England’s defence was instrumental in their record-breaking victory down under.
Winning back-to-back games in Australia for the first time, resulting in their maiden series victory was unquestionably down to their monumental defending.
The Wallabies just could not find a way through the white wall which saw Eddie Jones’ men get up 23-7 in Melbourne. After the first record-breaking win in Brisbane, the Australian’s were always going to throw everything at the English and like any good team, the away side absorbed the attacks and were clinical at the other end of the field.
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Australia enjoyed the majority of possession and territory but Bernard Foley and his backs looked rattled as they could not break England down; the Australians rarely got behind the oncoming defence.
It was apparent from the start how much the game meant to both sets of players with tempers boiling over just after 10 minutes in where a heated scuffle broke out between several players from each side which saw Dan Cole being stripped of his top.
The game was in contrast to the first of the series where England’s bold offensive mindset won the game. Saturday was all about the defensive effort and work rate. James Haskell was pivotal to the team’s performance. He worked relentlessly for the red rose, highlighted by his substitution – Haskell was struggling to run off the pitch, epitomising the passion and effort the England squad had put into the match.
The series victory should ensure that England rise, deservedly, to second in the world rankings. Jones has had huge success in turning a failing England around. He has taken them from being knocked out of their own World Cup at the group stages to being crowned Grand Slam champions and winning a record-breaking series down under.
The sign of a great team is the ability to adapt to what’s in front of you. Being 1-0 up in the series, Jones and his team knew the Wallabies were going to come out and take the game to England.
England quelled the threats throughout and sealed the game when Owen Farrell touched down to add to his score tally.
Under Eddie Jones, England look like the only northern hemisphere team able to compete with their southern counterparts and become a dominant rugby force once again.