England crash out of home World Cup after Wallaby thrashing

England captain Chris Robshaw walks off against Australia

Australia thrashed England 13-33 at Twickenham to send the hosts crashing out of their home tournament at the group stage.

Bernard Foley scored a brace and kicked 18 points with a dynamic flyhalf performance. Matt Giteau scored on the final whistle to rub salt into the wounds as the Red Rose wilted under the weight of expectation.

Owen Farrell kicked two penalties and a conversion and Anthony Watson scored England’s only try in London.

Stuart Lancaster and Chris Robshaw will be sweating over their positions after another below par performance.

The game will be remembered for the war of words in midweek about scrumming. It was Australia’s pack that heaped misery on their opposition as they dismantled the English scrum.

Australia took a 3-0 lead when Foley kicked an eighth minute penalty when England went offside inside their 22m after some sustained pressure.

Both sides started the game at a high tempo and was open for a game of such magnitude. Farrell drew England level when Romain Poite penalised the Wallabies for collapsing the scrum.

This was as good as it would get in the set-piece for the home team.

Australia’s quick ball at the ruck stretched England’s backline, moving them left and right, however, as with the English, both team’s were making too many handling errors.

The opening try came from  sustained Aussie pressure. Foley collected a pass from Will Genia, gave a show-and-go, which sold Joe Launchbury and Ben Youngs and beat Robshaw, to score unchallenged next to the right-hand upright.

The flyhalf converted his try to open up a seven point lead after 20 minutes.

Poite penalised Joe Marler twice at the scrum in the first half to the bemusement of some TV commentators and it seemed former Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer leading into the Test had been wrong; he had insisted Dan Cole was a serial infringer at the set-piece.

Twice Foley kicked for touch to set up a driving maul, but this Australia is no South Africa. Michael Cheika’s team possess some of the most electric runners in Genia, Israel Folau, Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper.

It was Foley who continued to punish England’s lacklustre defence when he scored his second try five minutes before half-time.

Australia’s pack set up a ruck in the middle of the field in England’s half. Genia broke to the left then gave a wonderful reverse pass to his halfback partner, who with Beale, swooped right, played a one-two with the substitute, coasted between Youngs and Launchbury (again) and broke Mike Brown’s tackle to score.

The 26-year-old added the extras and with a 17-3 half-time scoreline, England were in danger of being humiliated.

Ten minutes into the second period Marler got an official warning from the French referee as Australia’s scrum won another penalty which Foley kicked to take the score to 20-3.

The loose-head was immediately substituted by Lancaster for Mako Vunipola.

The coach started making changes with George Ford now on for Jonny May with Farrell moving to centre and Jonathan Joseph to wing.

Youngs went off for Richard Wigglesworth; all three had been poor and Lancaster needed game-changers.

It worked as Anthony Watson’s try in the corner after Ford and Launchbury combined to send him over. Farrell’s touch-line conversion reduced the deficit to 10 points as Australia led 20-10.

With 20 minutes remaining England’s World Cup hinged on these substitutions. The problem was that David Pocock and Michael Hooper had other ideas.

England gave away a penalty, the Wallabies kicked for the corner and set up a driving maul.

Australia went through ten phases and when Nick Phipps (on for Genia) threw two terrible passes, Ford kicked the loose ball forward and England won a penalty which Farrell calmly slotted. 20-13, game on.

With ten minutes remaining TMO Shaun Veldsman intervened; the cost? A yellow card for a tackle without the ball on Matt Giteau by Farrell, who did not use his arms on the centre.

Burgess could have seen a similar colour for a high tackle, but the officials did not have the stomach.

Foley made no mistake, stretching the lead to two scores as Australia would play out the rest of the match a man to the good.

England’s scrum was by now disintegrating. Poite penalised the front-row for a fifth time and for a fourth time in the match, Foley added three more points, 26-13.

England’s humiliation was complete when Giteau added the coup de grace when he scored in the corner after an eighth turn-over – Ashley-Cooper broke the line and gifted his partner the try after more penalty pain in the scrum.

Foley kicked his 28th point to cap off a superb flyhalf display and send the hosts crashing out of their home World Cup.

Final Score England 13 (3) Australia 33 (17)


Tries – Watson
Pen – Farrell (2)
Con – Farrell
Drop –

Tries – Foley (2), Giteau
Pen – Foley (4)
Con – Foley (3)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Romain Poite (FRA)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (IRE), Marius Mitrea (ITA)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (RSA)



15 Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Joe Marler.

Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 George Kruis, 20 Nick Easter, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 George Ford, 23 Sam Burgess.


15 Israel Folau, 14 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rob Horne, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Dean Mumm, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Kurtley Beale.

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