New Zealand v Ireland LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as Ireland make history by winning deciding Test

·42-min read

A courageous Ireland held off a fierce All Blacks fightback to claim an epic 32-22 win in the series-deciding third test in Wellington on Saturday.

Beaten in the opening test at Eden Park, Ireland completed rare back-to-back victories over New Zealand following their win in the second match at Dunedin.

It was not only a first series victory in New Zealand for the Irish but the first time the All Blacks have lost a series on home soil since 1994.

Josh van der Flier, Hugo Keenan and Robbie Henshaw all crossed in the first half as the visitors surged into a 22-3 lead but the All Blacks hit back and got to within three points. But Rob Herring’s try 15 minutes from time proved decisive as Andy Farrell led his men to an historic triumph.

Follow live reaction from New Zealand vs Ireland in the series decider, below:

New Zealand vs Ireland

  • Ireland beat New Zealand in Wellington to complete historic series victory over the All Blacks

  • FULL-TIME! New Zealand 22-32 Ireland

  • 65’ - TRY! Herring stretches out for vital score (NZ 22-32 Ire)

  • 60’ - TRY! Incredible pace from Jordan to blaze over (NZ 22-25 Ire)

  • 52’ - TRY! Powerful, spinning score from Ioane to narrow the gap further (NZ 17-22 Ire)

  • 44’ - TRY! Savea spins over the line to give All Blacks perfect start to second half (NZ 10-22 Ire)

  • 38’ - TRY! Henshaw touches down after gorgeous attacking play (NZ 3-22 Ire)

  • 28’ - TRY! Keenan scores in the corner after brilliant hands (NZ 3-12 Ire)

  • 5’ - TRY! Van der Flier crashes over to give Ireland the perfect start (NZ 0-5 Ire)

England withstand late pressure to seal series victory over Australia in Sydney

13:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England dug deep to complete a series victory over Australia with a 21-17 victory in the third Test at Sydney Cricket Ground that saw towering rookies Freddie Steward and Tommy Freeman play starring roles.

Eddie Jones’ tourists built a 21-10 lead through tries from Steward and Marcus Smith and the kicking of Owen Farrell, but it began to crumble when Folau Fainga’a crossed in the 66th minute.

But instead of folding as they did in the first Test, on this occasion England showed the resolve to keep the Wallabies out despite sustained late pressure, with Luke Cowan-Dickie and Courtney Lawes combining to secure a critical late turnover.

England withstand late pressure to seal series victory over Australia in Sydney

England beat Australia 21-17 in Sydney to win the series 2-1

13:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And their head coach Eddie Jones is next to speak into the Sky Sports microphone.

“The big difference between the first and third Tests is that we kept fighting, we kept in the game. The defence of our finishers at th end was outstanding and that got us the result. We stuck at it, it was a difficult came for us. The conditions weren’t ideal for rugby and we probably didn’t adapt as well as we could. But we kept fighting, great effort by the leaders: Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes, Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell particularly.

“I think it is a really positive step. We have always felt the team is going in the right direction, but sometimes the results don’t reflect that. This is a young, inexperienced squad but to have an experience like that is fantastic.

“I think we are in a good position. We have just got to slowly, slowly keep improving. It is like training a race horse - we have got to be at our best for the World Cup final.”

And some more thoughts from Courtney Lawes, who enjoyed an outstanding series

13:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“That was tough. I’m spent, properly spent, and I think it really showed what it means to us to play for this team. We had a pretty tough start, both to the series and this match, but we showed what we are made of.

“We didn’t come out how we wanted to. The message at half-time was to stick together. We did what we said we wanted to do, which was improve every week. You learn a lot from games like this, even when you win.

“We have still got a lot to learn, don’t get me wrong. But when you can win a game like this when you haven’t really fired a shot, you show your mettle. It is great to come away with the win.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Courtney Lawes lifts the Ella-Mobbs Cup

13:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The England captain is asked for some reflections on the series, and says: “I want to say massive thank you. We have been so welcomed - credit to the Austrlaian team ,what a challenge it was. We appreciate our fans and the Australian fans for making such a great atmosphere.”

Over Lawes strides to his teammates, already in celebratory formation behind the commemorative banner. Clutching the Ella-Mobbs trophy in one hand, Lawes lifts it high above his head as the streamers fly. It was gritty and at times grim, but if that is to be the final traditional summer tour, England go out on a winning note.

F/T: Australia 17-21 England

13:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The SCG has emptied quickly as the disappointed Australian fans exit into the Sydney night, but there are still a few watching on for the first presentation of the Ella-Mobbs Cup.

The Player of the Series is a perhaps confused-looking Marika Koroibete, who has swapped shirts with Jack Nowell.

Freddie Steward gives his immediate reaction after another fine performance

13:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Unbelievable,” the England full-back says to Sky Sports. “The boys dug in and fought and gave everything. That was a proper Test match - it’s special.

