A pounding in the pack but Wallabies will bounce back

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Australians don't do gallant defeat. They will not have woken up this morning, watched through clenched hands the rerun of this intriguing 80 minutes, witnessed their gold and green laying siege to the England line in the final moments - against all the odds, against all the possession - and thought proudly to themselves: "Didn't we do well, seeing as we hardly had the ball?"

No, they will look at the latest beating, put it alongside their previous six and think: "Aussies don't lose seven in a row. Not at rugby, not at tiddlywinks, not at downhill skiing, not at nothing." And Eddie Jones will face a high jump he will palpably have no chance of winning. Cue yet another Aussie loss.

But if they took time to see the hole their coach has in his armoury they would at least understand that this void happens to be more gaping than the area where the Twickenham South Stand used to be. It is called the front row, and Australia blatantly haven't got one worthy of the name, worthy of the frame.

Not when you compare it to the mammoth space Andrew Sheridan occupied as he forged a place inside the Australian collective conciousness that is on the Ned Kelly side of instant notoriety.

Twickenham might well have seen the birth of a folk hero yesterday. Be sure, barbies will not be lit in his honour.

But maybe they should be, as Big Ted, the qualified bricklayer, exposed Australian's shortcoming just when they most need it. This powerhouse paucity must be addressed, quickly, and laughing Bill Young - at home, hardly believing his luck at being granted this tour off - is not the solution. That plainly lies in the future and searing athleticism, not in the past and blatant skullduggery that again blessedly came a poor second yesterday.

Sure, the Wallabies have the bounding talent outside to launch a thousand counterattacks, and when a measure of forward parity was gained in the first quarter yesterday their ball-handlers proved what havoc they can wreak. It was humbling for all but a New Zealander to see a playmaker of the natural ability of Mat Rogers - playing only his second Test at outside-half - effecting it like a latter-day Mark Ella.

But then, not half as humbling as to watch an England pack run over them at will in a second half when only Rogers and the rest of his back line managed to keep within the unlikeliest of shouting distances.

How they did it, in this of all years, is best summed by a crude analogy with cricket. While their bowlers left them no basis of offence at all, they were forced to make the most of every run presented to them, making the scoresheet read as favourably as their hosts dared concede. Alas, there are chases beyond even the most destructive of attackers.

Not that these Australians can quite boast to be that - not even with the devastating Drew Mitchell in their ranks - but as England were left to reflect on yet another performance when forward dominance was not turned into points, Australia were left to imagine what they could do with such an embarrassment of territorial riches.

They will stop imagining soon, bring together a pack that the creativity and inventiveness of those such as Chris Latham so obviously deserve, and then the rest of the world will have to watch out. Believe it, Australia will one day put paid to the growing theory that there are only two world-class union teams operating in Australasia at the minute - New Zealand and the New Zealand reserves.

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