Appearing to make the cardinal error of trying to play the Australians at their own high-speed game, they paid the penalty for a tentative opening spell. The Australians struck in the sixth minute after a 40-yard drive by Jay Stacy fell for Stephen Davies, who connected with a fine reverse- stick shot.
Four minutes later, Davies evaded a tackle from Tom Bertram to chip the ball over the advancing Simon Mason. The Australian substitute, Craig Victory, put Australia further ahead in the 18th minute with his first touch of the game following a quick free-hit.
England showed great commitment as they tried to claw their way back into the game, but only had a consolation goal in the 62nd minute from Bobby Crutchley to show for their labours. A quickly taken free-hit was nudged on by Calum Giles to Crutchley, who fired in.
Earlier in the day the South Koreans, who beat England 3-2 in their opening game, beat the Dutch - the holders of the trophy as well as the world and Olympic champions - by the same score despite the Korean manager calling his players to a sideline to protest against a sending-off decision which only came from the Australian umpire after Dutch protests.
ENGLAND: Mason (Reading); Johnson (Cannock), Wyatt (Reading), Bertram (Bournville), Waugh (Southgate); Garcia (Harvestehuder, Hamburg), Garrard (Teddington), Woods (Southgate); Sharpe (Cannock), Hall (Guildford), Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: Giles (Southgate), Humphrey (Cannock), Crutchley (Cannock), Wallis (Teddington).
AUSTRALIA: Dreher; York, Duff; Gaudoin, Livermore, Sproule; Elmer, Stacy, Davies, Brennan, Elder. Substitutes used: Holt, Vivian-Taylor, Commens, Victory.