“It’s been an incredible experience. We’ve had some great times, we’ve got a great set of lads here and to come away with a series win is fantastic. To come here and put in a performance like that is pretty awesome.

“It’s a great way to end the season. I am looking forward to a great night with the lads.”

F/T! Australia 17-21 England

13:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tense, tight, and not at all tidy, but eventually England emerge on top in Sydney. From 1-0 down they’ve fought back to claim another series victory in Australia, securing the inaugural Ella-Mobbs Cup. It is a series win that will do plenty for the youngsters in the squad, and some of the old guard, too.


13:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Australia 17-21 England, 80 minutes

12:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Up Australia get to tap the ball back. But is it coming out of that ruck? The hooter sounds as a tangle of bodies come down together, and though the scrum would have been the Wallabies’, the referee’s whistle will mark the end of the series. England have hung on - they take the series 2-1.

Australia 17-21 England, 79 minutes

12:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s the new man Suliasi Vunivalu, but Owen Farrell has him handled. Samu Kerevi is everywhere, first up the left, then the right.

But that’s outstanding from England’s captains old and new - Owen Farrell and Courtney Lawes attack a breakdown, Lawes hooking the ball back on England’s side. Jack van Poortvliet nearly breaks up the left with Henry Arundell for support, but is tap tackled before he can release a pass.

Here come Jack Willis - held up over the line. Australia will have a goalline dropout with time ticking towards the red...

Australia 17-21 England, 78 minutes

12:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are in full-on game management mode. A slow developing maul wastes time. Jack van Poortvliet skews his first box kick more up than onwards, and Henry Arundell might have been offside chasing it, but is not spotted, and eventually gets underneath it. Van Poortvliet utilises his right boot again, this time more effectively - out of play inside the Australia 22, from where the Wallabies will launch their last offensive.

Australia 17-21 England, 77 minutes

12:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three minutes to play. Australia go to their last throw of the dice - on debut, Suliasi Vunivalu, who can be dynamite in the open field if his teammates can give the wing a sniff.

Australia 17-21 England, 76 minutes

12:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty to England! Marika Koroibete roams as he has all evening, thinking he spies space by a ruck, but running into only a brick wall of Courtney Lawes and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

There’s not a gold shirt in sight as Koroibete is turtled, and Cowan-Dickie punches the air in delight as the whistle blows and is rewarded for another timely England jackal.

Australia 17-21 England, 75 minutes

12:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Into the final five minutes as Australia explore the width of the SCG pitch. The two replacement flankers, Pete Samu and Rob Leota, lurk on the extremes, each marching on after good handling from the backs. Leota combines with Folau Fainga’a well.

Australia 17-21 England, 74 minutes

12:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A little bit conservative from England, allowing Australia to stall them too easily with a meek maul drive. Australia’s scrum.

Hard yards from Samu Kerevi! A stinging carry up the centre and fissures begin to open in the England defence.

Australia 17-21 England, 72 minutes

12:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fierce defence from England! Ferocious stuff from the visitors, slamming back Australia’s strike runners in succession, Samu Kerevi and Marika Koroibete making little progress before Rob Valetini picks the lean but muscular pair of Nick Isiekwe and Courtney Lawes, predictably making limited progress.

Lawes is soon back on his feet, and feeding on the carrion - an expert jackal, and a penalty to England. He’s been excellent, again.

Australia 17-21 England, 70 minutes

12:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Henry Arundell comes on for England as their forwards assemble themselves for the lineout.

What’s the call? Front ball, Courtney Lawes up briskly up the front, and a very solid set-piece from England. A ten-metre drive allows Jack van Poortvliet an easy enough clearance.

Australia 17-21 England, 68 minutes

12:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Superb from Australia! They’ve caused problems up the right all evening, this time a lofted miss ball from Samu Kerevi hitting Tom Wright in stride, allowing the wing to sprint up the touchline. A quick interchange of passes and the ball is back in Wright’s hands, but he can’t then find inside support to open up the England backfield.

To their credit, the English defence reset relatively speedily. Kerevi, though, shows yet more skill, dropping ball to boot and prodding a well-directed grubber into the corner. England lineout five metres from their own line.

Australia 17-21 England, 68 minutes

12:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nick Isiekwe replaces Ollie Chessum, who has had some good moments on his first start in the England second row. Australia are forced to call James Slipper back into action as Angus Bell becomes the latest Wallaby to leave the field in pain in this bruising series.

Jack Willis is on for England, too, and beats one defender on his first rumble, before England kick the ball away.

TRY! AUSTRALIA 17-21 England (Folau Fainga’a try, 66 minutes)

12:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This time Australia are over! Two more penalisable offences are committed by England at the maul, but Australia keep things tight. Their front row have provided plenty of red-zone punch all series, and Angus Bell first carries in a forthright manner to move Australia within three metres.

Michael Hooper keeps the speed of ball high, wriggling his arms free to afford Tate McDemott quick access. The scrum-half’s sharp pass is to Folau Fainga’a, who won’t be stopped from close range.

