Rugby Union

England utilise Australian tactics to secure record win in Brisbane

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Football News

Eddie Jones' England side produced a record-breaking first Test win on Saturday. They were victorious for the first time ever in Brisbane as well as scoring the most points ever against an Australian side.

After all the pre-match hype as the game progressed Jones' men ramped up the pressure on the Australian side. England played to a game plan reminiscent of the Australian team that knocked out their opponents of their own World Cup less than a year ago.

It was evident that men in white were attempting to get under the skin of the Australian players, as the game unfurled you began to see every decision that went England's way greeted by shouts and screams of encouragement right in the faces of the Wallabies.


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The Australians, normally the masters of this tactic had no answer and tempers began to boil while England appeared to stay in control and watched their opposition take the bait. With every penalty, England won Maro Itoje and co could be heard exploding with noise and it genuinely seemed to rile a normally measured and collected Australian side.

The England coach made the early decision to move Owen Farrell to inside centre and replace Luther Burrell with George Ford - with spectacular results.

This partnership bears a striking resemblance to the Australian pairing of Bernard Foley and Matt Giteau - two world-class distributors at fly-half and inside-centre, who had inflicted misery on England during the World Cup.

Farrell and Ford seem to compliment each other extremely well, Farrell has become an infallible kicker which allows Ford to relax and focus on his game management - the strongest area of his game.

With the talent out wide of Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph and Marland Yarde, the two playmakers simply allow these attacking players a better quality of ball and more space to work effectively in. Something that Australia have profited from in the past.

In the World Cup, we witnessed the likes of Michael Hooper and David Pocock attacking the breakdown, creating countless turnovers and forcing penalties.

In Brisbane, it was England who really attacked and utilised the breakdown, winning penalties and turnovers - a key area that has been lacking in the English game.

This can be attributed to four key English players working together in different roles around the breakdown. The rise of the athletic and dynamic Itoje and George Kruis allows James Haskell to play as more of a traditional openside, he together with the previously mentioned pair hunt for turnovers and isolate players, forcing Australia to commit players to the breakdowns to secure the ball.

The roles of Billy Vunipola and Chris Robshaw mean they can nullify the Australian threats of Hooper and Pocock which is an area they are much more comfortable in and the balance thereby suits England.

Where England have fallen in the past is with less mobile and attacking locks unable to offer the same speed and technical ability at the breakdown, the pressure then falls on the back row of Haskell and Robshaw to take on both roles of nullifying opposition threats as well as attacking breakdowns themselves and it seems as though this current freedom is suiting the English back row.

Although this was not a flawless performance from England, these key areas show a substantial progression from the side embarrassed in the World Cup.

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Jonny Wilkinson
Owen Farrell
England Rugby
Rugby Union
Australia Rugby
IRB Rugby World Cup

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