The resurgence of the Wallabies following spring tour wins in Japan and Cardiff has hit a snag, as the Aussies did not seem resurgent or surging even when they went into Twickenham for a match with the Poms and came out on the short end by a score of 30 – 6.
The game was close up until the 72nd minute and could have gone either way at that juncture, were it not for two disputed try calls.
They also dealt admirably with being short two players on either side of the half after Kurtley Beale and Michael Hooper were sin-binned and their penalties overlapped. Beale was guilty of deliberately knocking down a pass and Hooper of team infringements.
This is the sort of thing that happens when playing rugby on enemy territory, especially the territory of a former empire robbed of its relevance by historic events.
At the 69th minute, it was still a close game, with the score 13 – 6 in England’s favour, when Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete scored a try that was reviewed by the Television Match Official in an endless fashion that would make the NFL’s replay officials blush with embarrassment, with the eventual ruling by Kiwi referee Ben O’Keefe being that Stephen Moore had prevented Chris Robshaw from making a clean tackle. Not that anyone would dare suggest that Robshaw would make an unclean tackle.
England was given a penalty and the try was erased.
The other highly disputed incident was when the TMO was again called in to decide whether or not the ball had touched the sideline just ahead of a try by the POMS. Even though the video evidence seemed to indicate that the ball had touched the sideline, O’Keefe backed the TMO’s try call.
Wallabies Coach Michael Cheika was beside himself with rage over the disputed calls and might be facing disciplinary action for his expletive-shouting incident in the stands.