Over goes Noah Lolesio’s conversion.

Australia 10-21 England, 65 minutes

12:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A try-saving tackle from Freddie Steward! Brilliant from the England full-back, attacking the ankles of Pete Samu as the replacement flanker rushes up the touchline, forcing Samu out before he can reach out for the line.

Courtney Lawes is warned about England’s discipline as Australia again kick for touch.

Australia 10-21 England, 63 minutes

12:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Again there is nothing doing at the maul, but Australia manage to retrieve the ball from the middle of it, and they’ll try and bash through with close-in carries. Pete Samu provides a beefy one, and now the advantage is coming, allowing Australia more freedom...

Australia 10-21 England, 62 minutes

12:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another penalty to Australia. Lewis Ludlam jackals superbly, but Marcus Smith has failed to roll away. This time the Wallabies will visit the right corner in search of more fertile ground and their plough got stuck on the left.

Australia 10-21 England, 61 minutes

12:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England’s scrum looks to be struggling again, but the officials are content to let them play on. Jack van Poortvliet’s clearance isn’t the best - a metre outside his own 22.

In a bid to steady the set piece, Eddie Jones introduces Joe Heyes. Will Stuart’s solid series, barring injury or incident, is over.

Australia 10-21 England, 60 minutes

12:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England whoop and holler - turnover, scrum feed for the visitors! Tate McDermott is the latest Wallaby introduced and the scrum-half barks at his forwards, but the maul goes down under its own steam initially, and Australia then drive rather curiously right into the jumbled mound, from where the ball will not emerge.

Australia 10-21 England, 58 minutes

12:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Changes for both teams. For Australia: Dave Porecki off / Folau Fainga’a on Harry Wilson off / Pete Samu; and for England: Ellis Genge off / Mako Vunipola on.

Vunipola and Fainga’a pack down in the front row for a scrum, and Vunipola is immediately under pressure from Allan Alaalatoa. Somehow the loosehead is not penalised, but a swarmed Jack van Poortvliet at the back is. Penalty to Australia - which Reece Hodge kicks into the corner rather than narrowing the gap from bang in front.

TRY! Australia 10-21 ENGLAND (Marcus Smith try, 55 minutes)

12:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Marcus Smith won’t be caught! Away the England fly-half scampers and he slides over!

Australia’s lineout is disrupted by Jonny Hill, untidy ball scuttling across the SCG surface in to midfield. Luke Cowan-Dickie and a couple of Australian arms grasp at it, sending it onwards further, hopping invitingly for Smith.

He’s quick, the Harlequins fly-half, and Australia aren’t able to reel him in. Owen Farrell adds the conversion.

Australia 10-14 England, 54 minutes

12:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly for England! Tidy attacking play, Will Stuart pulling back niftily at the line and then Marcus Smith picking Ollie Chessum on the short line. Nic White does superbly to chop the long-striding lock down, and an isolated Chessum hurries back to his feet without releasing.

Australia 10-14 England, 52 minutes

12:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia swap their props: Angus Bell and Allan Alaalatoa in; James Slipper and Taniela Tupou out.

Marcus Smith holds Samu Kerevi in a midfield tackle but the centre’s charge sets a nice platform for Australia to then play wide. Marika Koroibete has to stoop, though, to collect a pass, which just stalls him ever so slightly, enabling Jack Nowell to sprint across in time to force Koroibete’s boots acros the touchline.

Australia 10-14 England, 51 minutes

12:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia win ball in the air, but Luke Cowan-Dickie somehow pilfers it at the resulting breakdown just before leaving his feet. There’s space in behind as Tommy Freeman looks up, but his prod towards it skews into touch on the roll.

PENALTY! Australia 10-14 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 50 minutes)

12:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The first points of the second half go England’s way - Owen Farrell bisects the uprights.

Australia 10-11 England, 48 minutes

12:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Twice more in the movement a charged-up Genge leaves brawny imprint on the Australian defence, and England win a penalty inside the Australia 22.

Australia 10-11 England, 47 minutes

12:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cowan-Dickie’s first lineout throw is stolen, and Australia kick into England’s half.

OOF! That’s a massive collision between Ellis Genge and Samu Kerevi, with the England prop very much the winner! He tramples over the top of the Australia centre.

Australia 10-11 England, 46 minutes

12:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Porecki’s opposite number goes off - Luke Cowan-Dickie replacing Jamie George. The Australia hooker gets his throw right, and a big midfield carry from Rob Valetini creates enough space for Nic White to kick away.

Australia 10-11 England, 46 minutes

12:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Freddie Steward is just so good in the air, settling beneath the high bomb from his Leicester colleague Jack van Poortvliet, and somehow tumbling to deck with ball in his arms even as Reece Hodge appeared set to snatch it from him.

Another high kick tumbles into English hands as Noah Lolesio drops it cold. Owen Farrell pokes a diagonal grubber into the corner - pressure lineout for Dave Porecki to throw five metres out from the Australian line.

