Freddie Steward and Jamie Blamire touched down as England secured a 32-15 victory over Australia in the Autumn Nations Series at Twickenham on Saturday.  

Leicester Tigers full-back Steward crossed for his first Test try in the opening stages, but poor discipline from both teams meant the match was largely a kicking contest.  

The returning Owen Farrell had 17 points to James O'Connor's 15 with the boot as Australia failed to bounce back from their 15-13 loss to Scotland last weekend.  

After Farrell and Michael Hooper hobbled off with injuries in the second half, Blamire raced away with the clock in the red to add a touch of gloss to the scoreline. 

Steward stepped around Kurtley Beale for the opening try in the eighth minute, but England were unable to take full advantage of Australia being reduced to 14 men after Tom Wright was sent to the bin for catching Jamie George in the head with his shoulder.  

Only a sublime last-ditch tackle from Nic White stopped George touching in the corner in the 35th minute and O'Connor's fourth successful penalty before Wright returned meant there were just four points in it at the break.  

O'Connor closed the gap further after the restart, but Angus Bell was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Courtney Lawes and Farrell slotted through the resulting penalty, though he missed another effort from the tee before Bell returned.  

An ankle injury forced Hooper off before the hour mark and Farrell put a converted try between the teams with a successful penalty after Bell's scrum infringement. 

The game was already put to bed before Noah Lolesio gave the ball away to Sam Simmonds, who teed up Blamire for a try that Marcus Smith converted to make the result look more comfortable.

Eight straight for England  

Since Eddie Jones took over, England have been victorious in all of their eight meetings with their coach's home nation. They have never enjoyed a better winning run against the Wallabies, who last got the better of England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  

Australia still struggle in Europe  

Having succumbed to back-to-back defeats against Scotland and England, Australia have now won just two of their past 10 away Tests versus European teams. They will hope to end the skid against Wales at the Principality Stadium next weekend. 

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell was delighted with his team's 29-20 victory against New Zealand and now wants "consistency" ahead of the match with Argentina next week.

Tries from James Lowe, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris along with a penalty from Johnny Sexton and three from Joey Carbery saw the home side put away the All Blacks in a spirited performance from both the players and crowd in Dublin.

Ireland were on top for much of the match despite somehow going in 10-5 behind at the break after conceding a penalty and a sloppy try, but were able to come back in the second half to win.

"It was a fantastic day for Irish rugby and I'm so proud of the lads," Farrell said to RTE Sport after the victory. 

"I wanted us to make sure we stayed disciplined. I thought just before half-time we lost a little bit of that. We were going off our feet a little bit and [conceded] a few penalties because of it, but we refocused at half-time.

"We asked the boys to bring enough moments to the crowd to get them on song, and that was right throughout the game and it certainly helped us in the last 10 minutes.

"We wanted to back ourselves and see where we are at. It's a nice performance and we get the victory to go with it. We stayed nice and calm and the plan was executed nicely. We were brave to back it up as well.

"We'll soak this up tonight and enjoy it, but the main thing is to be consistent again next week. Argentina are a good side, nice and strong and physical and we'll get back to work next week."

One of Ireland's star performers on the day was appropriately New Zealand-born Lowe, who scored the opening try of the game before putting in a vital tackle to stop an All Blacks counter-attack with the score at 23-20 late on.

Speaking to Channel 4, Lowe said: "It's amazing. Never in a million years did I think this day would come. Since [I was] a kid I dreamed of being an All Black.

"I gave up that dream, I wasn't quite good enough, but to put up a performance against the best team in the world. To stand in front of the haka, it's a childhood dream."

Ireland produced an outstanding performance to beat New Zealand 29-20 at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Andy Farrell's men, spurred on by a raucous home crowd in Dublin which relished an intense display from the hosts, overwhelmed the All Blacks.

New Zealand kept themselves within touching distance throughout despite being second best in most metrics but were unable to overcome a spirited Ireland side.

