets out there. I agree that Youngs was a refreshing substitution, but maybe that's all he is. Should he be starting matches, that is?

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Anonymous June 14, 2010 6:41 pm

I love the aussie loose forwards, my god they have so much depth there. Rocky is excellent and I've been watching pocock for a while and he is constantly improving with players like matt hodgson and now even phil waugh to keep him honest, and not many teams could get past loosing an 8 man like Palu (or a player like george smith to retirement for that matter) but the wallabies can immediately go to brown or have rocky slide in.

If the rest of the pack gets healthy for tri nations, they are going to slip in under the radar and rip the cup right away from those dribbling, horn blowing, saffa bandwagon fans.

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Tim June 14, 2010 11:51 pm

The ONLY thing England were good at in this game was the scrums (which they dominated - but against Australia's most inexperienced front row ever selected - loosie and hooker both 21, tight head 26, with a 20 year old reserve prop - 2 caps between all of them).
They were terible ind efence, and missed over 40 tackles (that's gotta be close to a record).
They also offered absolutley NOTHING in attack. There entire tactics seemed to be to pick the ball up off the back of the ruck, after waiting for about 30 seconds for no apparent reason, then get driven back half a metre in the tackle.
They would then repeat this incredibly ineffective and predictable tactic (is there any world class defense - and Australia has a world class defence - that would have any trouble at all containing this tactic?). They woudl repeat it about ten times, lose about ten metres, then either kick the ball away, knock it on or lose it in a ruck.
They seemed to have some kind of fear of giving the ball to their backline and letting them do their job (ie to score tries).
It was strange, even though Aus were getting towelled in the scrums, they never really looked like losing. England couldn't handle Aus at all when Aus had the ball, and England didn't look like scoring when they had it.

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Ned2or3 June 15, 2010 5:45 am

I personally was very dissapointed in the refereeing at scrum time. The welsh ref (who I rate very very highly) only ever seemed to look at the wallabies.

In the 1st half the english tight head pulled Daleys arm under after gripping him on the sleeve (Law states grips must be on the back). It happened in every scrum and the ref never even looked at it.

This move results in destablising the whole scrum by removing the most effective part ie the tight head.

The England front row was much smarter with their angles and pressures and should always have been dominant but that one simple tactic which Daley could not counter and the ref failed to see really put the wallabies on the back foot.

The commentators blamed Ma'afu for the 1st penalty try but Daley was already lying on his back by the time Ma'afu stood up and dropped his grips.

Just my gripe on the scrum reffing. Otherwise the game was great and our Backs are looking fantastic!!!

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Rodriguez June 15, 2010 6:20 am

The irony is this :
The English desperatley wanted the scrum to collapse because they new the ref would ping the wallabies.
The wallabies wanted it to stay up, because they also knew the ref would ping them, based on the fact he's Welsh and was always going to favour England in the set-piece.
The entire game the English props were binding illegaly, any front rower could see it plainly.
Both English props were gripping the opposing front rower by the upper arm (ilegal) because it means the opposing prop will never be able to maintain their own grip (which invariably was correctly positioned on the opposing props jersey) and also prevents the opposing prop from keeping their back straight (if you pull the other prop's arm down it will drag his shoulder in, which will almost always lead to a collapse).
So the English just kept collapsing the scrum by binding on the arm. The ref saw it, his touch judge also pointed it out and he gave Aus a penalty for it. Then he pretended it wasn't ahppening and watched as every single scrum was intentionally collapsed.
Not only that, at times he saw the ball go in, come to the back of the scrum, and then, instead of telling England to play the ball, just stood there and waited for a bit untilt he scrum eventually collapsed. he then penalised Australia.
Refs in rugby don't understand what's going on in scrums.

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tickle me elmo June 15, 2010 6:55 am

I think it'd be fair to say the Aussie front row weren't entirely aware of what goes on in scrums, either.

If you think Owens favors England, I think you've got mistaken assumptions about Welsh-English relationships as well as international rugby refereeing standards.

Australia never had the scrummaging right - mostly due to the complete lack of experience in the front row. Most likely, this will be sorted out in the short term. But, as even the Aussie commentators, normally so eager to whine and claim unfair refereeing when OZ are penalized, admitted England were always dominating the scrum. Maybe not 100% legally, but that's part of the game. Remember the Lions tour when Mtawarira was "boring in", but he utterly decimated the touring side's scrum. At the time, everyone loved it (except the visitors' supporters). Thems the brakes, get over it.

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JRS June 15, 2010 6:57 am

The Australian front row clearly struggled, but should improve substantially when the first string returns.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOvT3IqHSow

View Video

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mat June 15, 2010 7:00 pm

referee ususally make a mess of the scrums, especially the 'put in' but i thought Owens was pretty good, dont bother picking holes in the decision aussies, you beat them even with the poor scrum, with a first choice front row the score would have been embarrasing

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Rodriguez June 15, 2010 11:16 pm

i didn't critisize the English.
Every front rower worth his salt cheats in scrums, it's the only way to succeed.
You cheat exactly as much as the ref will let you.
I was critisizing the ref, he allowed England to cheat willfully and force the collapse of almost every scrum in this game.
I agree that it is well played by the English front row, they did exactly what any good front rower would do, and exploited the ref's ignorance.
The English would have won the scrums anyway, but they would have had to actually force the Aussie scrum backwards, the legal way to crush an opposition scrum.
Theyw ere quite capable of doing this, as they showed a couple of times, but they would have had less success that way.
ie they probably would have won only about half of the scrums that way, about half as many penalties maybe, maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less.
The fact is though it's alot easier to intentionally collapse a scrum by ilegally binding on the opoosing props arm and winnign the penalty thatw ay from a sympathetic ref than legally pushing a scrum backwards.
The ref had no idea though about any of this. I just wish props weren't too fat to become refs!

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