Australia 10-11 England, 44 minutes

12:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But the England defence roars as Paul Williams awards them a penalty. Wilson again tries to make an impact, this time as a support player, needlesly smashing into Billy Vunipola beside a ruck that Australia appeared to have in hand.

Australia 10-11 England, 43 minutes

12:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Powerful carry from Taniela Tupou, surging forth from a standing start and beating two defenders. He goes again soon after, boshing back Lewis Ludlam as Australia begin to build.

A loose offload checks their momentum, but Noah Lolesio sends Harry Wilson forth with a nifty inside pass.

Australia 10-11 England, 42 minutes

12:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two minutes, two penalties, as both Courtney Lawes and Ellis Genge tackle Dave Porecki a little high. Australia advance to about 25 out from the England line.

Australia 10-11 England, 41 minutes

12:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And England are immediately penalised. Australia form a maul, which Lewis Ludlam bursts into illegally through the side door.

Second half...

12:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Perhaps it is hasty, but you do wonder if that early hook might spell the end of Danny Care’s England career. Ben Youngs and Raffi Quirke will come back in, you’d think, ahead of the autumn and Jack van Poortvliet is clearly trusted by Eddie Jones.

Right, let’s hope for something slightly less clunky after the resumption. England get things back underway.

H/T: Australia 10-11 England

12:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here’s that Freddie Steward score. The Leicester and England full-back has now exceeded the RPA stipulated maximum minutes for a long, long season, which isn’t great evidence that player welfare is truly being prioritised, but he’s produced another excellent first 40.

H/T: Australia 10-11 England

12:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A single point between the sides in this nip-and-tuck deciding encounter. An odd sort of half in which both sides have played with ambition and enjoyed some open outside spaces, but lacking accuracy from Australia and England has rather spoiled a contest yet to come to the boil.

Freddie Steward’s score on half-time has England ahead, which will make those in white feel rather better as they bite into the half-time oranges.


11:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! Australia 10-11 ENGLAND (Freddie Steward try, 41 minutes)

11:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And this time Tom Wright can’t stop Freddie Steward! It was a truly remarkable intervention from the Wallabies wing to prevent Freeman, who had cut a sharp line, from reaching for the line, tugging him back by the shirt elastic to somehow prevent a grounding.

But England continued with conviction, Jack van Poortvliet providing sharp service and picking his options well. He looks to his Leicester teammate Steward on the blindside, and the full-back strides inside Wright to crash over and put England into a half-time lead - which will be just a single point as Owen Farrell again fails from the tee.

Australia 10-6 England, 40 minutes

11:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Penalty advantage to England, and another infringement from Australia might force Paul Williams to think about more.

England play left - how has Tommy Freeman been halted? Remarkable from Tom Wright to drag back the England wing as he seemed certain to score, but still England come...

Missed penalty! Australia 10-6 England, 39 minutes

11:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Off the woodwork! A clean enough strike from Owen Farrell, but it comes back off the post.

Another penalty to England, though. Australia run the ball out of their own 22 but cut down, and Courtney Lawes and co. pick sharply at the carrion. This time the England captain directs Farrell to kick to the corner.

Australia 10-6 England, 37 minutes

11:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Crikey - Danny Care is walking off! There’s no apparent injury, and it appears Eddie Jones has hooked his experienced scrum-half before half-time!

Jack van Poortvliet, impressive on his first start last week, comes on, presumably with Jones seeking a bit more game control. Not the first time that Jones has used his crook, but in the past it has tended to be struggling youngsters rather than a recalled 87-cap veteran.

England win a penalty at the scrum.

Australia 10-6 England, 36 minutes

11:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oddly, for a half in which both sides have made consistent metres it feels like both England and Australia are still feeling their way into the contest. It’s been a bit error prone, which has stalled the flow.

Another lively dance in open space from England sees Freddie Steward foxtrotting through a hole, but his offload hits the deck with Guy Porter unable to gather.

Australia like the adventurous rhythms, though Taniela Tupou and James Slipper are out of time - the tighthead’s jaunty offload to his loosehead is ambitious, and knocked on.

PENALTY! Australia 10-6 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 34 minutes)

11:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two from two off the tee for Owen Farrell.

Australia 10-3 England, 32 minutes

11:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s not the smartest exit drill from Australia, though, passing out the back twice and then booting straight into touch having began outside their own 22.

England lineout, which is efficiently executed - rather more so, in fact, than the attempted play from the back of it, with Jamie George’s inside ball directed to no-one in particular. England get a little fortunate - Australia fail to get their ruck detail right, and are penalised.

PENALTY! AUSTRALIA 10-3 England (Noah Lolesio penalty, 31 minutes)

11:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Simple enough for Noah Lolesio, who has bounced back from that early miss and is running things well. Australia extend their advantage.