The visitors came within yards of the opening try on 10 minutes but Ronan Kelleher crucially intercepted, before Codie Taylor was shown a yellow card in the 13th minute for a high tackle on Johnny Sexton.

Ireland took full advantage as James Lowe scored the first try of the game in the corner just over a minute later.

Despite being largely on top, Ireland went in 10-5 behind at the break after a Jordie Barrett penalty and a converted try from the returning Taylor.

Ireland started the second half brightly with Kelleher forcing the ball over for their second try, though Sexton missed his conversion for a second time.

The home crowd did not have to wait long to see their team ahead though as Caelan Doris raced away to score Ireland's third try, and it was third time lucky for Sexton with the extra two points, before adding another penalty before the hour mark to stretch the lead to 10 after a 15-point swing.

A rare lapse in concentration allowed the All Blacks to add another converted try through Will Jordan's 15th score of 2021 - no other player from a Tier 1 nation has reached double figures - but Joey Carbery added an Irish penalty straight after replacing Sexton, who came off with a head injury.

A disallowed New Zealand try was followed by a penalty that briefly reduced the gap to three, but a Carbery kick from the halfway line soon restored the six-point advantage, and another three from the same man just before the end saw Ireland home for a famous win.

Ireland close to perfect in Dublin

This was as good a performance as Farrell could have hoped for, and it is testament to his team that they probably should have won by more.

Ireland had 66 per cent of possession, 72 per cent of territory, almost three times as many carries (68-23) and more than three times as many passes (175-57).

All Blacks a shadow of usual selves

Ian Foster will have been less pleased with what he saw from the world's number one team, though will surely concede that the quality of his opponents on the day was a bigger factor than his own team’s performance.

This was just New Zealand's third defeat from 41 Tests in Europe (W38), with those other losses coming at the hands of Ireland (16-9 in November 2018) and England (38-21 in December 2012).

Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as South Africa recovered from a half-time deficit to see off Scotland 30-15 in Saturday's entertaining Test at Murrayfield.

Scotland beat Australia 15-13 last week and looked good value to pull off another big win after opening up a 10-8 lead at the midway point against the Springboks.

Mapimpi had raced over following some good play from Siya Kolisi for the opening try of the contest after Finn Russell and Elton Jantjies shared a penalty apiece.

But the hosts hit back strongly with a brilliantly worked try that started with Russell chipping a cross-kick left and Stuart Hogg eventually collecting a bouncing ball to run in.

Russell successfully added the extras, unlike Jantjies earlier in the game, but he was wayward with a straightforward penalty just before the interval.

That proved costly as Damian de Allende flicked a great pass to Mapimpi three minutes into the second period to double South Africa's try count.

Jantjies this time made no mistake from the conversion and added six more points from the boot to punish ill-disciplined Scotland, who did manage to restore some hope when Hogg was fed by Duhan van der Merwe for a second try of his own.

However, any hopes Scotland had of a first win over the reigning world champions since 2010 were ended when Handre Pollard (two) and Francois Steyn kicked over a trio of late penalties.

Eddie Jones says England are now treating coronavirus cases to key men "as normal" after Ellis Genge was ruled out of Saturday's Test against Australia.

Genge, who had been named in the XV against the Wallabies, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Uncapped Sale prop Bevan Rodd, previously set for a bench role, instead comes in for his full debut, while Jones has called up Trevor Davison of Newcastle Falcons to his replacements.

There is still no place for Mako Vunipola.

Genge joins Joe Marler in missing this game due to COVID, while captain Owen Farrell was absent against Tonga before his test result was revealed to be a false positive.

England confirmed Genge had immediately gone into isolation and no other players or staff had returned positive results.

"We treat it as normal now," Jones said as England continued their preparations.

"Every day is an adventure and we're on a bit of a rollercoaster at the moment. COVID keeps coming, we just accept it and get on with it.

"I was watching the players come through this morning. Some are disappointed for Ellis, others are angry, others just want to get on with it."

England have won seven consecutive matches against the Wallabies, their best winning run in this fixture.

