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Adam Ashley-Cooper: Strong start was key against England

Wing Adam Ashley-Cooper helped Australia to a convincing World Cup victory over England at Twickenham
Wing Adam Ashley-Cooper helped Australia to a convincing World Cup victory over England at Twickenham

Adam Ashley-Cooper underlined Australia's desire to become "a great team" after they dumped host nation England out of the World Cup.

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The Wallabies joined Wales in progressing from the so-called pool of death following a 33-13 victory over England at Twickenham.

Fly-half Bernard Foley amassed 28 points, including two tries, while centre Matt Giteau administered the final blow by touching down during the closing minutes.

And such was the quality of Australia's performance, that their odds will undoubtedly shorten with regards to them being crowned world champions.

"We knew their (England's) backs were against the wall, and we needed to match their physicality and that desperation," wing Ashley-Cooper said.

"The key to the game was starting well, and we certainly did that. We started really well, we got a lot of momentum and we closed out a very good win.

"It is about building on tonight. We have been saying all year about being consistent. At the moment, we are a good team, but we want to be a great team."

And Ashley-Cooper also paid tribute to Foley, adding: "He stood up tonight, he really did. That is something we really expect from our leaders."

As ever, the breakdown proved a pivotal part of the contest, and Australia dominated it through the combined efforts of openside flanker Michael Hooper and number eight David Pocock.

Hooper said: "I am really proud of the effort from our guys.

"I thought our playmakers managed the game well, and there were some good individual moments to score those tries.

"The rucks were hotly-contested from both sides, and I really enjoyed it. It was very pleasing.

"Across the board in this World Cup, the breakdown has been very important. Teams have been going pretty hard at it, and it's an important area."

Reflecting on his performance, Foley said: "I was lucky to be on the end of some really good team structure.

"The work rate was world-class, and it's very satisfying to get that result against such a quality side.

"I think we always expected England to have a spirited game, and the amount of pressure they put on us in the second-half was extreme. We knew that was going to come.

"We wanted to put in a performance to make Australians proud, and we delivered. It's definitely up there, and we can take a lot of confidence out of that for next week (against Wales).

"It's going to be another great game to work out the seedings for the quarter-finals."


From Belfast Telegraph