Australia 7-3 England, 29 minutes

11:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia are properly on it in attack. Reece Hodge’s injections have been superb, the full-back beating Guy Porter in the 13 channel, forcing Owen Farrell into a scrambled tackle.

Marika Koroibete is roaming with intent, too, beating three in quick succession to advance Australia into the England red zone. English hands get to the ball at the breakdown, but illicitly.

Australia 7-3 England, 27 minutes

11:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another high kick ends up bouncing up in the air to be contested like a basketball tip-off, with Ollie Chessum, who looks like he’d make a decent small forward, leaping well to tap it back. Danny Care collects; Michael Hooper connects, thumping Care into the floor and forcing a knock on.

TRY! AUSTRALIA 7-3 England (Tom Wright try, 25 minutes)

11:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A brilliant Australia score! They’ve made inroads every time they have gone wide so far, and finally they add the finishing touches to convert progress into points.

Marika Koroibete arcs out the back, shaking free of a tackle. England are again to narrow as a result, and Koroibete’s nice miss pass sends his fellow wing Tom Wright on up the right.

Wright interchanges in a quick one-two with Nic White, whose swift return is bright and right as Wright gallops into the corner.

Noah Lolesio converts.

Australia 0-3 England, 23 minutes

11:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A commanding take from Freddie Steward, but sharp from Michael Hooper! Two moments of real skill from two fine exponents of very different arts: first Steward taking charge above Reece Hodge to win back Marcus Smith’s up-and-under, but then forced to hold on as Hooper jackals superbly.

Australia 0-3 England, 22 minutes

11:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Both sides are finding open pasture on the edge, in fact. It is Tommy Freeman once more on the canter, this time more directly up the left wing.

Samu Kerevi goes rather well to snare a piece of Freeman, allowing Marika Koroibete on the cover to biff the England wing into touch.

Australia 0-3 England, 21 minutes

11:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England’s maul makes little ground so again to the boot they go. Australia continue to create problems in the outside channels, Marika Koroibete brushing Guy Porter out the way, but Marcus Smith hurries across to make a good cover tackle. Nic White’s box kick is charged down, and Hunter Paisami can’t resist playing the loose ball on the floor.

Australia 0-3 England, 19 minutes

11:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia are varying their attacking play nicely, Scott Wisemantel’s touches evident as the Wallabies use clever inside balls and switches to ask plenty of questions of the England defence. They are just about being answered at the moment, Australia eventually forced to kick rather tamely in behind.

England clear long, and Australia return with a healthy nudge up the right that settles in Freddie Steward’s hands just over the touchline, 30 metres out from his own line with no prospect of quick lineout.

PENALTY! Australia 0-3 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 18 minutes)

11:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

No mistake from Owen Farrell - England have had little possession in Australia’s half but it is the visitors who take the lead.

Australia 0-0 England, 15 minutes

11:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Lovely from England! A trademark skip to the outside from Marcus Smith and then a pretty pass to put Freddie Steward into space. The full-back tidily dummies and sends Tommy Freeman on.

The Northampton youngster, quiet but effective last week, darts through the retreating Australian defenders but a handling error ends England’s chances of capitalising. There was, however, a penalty to return to - and Owen Farrell will have his first shot at goal.

Australia 0-0 England, 14 minutes

11:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another suspiciously flat Australian pass goes unnoticed as the Wallabies begin to fizz in attack, first Samu Kerevi and then Rob Valetini over the gainline.

But that’s excellent from Jamie George, eyes up to pluck Dave Porecki’s pivoting pass out of the hands of Noah Lolesio and end Australia’s chances of exploring a right-ward overlap.

England kick long, and Tom Wright watches it carefully over his own line, just about remembering to dot it down before England can steal in.

Australia 0-0 England, 12 minutes

11:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are having joy at the scrum, though - this time a full penalty as it goes to ground.

Jamie George’s lineout dart hits the mark, too, but England soon fumble. Michael Hooper cleverly snatches Danny Care’s arm as the scrum-half tries to pass on halfway.

Australia have dominated territory so far - more than 80% of the game has so far been played in England’s half, though it remains scoreless.

Australia 0-0 England, 10 minutes

11:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia nearly open England up again! They attack a big blindside, this time an inside ball to Taniela Tupou a nifty variation, even if the pass to the prop appears forward.

It matters not, though, for Tupou’s pass is knocked on. You’d suggest the officials would have called that back had the Wallabies converted but it’s another moment of worry for the Anthony Seibold-drilled English defensive unit.

Australia 0-0 England, 9 minutes

11:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Our first bit of niggle, and it’s two predictable instigators - though that is unfair on Nic White, who has done nothing except be clung on to on the floor by his old Exeter mate Jonny Hill. Hill is penalised and given a stern word by Paul Williams, who appears keen to set the tone.

Australia 0-0 England, 8 minutes

11:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia really have had no injury luck in this series, and James Slipper stays down in discomfort after charging into Courtney Lawes as the England captain wrestled Billy Vunipola forward. Slipper briefly appears to be readying himself for an early departure, and Angus Bell strips off, but the starting loosehead will continue for now. England might be keen to test that sore shoulder at scrum-time.

