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England’s first-half surge proved to be enough to level the series at 1-1 as they overcame Australia 25-17 in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Red Rose dominated the opening period, going 19-0 ahead through Billy Vunipola’s try and 14 points from the boot of Owen Farrell.
Dave Rennie’s men responded via Taniela Tupou just shy of the interval before Farrell moved the visitors 22-7 in front in the early stages of the second half.
This Wallabies side has plenty of spirit, however, and got back into the clash when Samu Kerevi touched down and Noah Lolesio added a three-pointer.
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The build up to the clash in Sydney will be about patching together battered playing squads, but Eddie Jones will also have plenty of highlights to pour over next week as England started like a freight train.
In the opening five minutes there were wins across the field, most crucially a try for Vunipola from a slickly-worked line-out move.
The tone had been set by Ellis Genge in the opening seconds when he ran through Michael Hooper and full-back Jordan Petaia departed with concussion to escalate the Wallabies’ problems.
Farrell added two penalties to his conversion to extend England’s lead to 13-0 but there were tense moments when referee Andrew Brace examined replays of Genge roughing up Nic White on the floor before opting against a card.
Izaia Perese had come on as Petaia’s replacement but he was sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and once more Farrell was on target, although Australia were lucky they did not concede a penalty try.
England continued to dominate, taking the Wallabies apart up-front and pouring through gaps, while their kicking game was far more evident than in the first Test.
It was hard to see a way back for Australia when Farrell rounded off another spell of total control with his fourth penalty, but a powerful scrum ignited their attack and a first visit to the 22 of the match ended with a try for Tupou.
A further setback came when Itoje departed following a heavy collision with Noah Lolesio and Perese was next to add to the body count when he left the pitch with a knee injury.
Just as Farrell appeared to have settled England with three points, a dropped restart by Ollie Chessum allowed Australia to build pressure and once Tupou had almost gone over Kerevi arrived to finish the job.
Marcus Smith was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on, Lolesio was on target from the kicking tee and suddenly Jones’ side’s lead had been cut to 22-17.
England launched an attack but it lacked the conviction evident earlier and they were soon pinned back in their own 22 following brilliant counter play by wing Tom Wright.
Errors were costing the Wallabies and when Jack Nowell launched a tackle-busting run the tide turned, Farrell was on hand to finish the job.
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The article July internationals: England withstand Australia comeback to level series appeared first on Planetrugby.com.