Waltz time: it's Australia day at the double

Normal service has been resumed, and Australia are showing us all how to play rugby again. At Twickenham yesterday the Wallabies edged a 21-19 win over England thanks, in large part, to a fine performance from their young centre Matt Giteau. Later, at Elland Road, the Kangaroos smashed Great Britain to smithereens, winning 44-4 to take rugby league's Tri-Nations title at an embarrassing canter. In London, England's union players bust a collective gut but fell agonisingly short against a determined Australian side who were hungry for revenge for last year's World Cup final defeat. In Leeds, in the rain, 15 Englishmen, a Welshman and an Irishman flapped and flagged as the men in green and gold ran in six first-half tries to turn a tide of British optimism into a particularly dispiriting puddle. In London, England's union fans mulled over a selection of "what-ifs" - what if Andy Robinson had not selected the struggling Henry Paul in the centre; what if Mike Tindall, who slotted two fine conversions as a stand-in goal-kicker thanks to Paul's problems and Charlie Hodgson's injury, had taken the conversion Andy Gomarsall missed after Lewis Moody's try; what if young Giteau had not been so good at creating tries and converting crucial penalties? In Leeds, Britain's shell-shocked supporters, when they weren't booing their floundering side or sneaking out early, had recourse to a couple of "if-onlys" - if only Terry Newton hadn't given away the silly penalty that gave Australia a flying start; if only the Kangaroo stand-off Darren Lockyer hadn't been born. Lockyer's first-half performance was even better than Giteau's three hours earlier and a couple of hundred miles further south. Back to the drawing board it is, then - in both codes.

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