Australia 0-0 England, 7 minutes

11:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly for Australia! It’s poor, really, from both sides, space opening all too easily on the right for Australia as Rob Valetini picks up at the base of the scrum. Through the hands it goes and Tom Wright is eyeing a run into the corner as Reece Hodge tosses blindly for him, but the Wallabies wing had rather over-run his full-back, and an errant pass doesn’t help matters, hopping tamely into touch as England get away with some loose edge defence.

Australia 0-0 England, 6 minutes

11:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But England answer kicking error with kicking error - a raised hand of apology from Owen Farrell as his 22 droupout drifts over the touchline on the full.

Missed penalty! Australia 0-0 England, 5 minutes

11:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

On the 15-metre line, 25 metres out, and...not great from Noah Lolesio, who misses his first kick of the series, starting it to the right and watching it not quite hook back enough. It sails wide.

Australia 0-0 England, 3 minutes

11:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another bright early moment for Nick Frost, using the beef of his frame to bash through the tackle of the far smaller Danny Care as he carries in a wide channel, having lurked on the left after that lineout. England are then pinged at a breakdown - another penalty to Australia. Noah Lolesio will have an early check of his radar from the tee.

Australia 0-0 England, 2 minutes

11:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Australia are deemed to have caused some early set-piece instability, with referee Paul Williams awarding England a free kick. Owen Farrell thumps it up the field, but not into touch, perhaps tellingly, and it sparks a spell of kick tennis.

Another kick infield from England is chased after by a forward who had failed to get back onside. Penalty to Australia and possession in England’s half from the lineout.

Australia 0-0 England, 1 minute

11:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A brilliant beginning on his first Test start for Nick Frost! The big second row gets his arms up to block Danny Care’s box kick, and very nearly latches on to his own charge down, just fumbling as his Wallabies teammates looked to charge through after him. A nervy opening from Care - England scrum.


11:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Paul Williams blows his whistle, and the third Test between Australia and England is underway!

Welcome to Country and Anthems

11:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

For the third time this series, we are in for another delayed start in Sydney, though Lloyd Walker gives a fine Welcome to Country, before two very accomplished performances of the anthems.

Australia vs England

11:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nic White, on his 50th cap, will lead Australia out, after being described as the “biggest niggler of all time” by Eddie Jones this week. It’s a label that certainly isn’t far from the mark, but this is a proud day for a scrum-half who has developed into a more complete nine with age. He’ll have to again control things.

Before the anthems, the ground remembers Andrew Cole, the former Australian referee who passed away last weekend. The match officials in all of today’s games are wearing black armbands.

Australia vs England

11:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

James Slipper, a man of such experience, delivers some final words to the Australian team in the changing room. Michael Hooper looks around his team, nodding his head as they affirm their readiness to go at England. It’s time for the decider.

Clad in fetching white jackets, England weave through the SCG’s underbelly, and out into the crisp Sydney evening air, through a throng of children and out onto famous, fabled sporting turf.

Australia vs England

10:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The intensity of the rivalry has definitely been ramped up this week with both sides engaging in a little more pre-match verbal sparring. There have been a few flashpoints in the first two Tests, but I reckon this opening quarter is going to be rather fierce. Australia, particularly, have said they took note of how Queensland and New South Wales went at one another from the first whistle in the deciding State of Origin clash earlier in the week - expect Michael Hooper and co. to charge out of the blocks.

Eddie Jones, back in a city he knows well, also has a natter with Sky

10:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s a fantastic occasion. We are honoured to be playing at such a prestigious ground.

“With the New Zealand referee we think there might be a lot of quick ball at the start of the game, and Danny Care is good when the ball is quick.

“We have got to be more consistent with our play. Defensively we have got to be a little bit tighter on the edge of the ruck.

“It is always an important game for the team. A young team gains a lot of experience from playing these consequential games. We are going to enjoy the occasion.”

The England head coach has also had a pre-match catch-up with his former assistant Scott Wisemantel, now Australia’s attack coach:

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Dave Rennie gives his pre-match thoughts to Sky Sports

10:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s going to be amazing. Unbelievable ground, the first Test was played here in the late 1800s and it could be the last Test here, so it’s pretty special.

“We have got to bar up. We are going to try to control possession and territory.

“We tend to talk more about who we have got rather than who we haven’t. It’s massive for lots of reasons. We let ourselves down last week so we have got to better.”

Australia vs England

10:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Sydney Cricket Ground really does look a picture. A place of such history, and it’ll be packed to the rafters this evening for the first Test here since 1986. It could well be their last at the SCG, too.

Australia vs England - Talking Points

10:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England and Australia clash in a series decider on Saturday in what is likely to be the last Test played at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Here the PA news agency examines five talking points leading into a clash that will see the newly-created Ella-Mobbs Cup lifted for the first time.