Another England victory would see them nudge ahead of Australia in all-time meetings, with the sides having won 25 apiece and drawn the other of their 51 encounters.

Marcus Smith starts at fly-half and Owen Farrell returns at inside centre, while Manu Tuilagi moves to the wing when England face Australia on Saturday.

Smith came off the bench in the 69-3 thrashing of Tonga last weekend but will make his third Test start in place of George Furbank against the Wallabies at Twickenham.

Captain Farrell comes back into the team after missing the drubbing of the Pacific island nation due to his positive coronavirus test.

Tuilagi shifts from midfield to the right wing, with Jonny May on the other flank, and Maro Itoje will make his 50th appearance for his country in an unchanged pack.

Bevan Rodd and Raffi Quirke could make their debuts off the bench, but Joe Marler will not feature after the prop tested positive for COVID-19.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: "We know this will be a tough test for us, we're playing against a team who have been together a while and who have beat the world champions twice. As an Australian, I know how much this game means.

"We've had a really good week of preparation, we're looking to improve our performance this week and I think this side is building well."

England: Freddie Steward, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, Marcus Smith, Ben Youngs; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry.

Replacements: Jamie Blamire, Bevan Rodd, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Alex Dombrandt, Sam Simmonds, Raffi Quirke, Max Malins.

England will be without Joe Marler when they face Australia at Twickenham on Saturday after the prop tested positive for coronavirus.

Marler returned a positive lateral flow test on Monday and immediately went into isolation.

The 31-year-old will isolate for 10 days after a PCR test confirmed he has contracted COVID-19.

All of the other England players and staff returned negative lateral flow tests, with additional PCR test results not yet received.

Owen Farrell rejoined the squad on Monday after he missed the 69-3 hammering of Tonga on Saturday, having tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Marler came off the bench in that thrashing at Twickenham, but will play no part against the Wallabies.

He will hope to be available to return when Eddie Jones' side take on world champions South Africa on November 20.

Scotland held off Australia to claim a narrow 15-13 win in their first November Test at Murrayfield, ending the Wallabies' five-match winning run.

Sunday's hosts had beaten Australia in the sides' previous two meetings, but Dave Rennie's men came into the clash in their best spell of form since a sequence of seven straight victories across September and October 2015.

Finn Russell's penalty 12 minutes from time ultimately proved the difference, prompting Hamish Watson to tell Amazon Prime: "Something special is building here."

Watson had opened the scoring in a tense back-and-forth encounter, powering over in the 22nd minute following a lineout.

Michael Hooper thought he had replied before the break, but the TMO intervened to rule out his try – Allan Alaalatoa sent to the sin bin for catching Matt Fagerson in the face – and James O'Connor's penalty instead provided Australia's only first-half points.

The Wallabies' 14 men had their first lead early in the second half through Rob Leota's score, only for debutant Ewan Ashman to squeeze the ball down in the corner for Scotland.

Another O'Connor penalty put Australia back in front heading into the closing stages, but the game was decided from Scotland's tee and the boot of Russell.

England captain Owen Farrell has been cleared to return to the squad after his coronavirus test was revealed to be a false positive.

The 30-year-old went into isolation and missed England's 69-3 over Tonga on Saturday after a PCR test taken on Thursday came back positive.

However, England revealed on Sunday that the result has been reviewed and determined as a false positive test.

He tested negative in subsequent PCR tests and has therefore been given the green light to link up with his team-mates at Pennyhill Park.

Farrell will be in contention to return to action for Eddie Jones' side when they take on Australia at Twickenham next Saturday.

France were delighted to welcome back a home crowd at the Stade de France for Saturday's Test against Argentina, but captain Antoine Dupont suggested the occasion contributed to their sloppy play.

Les Bleus were playing a home Test for the first time since crowds returned following the coronavirus shutdown.

Dupont and his team-mates were able to celebrate the reunion with a win, edging Los Pumas 29-20 despite having to wait until the 50th minute for the first try through Thibaud Flament.

