FAN VIEW: England NEEDS to make changes this week after Australia loss

FAN VIEW: England head coach Eddie Jones NEEDS to make changes this week after Australia defeat or face the Test series being over…. as Henry Arundell stakes a claim to start the next match with Billy Vunipola underperforming

  • Australia produced a stunning comeback to beat England in the series opener
  • Darcy Swain was sent off in the first half after headbutting second row Jonny Hill 
  • Defeat means Eddie Jones’ side have lost their last four games since February
  • Eddie Jones opted for a good mix of youth and experience for the first test
  • Duo Henry Arundell and Lewis Ludlam impressed massively off the bench 

Eddie Jones opted for a good mix of youth and experience in his team selection for the first test. The choices generated so much anticipation. 

How would the Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell partnership work? What difference would Danny Care back at scrum-half make to the speed of the ball from the breakdown and continuity in the attack? 

Could Joe Cokanasiga bring added physicality out wide? And would Billy Vunipola, the player I highlighted in my last article, be able to produce his world-class performances of 2016? 

As an England supporter, my optimism grew when I heard just before kick-off that Quade Cooper, the Wallabies fly-half had to drop out of the match-day squad due to injury. 

He would be pivotal to them in attack, so his loss would impact them significantly. It was a shame, though, as it robbed us of the opportunity to see him face off against our own maverick at fly-half, Marcus Smith. 

The opening half was nervy from both sides, and the first scrum was a stuttering restart as both teams didn’t want to give an inch. England however started to grow into the game. 

Eddie Jones opted for a good mix of youth and experience in his selection for the first test

A big question was how would the Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell partnership work? 

Maro Itoje was shouting in the lineout to disrupt Australia’s throw-in, Tom Curry was turning over the ball, and Owen Farrell, stripped of the captaincy, was playing well. 

He kicked a superb up and under landing near the touchline just outside the Australian 22 to pile the pressure on the hosts. 

Curry made a promising break into the oppositions 22 and threw a masterful pass outside to Joe Marchant, who was charging up the wing. 

Maro Itoje (pictured) was shouting in the lineout to disrupt Australia’s throw-in early on

Only a last-ditch Australian tackle prevented England from securing their first try. Australia’s evening got worse when their fullback Tom Banks suffered a horrible injury to his arm, challenging for the ball in the air and landed awkwardly. 

A great battle occurred between the England second-row Jonny Hill and the Australian Darcy Swain. It all eventually boiled over with Hill grabbing Swain’s hair. 

The Australian then lost his cool and proceeded to head butt Hill. The officials took a look. A yellow card was awarded to Hill and a red to Swain. 

Australian Darcy Swain (pictured) was sent off as he decided to headbutt Jonny Hill 

It was another setback for Australia, and England was taking control. The two teams exchanged penalties during the first half. 

Owen Farrell was understandably taking the kicks but was getting a mixed return. 

For all the English dominance, the Wallabies, who had suffered several setbacks, must have been ecstatic to go in at halftime with the score 6-6. 

Australia started the second half well and looked to move the ball more. They were rewarded with a shot at goal and took the lead. 

Owen Farrell (pictured) was understandably taking the kicks but was getting a mixed return

England, at last, capitalised on the one-man advantage and drove over the Wallabies line from an attacking lineout to score their first try. 

It felt like a turning point, but the Australians quickly responded with a try of their own. A mixture of fast, accurate passing and sharp running lines got them the score they desperately needed.

It was the beginning of a period of dominance by the men in green and gold. England picked up a yellow card through Billy Vunipola’s shoulder, colliding with Australia captain Michael Hooper’s head. 

Billy Vunipola had to leave the field for 10 minutes after colliding with Michael Hooper’s head

It wasn’t a deliberate act, but Vunipola had to leave the field for ten minutes. Shortly after, with the England number 8 in the bin, the Wallabies were able to drive over the visitor’s line from a lineout and extend their lead. 

Continuing the upward curve, the Australians destroyed England at the scrum. Traditionally England has always had the advantage in this vital set-piece. 

For years it was seen as a weakness in the Aussies game. But they drove the English off the ball and supremely won a penalty. 

More pain was brought to England when Australia went on the attack again, leading to another score from Aussie back row Pete Samu. 

With the conversion, the score was 30-14 to Australia. Eddie Jones had already emptied the bench, and the uncapped players, Jack Van Pootvliet and Henry Arundell, were on the pitch. 

