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England v Australia

Published 03/10/2015

Stuart Lancaster knows England must peak at the right time
Stuart Lancaster knows England must peak at the right time

Tetchiness clung to the cold Twickenham air as England sought to save reputations, jobs and their World Cup campaign.

Jonathan Joseph beat his pectoral injury in the nick of time to return at outside centre against Australia, with Brad Barritt moving back to 12 after a shoddy showing in the defeat to Wales.

Joe Launchbury replaced Courtney Lawes at lock and Ben Morgan stepped in for the injured Billy Vunipola at eight, while their opponents paired twin breakdown threats David Pocock and Michael Hooper in their back-row.

England's nerves bit from the off, Ben Youngs rushing a chip in behind and sending it dead to waste an early platform.

Mike Brown was then caught out for a lax chase of Bernard Foley's exquisite line punt, unable to keep his toes out of touch just five metres from his own line.

Israel Folau botched the first scoring chance of the night, delaying the final pass to Rob Horne just long enough for Brown to interject and deny the Wallabies first blood.

Folau then failed with another fine chance, knocking Foley's crossfield chip forward in vying to collect and then score.

Foley opened the scoring from the tee however, posting a penalty after England strayed offside.

England ran a smart set play from a lineout, Jonathan Joseph scything into the 12 channel before Owen Farrell sent Watson clean through the line.

Lancaster's men turned the screw at the scrum, winning a penalty that Farrell slotted to draw the sides level at three apiece.

The scrum penalty whipped England into a frenzy, scintillating breaks punctuating the next exchanges - until a loose pass forced Joseph into a knock-on.

While England required waves of phases to threaten, Australia would jump from 22 to 22 in a flash.

A loose knock-on from Brown gifted Australia a scrum in England's 22 after one such lightning break, and from the resulting pressure Foley ghosted home for the first try.

The fly-half converted his own try to push Australia 10-3 to the good at the close of the first quarter.

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