England were thrashed 30-28 by Australia in their first Test in Perth, but the scoreline masks a myriad of shortcomings from Eddie Jones’ tourists as they fell to a fourth consecutive defeat.
Here, the PA news agency examines five talking points stemming from the series opener.
Inconsistent England falters in second Test
Henry Arundell’s stunning seven-minute cameo that spoke of two late tries did not hide the reality that England were beaten for good by a 14-man opposition who also lost three players to injury in the first half. hour. They trailed by the insurmountable 30-14 deficit until Arundell began to weave his spell on the Australian defence, once again putting the spotlight on Eddie Jones. The England head coach asked for patience, especially in the face of a helpless attack that works sporadically and is a waste, but with recent results made worse by the team looking messy in the final 20 minutes at the Optus stage, patience continues to ebb.
Are Farrell and Smith natural?
It’s still early, but the creative axis formed by Owen Farrell and Marcus Smith has misfired. The obvious moments of promise against the Wallabies in the fall disappeared in Perth where the twin playmakers operated on different wavelengths. England have moved away from a heavy kicking strategy in favor of building their attack in phases, but it remains to be seen whether Farrell and Smith are the right person to execute the game plan and Jones could soon being forced to choose one of them on the fly. -half and discard the other.
Kerevi leaves her mark
While Samu Kerevi’s relentless performance at the Optus Stadium was rewarded with the Man of the Match award, it once again highlighted the gaping hole left in the England midfield by the absence of a another wrecking ball of island heritage. Injury after injury deprived Jones of his most potent striking weapon and the aim of using winger Joe Cokanasiga to close the power gap was limited by the Anglo-Fijian’s inability to impose himself. The failure to produce an effective carry at 12 years beyond Manu Tuilagi is a mystery of the English game. Meanwhile, Kerevi will no doubt be a very influential figure on the show.
A star is born
It may have only given an undeserved shine to a heavy defeat, but Arundell’s spectacular late intervention was thrilling. Continuing the fireworks he produced for the London Irish and England Under-20s in his debut season, the 19-year-old came off the bench to tear apart the Wallabies defense with his pace , his power and footwork to cross paths once and contribute another. a. Jones must decide whether to start a player he compared to Australian great David Campese in the second Test, knowing his skills are being transferred to the highest level.
The tails of the Wallabies are raised
Even if Australia continue to lose the series, at least they won’t have to answer any more questions about why England ‘put the wood on them’, to use a phrase regularly heard Down Under this week. The Wallabies’ eight-game losing streak at the hands of their former head coach is finally over and a rivalry that was in danger of losing its competitive edge has exploded once again. Australia matched resilience with a clinical touch in attack to give the struggling game on these ribs a crucial shot in the arm and they stand one win away from a series win.