Henry Arundell, 19, made a big impact with his power and pace after being brought on

The Wallabies were introduced to the 19-year-old Arundell’s power and pace. He burst through two Australian tacklers and then stepped a third to score. 

It was a fantastic finish, and a bright future surely beckons. Farrell converted to make it 30-21. 

Van Poortvliet was determined not to let Arundell have the last word. After some determined phases from England, he managed to find a gap in the Wallabies defence and score. 

The try was converted, and the game finished. The final score was 30-28. Australia had ended their long run of defeats at the hands of the English. A thoroughly deserved win. 

Arundell scored a late try, which was converted, but it was too little too late as they lost 30-28

England has it all to do now to rescue the series. The two tries in the game’s closing stages gave England a respectable scoreline. 

But let’s be honest, they dominated in the first half but could not finish off the few scoring chances they created. 

The Australians then battered them for most of the second period. I can’t put my finger on it, but something is missing from this England squad. 

There doesn’t seem to be the spark that is needed. After the break, several of the more established internationals in the side went missing. 

Billy Vunipola had to step up to get his international career back on track. I don’t think he achieved that. 

Billy Vunipola failed to step up to get his international career back on track in the first Test

If Alex Dombrandt or Sam Simmonds were on tour, I don’t think he would be starting next week. 

Surely in the second test Harry Arundell will start, and either Joe Cokanasiga or Jack Nowell will be benched. 

Neither had many opportunities with the ball in hand. I’d like to see Luke Cowan-Dickie start, I thought Jamie George threw in well but was otherwise quiet and Maro Itoje drifted out of the game. 

Lewis Ludlam was immense in the back row when he came on for England in Perth

I thought Lewis Ludlam was immense in the back row when he came on. There were some bright signs for the Smith-Farrell combination, but to me, it looked like Smith was playing a bit part, and again Farrell, like a few others, seemed to become more anonymous as the game went on. 

There is much to work on this week, and I’m sure Jones will make changes. The series is lost if they don’t get it right next week. 

After two unsuccessful Six Nations campaigns and a rout by 14-man Barbarians, the World Cup seems a million miles away. 

Eddie Jones opted for a good mix of youth and experience in his selection for the first test


15. Freddie Steward – 6 

Solid under the high ball as usual. 

14. Jack Nowell – 5 

Industrious but limited chances with the ball in hand. 

13. Joe Marchant – 5 

A couple of good tackles but quiet in attack. 

Joe Marchant (pictured) had a few good tackles, but was quiet in attack in England’s defeat

12. Owen Farrell – 5 

A good start but became anonymous. Missed a couple of kicks. 

11. Joe Cokanasiga – 5 

Didn’t see enough power and pace from him.

10. Marcus Smith – 6 

Some good moments, but seemed to play a bit part at 10. 

9. Danny Care – 6 

Speed of ball away from the ruck impressive in the first half. 

1. Ellis Genge – 6 

Carried well and scored a try. Gets better and better. Captain material. 

2. Jamie George – 4 

Quiet. If he starts the second test, expect a reaction. 

Jamie George (pictured) had a quiet game for England and you would expect a big reaction

3. Will Stuart – 5 

Carried well, strong in the scrum.

4. Maro Itoje – 5 

Lots of enthusiasm from Maro in the first half. The second half a different story. 

5. Jonny Hill – 5 

Abrasive and worked hard but yellow carded. 

6. Courtney Lawes – 4 

Not his usual standard or a captain’s performance. Better next week. 

Courtney Lawes (pictured) failed to put in his usual standard of captain’s performance

7. Tom Curry – 6 

Worked hard as usual, the better of the two opensides in the first half. 

8. Billy Vunipola – 4 

Just can’t find that 2016 form. 

16. Luke Cowan Dickie – 4 

Little chance to make a difference. 

17. Mako Vunipola – 5 

Carried well when he came on. 

Mako Vunipola (pictured) carried the ball well when he came on for England in the first Test

18. Joe Heyes – N/A

On in the 79th minute. No time to make an impact. 

19. Ollie Chessum – 5 

A couple of good runs making hard yards. 

20. Lewis Ludlam – 7 

He might have just forced his way into the starting 15. 

Lewis Ludlam (pictured) might just have forced his way into England’s starting 15 

21. Jack Van Poortlviet – 5 

A try-scoring debut. 

22. Guy Porter – N/A    

Not used.

23. Henry Arundell – N/A 

A superstar in the making. 

Henry Arundell impressed when he came on for England and looks like a future superstar

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