Talking points ahead of England’s series decider against Australia

Team News - England

10:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England have also lost a couple of key figures ahead of the decider. Maro Itoje and Sam Underhill both appeared to be knocked out during the win in Brisbane and are thus unavailable for this encounter. Lewis Ludlam is England’s third openside of the series after two impactful cameos, while Ollie Chessum faces the toughest test of his nascent international career, starting for the first time in the second row.

The other change is not enforced. A fine performance on his first start is not enough for Jack van Poortvliet to retain his place, with Eddie Jones believing that Danny Care is the right sort of scrum-half for the intense opening half-hour he is expecting.

Jack Willis was a late withdrawal from the squad last week, but his ribs are healed sufficiently for the Wasps flanker to again be named on the bench, which again includes both “apprentices”: Will Joseph and Henry Arundell. Nick Isiekwe takes Chessum’s spot as long-limbed four/six bench cover.

England XV: Genge, George, Stuart; Chessum, Hill; Lawes (c), Ludlam, B Vunipola; Care, Smith; Freeman, Farrell, Porter, Nowell; Steward.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, M Vunipola, Heyes, Isiekwe, Willis; Van Poortvliet, Joseph, Arundell.

Team News - Australia

10:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A bruising series means Dave Rennie has tested rather more of his squad than he might have hoped. The Australia head coach has lost as many as four full-back options to series-ending injuries in the first two Tests, so Reece Hodge and his thumping right boot earn a recall having been a notable exclusion from the original squad. Hunter Paisami is retained at thirteen even with Len Ikitau available again and on the bench, while scrum-half Nic White wins his 50th cap.

James Slipper swaps sides to start at loosehead with Allan Alaalatoa back to provide back-up to Taniela Tupou on the tight. Nick Frost starts for the first time in the second row, and Harry Wilson, somewhat surprisingly, makes his only appearance of the series. The Reds youngster is a player of real talent and promise, though Rennie is still figuring out where he best fits in the back row mix.

Among the replacements, Suliasi Vunivalu is set for a debut on the wing having been groomed into a Wallaby ever since switching codes from rugby league the end of 2020.

Australia XV: Slipper, Porecki, Tupou; Frost, Philip; Wilson, Hooper (c), Valetini; White, Lolesio; Koroibete, Kerevi, Paisami, Wright; Hodge.

Replacements: Fainga’a, Bell, Alaalatoa, Leota, Samu; McDermott, Ikitau, Vunivalu.

On to the second decider of the day!

10:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another famous day for Irish rugby, and we’ll have plenty more reaction to and analysis of their win in Wellington across The Independent over the next few days.

But the rugby continues apace on this Super Saturday of deciders, with a quick hop across the Tasman to the historic sights and scents of the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Australia and England are ready to conclude their own simmering series.

Romance and rancour add weight to England’s decider against Australia

Ireland beat New Zealand in Wellington to secure series victory

10:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Remarkable. This is an Irish side of history-makers, and they’ve done it again. For the first time since 1998 the All Blacks lose consecutive home Tests - and they have been beaten by a better side.

19 points is their biggest ever half-time deficit, and while that second half rally might just be enough to save Ian Foster his job for now, but New Zealand have been comfortably below their best in this series, continuing an extended rough patch. “We were out-coached,” the legendary Sean Fitzpatrick concludes on Sky Sports. “Have they got a team capable of winning the World Cup? On the evidence of what we’ve seen in the last two weeks, you would doubt that.”

The Rugby Championship begins on the first weekend of August - and New Zealand open with back-to-back Tests in South Africa. It does not get any easier.

And now Andy Farrell speaks having masterminded an historic series win

10:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“This is a special group. To come over here and achieve what they have achieved, it won’t be done again knowing what is going to happen [with the likely revamp of the July tour schedule].

“This is probably the toughest thing to do in world rugby. We came over here with task in hand and went for it straight from the start. We said it was going to be the start of our World Cup year but I think it is a little bit bigger than that.

“They keep turning up and surprising me, certainly. They really do believe. After the first game, we got held up over the try line five times and they knew there was a better performance in them. These guys have won a lot of stuff and broke some records - this one will top it, I would have thought.

“It works both ways. We talked about not getting carried away with ourselves - we knew they were going to come back but we dusteed ourselves down and got back on task. The composure of the boys - they deserve everything they get.”

Triumphant skipper Johnny Sexton celebrates a famous win

10:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I bet you we had 4 million people at home up for breakfast, probably having a couple of pints. The effort was incredible. It is a very special day - we are playing against the best in the world, the very best, so to come down here and do it is very special.

“It starts with the main man, [Anndy Farrell], he has come in and changed some things, stuck with some older guys and got criticised, but it is all credit to him really.

“It means a lot now. In a year’s time when the World Cup starts it won’t mean anything, as we’ve learned before, and we will certainly enjoy tonight, and maybe a couple more days. But we have to keep improving - that’s what we have learned in the past.”

