England failed to record the victory needed to remain in the World Cup against an attacking Australian side in Pool A. The teams exchanged early penalties before a couple of well-worked tries from Bernard Foley put Australia in a commanding position at half time. An early Australian penalty in the second half gave Australia a 17 point lead, but a try from Anthony Watson and a penalty resulted in England being just seven points behind and the comeback well and truly on. However, a yellow card to Owen Farrell ended hopes of the comeback and a couple of penalties and a try from Matt Giteau ended any doubt about the result.
England struggled for much of the game, struggling to get quick ball when in attacking situations and being unable to slow Australian ball around the 22. The key to Australia’s success was Pocock and Hooper in the back row, who forced turnovers and penalties when England had the ball, stopping any threats quickly. After having played Fiji and Uruguay in their opening two games, this was seen as Australia’s first real test and they passed it with flying colours. Their scrum was strong and, towards the end of the match, dominant. Australia will be favourites to beat Wales and top the Pool and will be strong contenders for winning the tournament.