5 things we learned from England's win over Australia
England completed a perfect winning run in 2016 thanks to their 37-21 victory over Australia at Twickenham. Here, Press Association Sport examines five key lessons from England's four-try triumph.
ENGLAND HAVE A SHOT AT HISTORY
England now have a very serious shot at history, and have already tied their all-time winning record with this victory. England have completed a perfect winning record for 2016, and equalled the 14 straight wins achieved by Sir Clive Woodward's men in 2003. A perfect sequence in the RBS 6 Nations would see England now eclipse New Zealand's tier-one all-time winning record of 18. England's trip to Ireland to close the Six Nations on March 18 has all the hallmarks of a grand slam decider.
EDDIE JONES HAS THE LAST LAUGH
All week England boss Eddie Jones and Australia counterpart Michael Cheika traded verbals in the press. Well, when it came down to it, former Australia coach Jones had the last laugh over the men from his homeland. Wallabies boss Cheika seemed genuinely rattled at points by Jones' media mind games, and perhaps that strategy paid dividend as England simply overwhelmed the 2015 World Cup finalists. Allied to England's 3-0 Test series win in Australia in June, Jones clearly now has Cheika in his pocket.
ENGLAND BOSSED THE SCRUM
After all the talk with both coaches insisting the opposition scrummaged illegally, England overcame a poor start to dominate the set-piece. Australia claimed Dan Cole has effectively made a career out of scrummaging illegally in the build-up. Well, here the Leicester prop totally outmuscled and out-thought his scrum opponent Scott Sio. By midway through the first half, Cole was binding on the bottom of Sio's shirt, which was riding halfway up the Wallaby prop's back. This did not happen once, but repeatedly, until Sio was replaced midway through the second half. Any prop worth their salt knows the bind is all-important to the scrum - and Sio seemed inexplicably to let himself be dominated here with what surely could have had an easy fix.
AUSTRALIA STILL CANNOT KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT
Last weekend in Dublin Australia lost the ear of referee Jerome Garces, purely because they could not keep quiet. The Wallabies lost out 27-24 and conceded 13 penalties en route to that defeat. Ireland captain Rory Best even asked Garces to tell David Pocock to keep it down. One week on and the Wallabies were still unable to button it. Captain Stephen Moore demanded a television review after Jonathan Joseph's first-half try. Referee Jaco Peyper would only reply "Not now", simply refusing to engage the conversation. And when Tom Wood was merely penalised for a high tackle, Moore was again in the referee's ear. "That's a card there too," said Moore. Again Peyper refused to countenance having his authority questioned. "Just play rugby thank you," replied the referee. "It's been cleared upstairs already."
GOOD ANALYSIS LEADS TO YARDE TRY
Who needs an attack specialist when your head coach is master tactician Eddie Jones? Jones' famed attention to detail always yields a nugget or two for his team to feed off, and so it proved here again at Twickenham. Yarde sneaked around Israel Folau for England's second try, and the score that turned the match. Jonathan Joseph had edged just into the inside centre channel then to produce a defence-turning grubber kick, much in the vein of a soccer-style through-ball. On the previous phase fly-half George Ford had fired inside to wing Jonny May, which tightened Australia's defence. Couple that narrow defensive alignment with Folau's propensity to push up into the line - and Jones' ploy had the Wallabies just where he wanted them.