England somehow conspired to lose the first Test against Australia in Perth as the host overcame a raft of challenges to beat the old enemy.
A superb second-half performance from the men in gold saw them put the game well out of reach of their visitors.
England managed a late rally thanks to tries from new boys Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet but it was far too little and far too late in the end with the game already lost.
The win, though sweet in it’s nature, came at quite the cost for the Wallabies with a number of injuries occuring.
The worst of which fell to exciting fullback, Tom Banks.
Banks was immediately withdrawn from play halfway through the opening stanza after he landed awkwardly from an aerial contest, breaking his arm in the process.
The play was halted after 23 minutes of the game with the 28-year-old forced off at the time, visibly in excruciating pain. He was replaced by Jordan Petaia and play resumed around five minutes after the injury occurred.
Commentators advised squeamish viewers against watching the replay of the fall and sounds of concern could be heard from the stands when replays of the injury were shown inside the Optus Stadium, Perth.
In the footage below, you can see the moment Banks’ arm just completely collapses:
Tom Banks lovely fella pic.twitter.com/8mPJ94T6MP— Joe Arnone (@JJarn11993) July 2, 2022
Awful – we can only wish Tom as speedy a recovery as possible from an injury that could keep him sidelined for a very long time.
Dave Rennie and Australia’s first-half woes
Australia’s issues began before the game even kicked off with veteran fly half Quade Cooper’s calf pulling up during the warm-up with footage of Cooper being consoled by his cousin Sonny Bill Williams in the dressing room emerging.
𝐄𝐍𝐆𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐃 𝐓𝐑𝐘! 🏴 | "What a start to your international career!" 🤩— Sky Sports Rugby Union (@SkySportsRugby) July 2, 2022
With his first touch Henry Arundell proves too powerful in contact to power down the wing and go over! 💪 #AUSvENG pic.twitter.com/CqjiCHgrfg
Shortly after Banks injury, Allan Alaalatoa had to withdraw for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).
Swain added insult to injury when he was sent-off for a head-butt on England’s Jonny Hill prior to the break.
Considering just how dramatically the odds were stacked against the hosts, the win will go down as one of their most iconic over their eternal rivals.