F/T: New Zealand 22-32 Ireland

10:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Extraordinary. A series win for Ireland in New Zealand!

“We are extremely disappointed, gutted in fact,” a dejected Sam Cane reflects. “We didn’t put out the performance we so desperately wanted to, but we can’t take anything away from Ireland. They’ve been outstanding the last couple of weeks.

“It’s been incredible to play at home after the last couple of years and we are bloody sorry we couldn’t put the performance out there that [the crowd] deserve.

“Massive respect to Ireland. They’ve been class - they deserve their win tonight.”

Josh van der Flier reacts to Ireland’s series win

10:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s hard to tell right now but it is an incredible feeling. It’s the type of tour you want to be on, it doesn’t get much harder, and this was the goal coming out. Unbelievably proud of the group - we’ve had a great month out here.

“After the first Test it was pretty tough, but we knew we had it in us. All hte games we have lost in the last year or two are games we felt we didn’t perform as well as we could. We knew if we could perform as well as we could we would be close.

“To play for the country of Ireland means everything to us. It is what you strive for as a little kid. To be a part of a history-making group like this is special.

“We’ve a few weeks off so I’m sure there will be a few pints of Guinness had. The support has been incredible.”

Full time! New Zealand 22-32 Ireland

10:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An enthralling series, and yet more history made by Ireland. For the first time in 28 years, the All Blacks have taste series defeat on their own turf, again beaten by a better Irish side who controlled proceedings, finding a last score through Rob Herring to push themselves out of sight as New Zealand began to roar back into it.


10:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 80 minutes

10:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Peter O’Mahony is in floods of tears, part celebration, part disbelief. The Ireland squad assemble on the touchline, ready to charge on to join the jollification as the pack launches into the final scrummage.

It’s steady. Ireland have won a series in New Zealand!

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 79 minutes

09:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Knocked on by Akira Ioane! Ireland will win the series!

New Zealand tapped quickly, as they had to, inside their own 22, but the bodies are weary, the minds fatigued. Ioane is a half-beat to slow to rumble on to a floated pass and the ball tumbles forward from his left paw. Ireland scrum with less than a minute to play.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 78 minutes

09:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Which Ireland gather in relative comfort. Caelan Doris and James Ryan carry strongly, and securely, but Ireland are in search of a kill shot. Keith Earls is lifted a lovely pass by Joey Carbery and skips between tacklers.

New Zealand have a penalty! A last chance as Ireland hold on on the floor.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 77 minutes

09:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is outstanding from Ireland, keeping the All Blacks at bay. Beauden Barrett’s chip bounces with menace but ricochets for Hugo Keenan, and James Lowe’s poke into the All Blacks’ in-goal will force the men in black to kick a goalline drop out.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 76 minutes

09:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s Beirne’s last act - he looks exhausted as Kieran Treadwell replaces him. Johnny Sexton is done, too, with Joey Carbery on to the park.

And Carbery’s first involvement is an intercept! A floaty pass from New Zealand and the replacement was up on to it in a flash.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 75 minutes

09:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Still New Zealand will come, though. Akira Ioane makes meaty metres up the left before Ireland’s defensive line rushes up to quickly. Penalty to the All Blacks.

Tap and go. But Ireland have it again! Tadhg Beirne once more at the centre of a counter-ruck, driving Dane Coles into Folau Fakatava and forcing the ball free for his teammates to purloin! It’s Beirne’s night!

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 73 minutes

09:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another crucial turnover from Tadhg Beirne! New Zealand begin to really threaten, Keith Earls doing superbly to put his foot down and cut Beauden Barrett to the floor as he tries to sprint to the outside. The All Blacks play to the right and get the ball in the hands of Will Jordan in space, but Ireland handle him well, Beirne part of the defensive party that bring Jordan to deck and then up on his feet and over the ball before the New Zealand clearers can arrive. Again Irealnd clear and survive.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 71 minutes

09:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Conor Murray replaces Jamison Gibson-Park at scrum-half for Ireland, who are now less than ten minutes away from a series win.

Loose from Rob Herring - a not straight lineout and New Zealand can attack again from 35 metres out.

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 70 minutes

09:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Timely shove from Ireland! Ardie Savea’s weight is on the back foot as he grasps for the ball at the base and he and Folau Fakatava get themselves in a right mess.

Penalty to Ireland now! Tadhg Beirne again contesting over the ball, and dragged away by the neck as Sam Whitelock tries to protect possession. New Zealand are repelled!

New Zealand 22-32 Ireland, 69 minutes

09:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Off goes Ardie Savea! Such speed from the base, jumping inside Jamison Gibson-Park and then passing on for Will Jordan, who accelerates away from James Lowe in an instant.

Ireland are offside. Penalty to New Zealand five metres out.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is introduced for a debut. Can the former rugby league superstar make an immediate impact? The All Blacks opt for a scrum beneath the posts.

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