Tries from Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga’a, Pete Samu inside final 17 minutes saw Australia come from 14-9 behind to win 30-28 despite playing over 45 minutes with man less; Ellis Genge, Henry Arundell, Jack van Poortvliet score for England – Last two tries in and after the final minute
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 02/07/22 1:22pm
A trio of final-quarter tries saw 14-man Australia claim a 30-28 win over England and a 1-0 series lead against the odds in the first Test in Perth, after the hosts lost second-row Darcy Swain to a 34th-minute red card.
Tries by replacements Jordan Petaia, Folau Fainga’a and Pete Samu capped a remarkable turnaround for a hugely-disrupted Wallabies side, who also suffered a numnber of early injuries.
A tight contest saw England 6-3 up at the time of the most significant moment in the match, as Kiwi referee James Doleman sent Swain off for a headbutt on England lock Jonny Hill, after Hill had pulled the hair of Swain.
The England man was sin-binned for his role in sparking the incident, but the loss of Swain for the remainder of the match gave the Wallabies a tough task.
An Ellis Genge try early in the second half, plus the boot of Owen Farrell, put England 14-9 ahead and seemingly on course for victory, but that was until Petaia’s intervention with 15 minutes to go, and 22-year-old Noah Lolesio’s superb conversion.
Australia – Tries: Petaia (63), Fainga’a (69), Samu (76). Cons: Lolesio (64, 70, 77). Pens: Lolesio (23, 40, 43).
England – Tries: Genge (49), Arundell (79), van Poortlviet (80). Cons: Farrell (80, 80+). Pens: Farrell (7, 21, 60).
England No 8 Billy Vunipola was then shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper, before hooker Fainga’a dived over, and back-row Samu later forced his way over too to secure victory.
England notched very late tries through debutants Henry Arundell and Jack van Poortvliet, but they proved nothing more than consolation scores.
The hosts also lost starting fly-half Quade Cooper minutes from kick-off due to a lower-leg injury, and lacked fluency in attack for much of the game as Lolesio struggled for large parts, but head coach Dave Rennie will be delighted to pick up a most unlikely win, and Australia’s first over England since 2015.
More to follow…
England are next in action for the second Test of the three-Test series vs Australia in a week’s time in Brisbane on Saturday, July 9, live on Sky Sports Action from 10.15am (10.55am kick off).