England look to build on Sydney success
November 10, 2010
Australia's Matt Giteau takes on the England defence during last year's clash at Twickenham © Getty Images
England will be hoping to prove that their shock victory over Australia in Sydney earlier this year was no flash in the pan when the two sides meet again on Saturday, this time at Twickenham.
Going into that game at Stadium Australia, England had lost their three previous encounters with the Wallabies, including a 27-17 defeat in Perth the weekend before, with Quade Cooper having been the star of the show.
However, England, inspired by the exciting newcomers such as Ben Youngs and Chris Ashton, both of whom notched, battled their way to a nail-biting 21-20 victory, thus injecting some much-needed optimism into the Martin Johnson era.
Racking up a second successive win over Robbie Deans' men will not be easy, though. Not only will the Wallabies arrive buoyed by recent wins over New Zealand and Wales, they will also be take great confidence from the fact that they have triumphed on their two most recent visits to Twickenham.
Their 18-9 success 12 months ago was founded on a dominant second-half display and although England can claim to have improved immeasurably in the interim, the Wallabies will feel entitled to say the same.
The injury-enforced unavailabilty of Jonny Wilkinson is a plus for some observers but England would surely have liked to have been able to draw upon the services of a man who has scored more points (114) than any other player in this fixture, with his most significant contribution undoubtedly his now legendary drop goal in the 2003 World Cup final.
Still, after witnessing Wales destroy Australia's front row in Cardiff last weekend, many English fans will no doubt feel that this game will be decided up front, just as it was when the two sides met again in the 2007 World Cup quarter-finals, a game in which Andrew Sheridan, who always relishes the challenge of dismantling the Wallaby set-piece, inspired his team-mates to a 12-10 upset win. Johnson will be hoping from more of the same from the prop this weekend.
England v Australia All-time record: Played: 39, England won 15, Australia won 23, drawn 1.
Biggest winning margin: Eng: 17, 23-6 at Twickenham, 1976; Aus: 76, 76-0 at Suncorp Stadium, 1998.
Highest score: Eng: 32 (32-31) at Twickenham, 2002; Aus: 76 (76-0) at Suncorp Stadium, 1998.
Most tries: Eng: 4 (28-19) at Twickenham, 1988; Aus: 11 (76-0) at Suncorp Stadium, 1998.
Longest winning sequence: Eng: 5 (2000-04); Aus: 4 (1984-88).
Most points (individual): Eng: Jonny Wilkinson 114; Aus: Michael Lynagh 108.
Most tries (individual): Eng: 4 Rory Underwood and Ben Cohen; Aus: 7 Ben Tune.
Most points in a Test: Eng: 22 Jonny Wilkinson at Twickenham, 2002; Aus: 22 Matt Burke at Suncorp, 1998.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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