England beat Australia to equal all-time record of 14 wins

Media playback is not supported on this device

England would play All Blacks tomorrow - Eddie Jones
Old Mutual Wealth Series
England (13) 37
Tries: Joseph 2, Yarde, Youngs Cons: Farrell 3, Ford Pens: Farrell 3
Australia (16) 21
Tries: Naivalu, Kepu Cons: Foley Pens: Foley 3

England equalled their record of 14 consecutive Test victories with a 37-21 win over Australia at Twickenham.

The Wallabies made a frenzied start, with Sefanaia Naivalu going over for a try and two more being ruled out.

Australia gifted Jonathan Joseph a try before two Bernard Foley penalties gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead.

But England were excellent after the break, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs and Joseph touching down for a fourth consecutive win over the visitors.

England last won 14 Tests in a row between 2002 and 2003, during the build-up to their World Cup triumph in Australia.

The record for rugby's Tier One nations is the 18 straight wins by New Zealand, which came to an end at the hands of Ireland earlier this month.

Ben Youngs celebrates his sublime try for England
Ben Youngs' sublime try capped a man-of-the-match performance from the England scrum-half

England caught cold

The last time Australia played England at Twickenham was last October, when they thrashed Stuart Lancaster's side 33-13 to knock them out of their own World Cup.

But it has been all wins for England since Eddie Jones took over as head coach, including a 3-0 whitewash of the Wallabies down under in the summer.

Michael Cheika's Australia started in ominous fashion and should have taken an early lead through the boot of Foley, but he pushed a straightforward penalty kick wide.

And England had another early reprieve when a try by Tevita Kuridrani was struck off after being referred to the television match official.

After Dane Haylett-Petty kicked through, Owen Farrell was enveloped by David Pocock, Mike Brown fumbled behind the try-line and Kuridrani touched down the loose ball.

The TMO decided Pocock had knocked the ball forward in the act of tackling Farrell, but the hosts were punished for their lack of focus from the very next phase.

Wallabies bosses up front

England v Australia scrum
Australia had the better of the early scrums, which were expected to be a controversial area

Australia won the scrum against the head, the ball was spun left and winger Naivalu, making his first Test start, skipped over in the corner unopposed.

During a spiky build-up, both head coaches accused the opposition pack of illegal scrummaging.

But it was the fired-up Wallabies who had the best of the early set-pieces, and another good shove on the England try-line led to three more easy points for Foley.

Farrell settled England nerves with a penalty of his own before Ford chipped through for winger Yarde, who was just beaten to the touch-down by Haylett-Petty.

Another Farrell penalty reduced Australia's lead to four points before Joseph latched on to a Farrell hack-through and went over for a try. Sekope Kepu having spilled a poor pass by scrum-half Nick Phipps.

Foley levelled things up after a neck roll by Tom Wood on Pocock before another penalty on the stroke of half-time edged the Wallabies ahead again.

The best team-talk in history?

Marland Yarde and Israel Folau
Marland Yarde just beat Israel Folau to touch down after a cute kick through by Jonathan Joseph

Whatever Jones said to his team during the break had the desired effect, because after the restart everything suddenly clicked into place.

First, Bath centre Joseph turned creator with a cute kick through for Yarde, who just beat Israel Folau to the touch-down.

Man-of-the-match Youngs increased England's lead with a fine solo try, the Leicester scrum-half taking a quick tap-penalty, selling Phipps an extravagant dummy before scampering over.

Prop Kepu displayed fine athleticism to narrow the gap, squirming out of a couple of tackles before galloping over for his third international try.

When Haylett-Petty was shown a yellow card for a late shoulder charge on Brown, any hopes that Australia might have had of stealing victory evaporated.

And when Pocock tried to force things late on, his attempted miss-pass ended up in the hands of Joseph, who went over for his second try and wrote Jones' England into the record books.

Tom Wood tackles Michael Hooper
Tom Wood's tackle on Michael Hooper typified the no-quarter-given approach in a pulsating Test match

'We were terrible' - and what else they said

England boss Eddie Jones: "We were terrible in the first half. I don't think we could have tried to play worse than we did. We rebounded very well to get back into the game and, conversely, in the first 20 minutes of the second half we were outstanding."

Jones on the unbeaten run, despite missing a number of first-team players: "It really shows where the side is going. The real test is when you are not at your best and have not got your best players."

Man of the match Ben Youngs: "Sometimes there is time for the hair dryer but Eddie just said we couldn't play any worse and it was up to us to rectify it. We knew what to do and it was just about doing it."

The pundit's view

Former England fly-half Paul Grayson on BBC Radio 5 live: "England have shown mental resilience in adversity. Eddie Jones couldn't have planned it better. It was nowhere near perfect but a brilliant, brilliant finish to an outstanding year."

The players' reaction

Ben Youngs tweet
This is what scrum half Ben Youngs made of the win
Danny Care
Replacement scrum-half Danny Care saw the lighter side of a poor second half drop-goal attempt
Courtney Lawes tweet
England lock Courtney Lawes thanked the fans after his impressive performance against Australia
Maro Itoje tweet
England completed an unbeaten four-game autumn series without World Rugby's breakthrough player of the Maro Itoje, who returned from injury on Saturday for Saracens

The celebrity fans' reaction

Jack Whitehall
Comedian Jack Whitehall enjoyed getting one over the old enemy
Paul Hollywood tweet
Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood was also impressed

And the man who did it before...

Clive woodward
Sir Clive Woodward coached England on their previous 14-game winning run

What next for England?

England's next match is against France at Twickenham on 4 February, 2017 - the opening day of the Six Nations. England will go into it as the defending Grand Slam champions.


England: Brown; Yarde, Joseph, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Hartley, Cole, Lawes, Kruis, Robshaw, Wood, Hughes.

Replacements: Te'o for Farrell (67), Care for Youngs (63), Marler for M Vunipola (59), George for Hartley (59), Sinckler for Cole (67), Ewels for Kruis (73), Harrison for Robshaw (69).

Not Used: Slade.

Australia: Folau; Haylett-Petty, Kuridrani, Hodge, Naivalu; Foley, Phipps; Sio, Moore, Kepu, Douglas, Simmons, Pocock, Hooper, Timani.

Replacements: Cooper for Hodge (69), Speight for Naivalu (69), Frisby for Phipps (69), Robertson for Sio (58), Latu for Moore (73), Slipper for Kepu (73), Mumm for Douglas (61), McMahon for Timani (67).

Sin-bin: Haylett-Petty (72).

Ref: Jaco Peyper (South Africa).

Top Stories