Melvyn Jaminet's work from the tee had kept France in the match up to that point and he finished with five penalties along with successful conversions from both tries.

But Dupont recognised Les Bleus lacked discipline in their opening November international, referring to "a lot of mistakes" in a post-match interview with France Tele.

"The victory is there but we are able to do much better," the stand-in skipper added.

"It also felt good to no longer sing the Marseillaise alone in a stadium. It's been a long time since we've played together.

"There was a lot of appetite and enthusiasm on everyone's part, which led to small mistakes but it was for good reason."

Eddie Jones challenged his ruthless England side to become the best team on the planet after they brushed aside Tonga at Twickenham.

England ran in 11 tries as they thumped the Pacific islanders by 69-3 despite the absence of captain Owen Farrell who missed the Test after a positive Covid-19 test.

Jamie George, Jonny May and Ben Youngs claimed two tries apiece while Adam Radwan, Maro Itoje, Marcus Smith, Jamie Blamire and Alex Mitchell also crossed the line.

Tonga played the final 10 minutes a man down after replacement Viliami Fine was shown a red following an elbow to Smith's head.

England have now won 16 of their last 17 Autumn Internationals (excluding the Rugby World Cup and warm-ups), a run dating back to 2014, with New Zealand (2018) the only side to beat them in that time.

Head coach Jones acknowledged there will be much sterner opponents to come – starting with Australia next weekend – but urged his England players to target the summit of world rugby.

"It is a project, we are two years from the World Cup and by the time we get to the World Cup we want to be the best team in the world," he told Amazon Prime.

"It is not what you see, it is how much we improve: this week, and then onto next week and the week after.

"We can only play against the opposition that show. I think we left four tries out there, but I liked the attitude in the second half. 

"In a game like that the crowd can go off for more pints and do a Mexican wave, we managed to keep the energy up and stopped it [the wave] about halfway round the stadium today."

England will face the Wallabies before they round off the Autumn Internationals against world champions South Africa.

Courtney Lawes captained the side in place of Farrell and the forward claimed his team-mates are already as good as any side in the world on their day – although there are still aspects to their game to improve on.

He added: "There is a little bit to work on but it is great to be back with the fans. It was nice to get a few points at the end at bring some entertainment.

"It is going to be a great game [against Australia] I believe we can go toe to toe with anyone, we have a bit to learn but I am looking forward very much to next week."

England captain Owen Farrell has tested positive for COVID-19 and is a major doubt for the upcoming clash with Tonga.

The 30-year-old has gone into isolation after receiving a positive PCR test result and is absent from England's training session on Friday, but he still has a chance of featuring on Saturday, according to the Rugby Football Union.

England confirmed that - aside from one member of support staff - all their other players and staff had returned negative test results on Thursday, and Farrell will be tested again.

The England skipper was set to start the Autumn Nations Series opener at fly-half, with George Ford not named in the squad and Marcus Smith struggling with an injury.

If Farrell is unable to feature, George Furbank is the most natural replacement, although Henry Slade could also move across to take his spot.

 

Defending champions Wales are set to be without captain Alun Wyn Jones for the Six Nations due to a shoulder injury.

Jones was ruled out of the remainder of the Autumn Nations Series, as he requires surgery due to the damage done in a crushing 54-16 defeat to New Zealand last weekend.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac does not expect the most capped player of all time to play any part when the holders bid to retain their Six Nations title next year.

Pivac said on Thursday: "I don't think he'll be available for the Six Nations.

"You learn a lot about the worth of people when they're not there. I think a lot of people take Alun Wyn for granted – he's always been there and got seniority.

"That leadership is really important. The essence is on others to step up and take that role on."

Jones, who astonishingly recovered from a shoulder injury to captain the British and Irish Lions in South Africa, is in the twilight of his career at the age of 35.

Pivac believes the inspirational towering lock, who won a world record 149th Wales cap in the loss to the All Blacks, can play in the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

"The intention is always to see if Al can get to the World Cup. I think it's a realistic goal personally," the New Zealander said.

