Rugby Union: Sublime England

Click to follow
England Schools 30

Australia Schools 3

Put in its historical context, this was one of the greatest results any English representative side has ever had. The Australians, heirs of one of the proudest traditions in the game, were thrashed.

They were not helped by last night's filthy conditions at Kingsholm - perfect for the Gloucester forwards maybe, but hopeless for aspiring Wallabies accustomed to the sun on their backs - but really it was England's many qualities that counted.

Australia were undone by an astounding English burst of 21 points from three converted tries in the 10 minutes after half-time. As the Australians had squandered their own first-half chances, this object lesson in how to score was all the more salutary.

Something like this - or a defeat, at any rate - has been threatening to happen all tour. The Aussies had drawn two of their provincial matches and, though they beat Ireland, Scotland and France, the win at Murrayfield required a last-minute penalty.

Still, they were unbeaten until last night and that was in accordance with previous Australian practice. This was the sixth schools' tour to the Five Nations and of the 78 matches this was only the second they have lost, the other being the inaugural international against Alastair Hignell's England at Twickenham in 1974.

This is a formidable record which might have remained intact had Australia done better downwind. Jason Jones-Hughes had a colleague on either side of him and only Paul Sampson to beat when he foolishly decided to keep going himself. Manuel Edmonds was infull cry for the line when Jeremy Cook hauled him down.

It was Cook who gave England their interval lead with the two penalties that followed Elton Flatley's for Australia. Cook then proceeded to add the extras to each of the England tries and the last-minute penalty with which Australian embarrassment was completed.

The short, but very sweet, try glut started when the threequarter line went one way and Sampson the other before planting a kick of exquisite accuracy for the pursuing Nick Booth. Next, the forwards rolled away from a scrum for Martyn Wood to score.

Lastly, Joe Ewens charged down a sloppy clearance and followed up, leaving England to turn their thoughts to New Zealand at Leicester next Wednesday. Now what a double that would be.

England: Tries: Booth, Wood, Ewens; Conversions: Cook 3; Penalties: Cook 3. Australia: Penalty: Flatley.

England Schools: P Sampson (Woodhouse Grove); N Booth (Lytham HS), J Ewens (Colston's), O Jones (Marlborough), J Cook (Millfield); J Hurst (Stoneyhurst), M Wood (Harrogate GS); M Worsley (St Ambrose), R Protherough (King's Worcester), C Cano (Thomas Alleyne), A Bell (Colston's), W Fuller (Wallington GS), J Cockle (Prior Park), G Wappett (Bradford GS, capt), M Cornish (Ivybridge).

Australia Schools: M Bartholomeusz (Queensland); R Rogan, J Jones-Hughes (New South Wales), E Flatley (Queensland), M Kennedy; M Edmonds (Australian Capital Territory), D Cronan; S Hardman, D Flynn (Queensland), B Hindmarsh, T Bowman, M Abbott (NSW), T Eaton (ACT), S Kasprowicz (Queensland, capt), R Maughan (ACT).

Replacements: B Mulheran (Queensland) for Jones-Hughes, 45; T Gilsenan (NSW) for Maughan, 67.

Referee: D Bevan (Wales).