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VIDEO – Ashton double secures stunning England win

13 November 2010

  • Wing Chris Ashton scored a try in either half in 35-18 victory
  • Fly half Toby Flood kicked a perfect nine from nine for 25 points

England 35 Australia 18

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Wing Chris Ashton’s thrilling double and fly half Toby Flood’s perfect kicking gave England a 35-18 win over Australia in the second Investec International.

Inspired by scrum half Ben Youngs, the world's number two ranked side were swept aside by wave after wave of England attacks as Martin Johnson's side found their cutting edge against one of the southern hemisphere giants.

Northampton Saints flyer Ashton scored both England's tries – the second one of the finest Twickenham has witnessed – while Flood was faultless with the boot, kicking 25 points.

But there were inspirational performances all over the field, with Leicester Tigers No.9 Youngs outstanding in directing proceedings from behind the pack and ruck; wing Mark Cueto a constant danger with attacks from deep; and lock Tom Palmer rampaging in the loose.

England followed through on the attacking intent shown in patches against the All Blacks last week, as the Wallabies suffered back-to-back defeats against England for the first time since the Rugby World Cup final in 2003.

England pace and power with ball-in-hand

England wing Mark Cueto blasts through an Australian tackle during the 2010 Investec International

Photo: Getty Images

For once it was not the set-piece which battered Australia into submission, but England's pace and power with ball-in-hand. The world's most vaunted back division was outshone by their England counterparts in virtually every position.

England tore into the Wallabies from the outset, but despite their early pressure, which saw breaks from Flood and centre Mike Tindall, the hosts were fortunate not to fall 6-0 down as Australia wing James O'Connor missed two early shots at goal.

But England remained composed, winning a vital lineout in their own 22 before Stade Francais’ Palmer put in a huge tackle in midfield to win a turnover.

Youngs then combined with Flood and Tindall to launch England upfield. When Tindall eventually was hauled down, Australia conceded the penalty and Flood slotted the points.

England were making yards with every carry, with No.8 Nick Easter and Palmer to the fore. And when Wallabies full back Kurtley Beale sliced a clearance into touch, England won clean lineout ball and took full advantage with a clinical move.

Centre Shontayne Hape crashed across the gainline, Tindall and Cueto carried it on and then Leicester flanker Tom Croft collected the popped pass and off-loaded to Ashton, who held off two Australian defenders to score. Flood added the extras.

O'Connor struck the post with his third shot at goal but he was soon given another chance which he took, after England prop Dan Cole was penalised at the scrum.

But England still had all the momentum. When Wallabies centre Matt Giteau was penalised for holding on, Youngs took a quick tap to launch another counter-attack from inside his own half.

Youngs exchanged passes with Flood and then poked a grubber kick through. O'Connor collected but he was immediately swallowed by England defenders who snatched the turnover five metres out.

With Twickenham roaring him on, Croft drove for the line. The Leicester Tigers blind side was stopped short but a try was there for taking and Giteau knew it.

The Australia No.12 stuck a boot in to prevent Youngs from swinging the ball wide and was rightly sin-binned, with Flood accepting the three points on offer.

Ashton scores one of Twickenham’s finest tries

England wing Chris Ashton celebrates a try against Australia in the 2010 Investec International

Photo: Getty Images

Flood and O'Connor exchanged further penalties before the moment of the match arrived three minutes into the second half.

Even down to 14 men, Australia mounted their first real assault on the England line and looked set to score.

But when visiting scrum half Will Genia darted for the line he was swallowed up by a combination of Flood, Tindall and Palmer. England snatched the turnover and scored one of the great Twickenham tries.

Youngs spotted the opening and after dummying behind his own line, sent lock Courtney Lawes away down the blindside.

The Northampton Saints forward then slipped the pass to Ashton who roared clear and skinned wing Drew Mitchell to score from 85 metres and send Twickenham crazy. Flood knocked over a simple conversion and England led 26-6.

Faultess Flood kicks nine from nine

England fly half Toby Flood, who kicked nine from nine for 25 points, kicks for goal during the 2010 Investec International

Photo: Getty Images

Australia found a toe-hold in the game when Beale scored a brilliant individual try, breaking England's line and then chipping over full back Ben Foden before touching down.

But Cueto surged through two tackles straight from the restart and when lock Nathan Sharpe was penalised for holding on, Flood slotted another penalty.

Australia struck again when hooker Dylan Hartley missed his lineout jumpers on halfway and the turnover ball was quickly shipped out wide where Beale crashed over.

But still England tore into the Wallabies, with Cueto scything through their defence from deep, and Flood sealed a famous victory with two more penalties, taking his tally to a magnificent nine kicks from nine.

Now, some illuminating and edifying stats to bring hope to all England Rugby fans just 10 months away from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

That was England’s first win over a Tri-Nations team at home in four years; Flood's perfect 25-point haul is the highest individual score in the history of Tests between the two sides; England had never before scored more than 32 points against the Wallabies; and this equalled their largest margin of victory against Australia.

England v Australia teams

England : 15-Foden; 14-Ashton, 13-Tindall, 12-Hape, 11-M Cueto; 10-Flood, 9-Youngs; 1-Sheridan, 2-Hartley, 3-Cole, 4-Lawes, 5-Palmer, 6-Croft, 7-Moody (capt), 8-Easter

Replacements: 16-Thompson, 17-Wilson, 18-Shaw, 19-Fourie, 20-Care, 21-Hodgson, 22-Armitage.

Australia : 15-Beale; 14-O'Connor, 13-Ashley-Cooper, 12-Giteau, 11-Mitchell; 10-Cooper, 9-Genia; 1-Robinson, 2-Moore, 3-Alexander, 4-Chisholm, 5-Sharpe, 6-Elsom (capt), 7-Pocock, 8-McCalman.

Replacements: 16-Edmonds, 17-Slipper, 18-Mumm, 19-Brown, 20-Burgess, 21-Barnes, 22-Turner.

 

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