A brave Wallabies side have won a topsy turvy Test, punctuated by injuries and cards, to snap an eight-game losing streak against England.
The chaotic 30-28 win was all the most remarkable given Australia found themselves in the wars at Perth’s Optus Stadium before kickoff, losing star playmaker Quade Cooper with a tight calf.
Tom Banks was the second victim of the match, carted from the field with a suspected broken left arm after a sickening fall while contesting a high ball.
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Wallabies lock sent off for headbutt
Arguably the most significant moment of the match came when Darcy Swain and Jonny Hill lashed out at each other and engaged in a hair-tugging match.
Enraged, Swain headbutted Hill and copped a red card for the incident while his English rival received a yellow card.
The Wallabies win was the first for David Rennie at the helm against the old foe.
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“It’s right up there, like I said, they’re a very, very good side,” Wallabies halfback Nic White.
“England, to beat them, against all odds at one point, gee whiz we showed some real fight there.
“We know they’re going to be better next week. We’re going to have to tidy up some things. For now, wow, let’s ride this rollercoaster.
“Optus Stadium, absolutely humming. That was one for the ages. That’s one you remember. Thirteen men there at the end having to fight for everything. It feels good.”
Wallabies whiz-kid strikes against England
Owen Farrell opened the scoring with a penalty.
Noah Lolesio’s first meaningful touch of the ball as Cooper’s replacement drew an indiscretion, not releasing the ball as Tom Curry got over the top of the five-eighth.
Curry threatened to score the match’s opening try, piercing the Australian defense in the 18th minute before throwing a wide pass to Joe Marchant on the wing. Marika Koroibete would stop the No.13 just short.
England’s subsequent efforts to cross the line were ultimately to no avail, Australia conceding a penalty and handing the opposition another three points.
Game over for Banks after nasty fall
Having already lost Cooper, Banks was replaced by Jordan Petaia.
The Wallabies got three points back in the 22nd minute when England collapsed the scrum and conceded a penalty.
The carnage continued during the 25th minute when Allan Alaalatoa trudged from the field for a head injury assessment after copping a hip to the head by Freddie Steward.
James Slipper soon found his way onto the park as a result.
Alaalatoa appeared to briefly lose consciousness, falling and not rolling away from the scrum, which drew a penalty on goal that Farrell missed.
After the Swain-Hill drama and a chance to catch their breath at halftime, England prop Ellis Genge scored the first try of the night from a maul.
Another penalty, this time for not releasing, allowed England to extend their lead before Australia finally crossed the chalk.
Despite being short on numbers, Petaia rolled over the line and with the conversion Australia led by two.
The second yellow card of the game came in the 67th minute when Billy Vunipola was marched for a high shot.
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Folau Fainga’a extended the Wallabies lead when he split from the side of the maul, finding a gap on the short side to burst through and score.
Australia put any doubts to bed with three minutes to go when Pete Samu scored the team’s third try of the match.
The Wallabies put themselves 16 points clear with the conversion.
England had the last say of the match, however.
Whiz-kid Henry Arundell burst through two players and ran down the wing to close the gap back to 30-21 and just minutes later Jack van Poortvliet took England over again to carry some momentum into the second Test in Brisbane.
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