"You've just got to see him in training and when he's playing, the efforts he puts in. I don't see anything going anywhere near backwards in terms of his performances.

"A bit of time off, we spoke about this before Al left camp. It's not ideal for him. We're all looking forward to him playing 150 Test matches for Wales, but that is still a goal and I'm sure he'll get there."

Pivac has made six changes to the starting XV for the showdown with South Africa at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, with Ellis Jenkins replacing Ross Moriarty (shoulder) in what will be his first Test for three years after recovering from a knee injury.

Dan Biggar returns at fly-half, while wing Louis Rees-Zammit, centre Nick Tompkins and prop Rhys Carre also start and Jonathan Davies takes over as captain.
 

Wales team: Johnny McNicholl, Louis Rees-Zammit, Jonathan Davies (captain), Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ellis Jenkins, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Wyn Jones, WillGriff John, Ben Carter, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Gareth Anscombe, Liam Williams.

Beauden Barrett bagged a pair of tries on his 100th Test appearance for New Zealand as the All Blacks swept away Wales 54-16 amid a deluge of late tries in Cardiff.

A week after they thrashed the United States 104-14 in Washington, New Zealand found greater resistance in the Welsh capital, but they eventually took the game away from their hosts, turning a spicy Autumn Nations Series contest into a drubbing.

Barrett took New Zealand beyond 50 points in the 79th minute with his second try of the match, and the visitors' seventh in total.

New Zealand raced into a fourth-minute lead, centurion Barrett intercepting a pass from Gareth Anscombe and charging through to score under the posts.

Try-scorer Barrett was spared a yellow card after a seemingly deliberate knock-on, before Wales lost Alun Wyn Jones to injury on the day the captain beat Richie McCaw's record tally of 148 caps for an international team. Jones suffered the upper-body blow when tackling Jordie Barrett.

New Zealand were well on top and had a second try in the 34th minute when scrum-half TJ Perenara scuttled in from close range. Prop Nepo Laulala was then only yellow-carded after making heavy contact with the head of Ross Moriarty in a tackle, perhaps a let-off for the tourists.

Kicking from Anscombe, Jordie Barrett and Rhys Priestland kept the scoreboard ticking along, before wing Will Jordan produced a thrilling third All Blacks try, chipping ahead and sprinting through to collect and dot down.

Johnny Williams thrilled the home crowd when he threw himself on Priestland's skidding kick behind the All Blacks defence, narrowing the gap to 28-16.

Then came the New Zealand surge, as Dalton Papalii exploited a gap in the Wales defence from a lineout to inflict more punishment, Sevu Reece exchanged passes on the left with Ardie Savea before dashing in, and Anton Lienert-Brown raced to the corner on the opposite flank.

Beauden Barrett had the final say, another interception seeing him gain possession on halfway, reading the pass from Johnny McNicholl and driving to the line.


Barrett times it to perfection

Moments after he was announced to the crowd as man of the match, Barrett turned on the afterburners for a second time. It was a fitting way for his match to end.

He told Amazon Prime it had been a demanding week, given the focus on him.

"I've spent a bit of time reminiscing this week and I've tried not to overdo it because we had a job in hand tonight and I wanted to focus on playing well," Barrett said. "Tonight, I'll enjoy my boys' company and thank all those people who have helped me along the journey."

Joy for Jordan

Jordan's try here was one even the most ardent Wales supporter must have admired. The decision to chip and the execution both smacked of a player with unwavering self-belief. Jordan has now scored 16 tries in Test rugby since his debut for New Zealand, twice as many as any other Tier 1 player in that period.

Alun Wyn Jones will surpass Richie McCaw's record tally of 148 caps for his country when Wales face New Zealand in a mouthwatering Autumn Nations Series clash on Saturday.

Wales captain Jones matched legendary former All Blacks captain McCaw's astonishing number of Test appearances when he faced Scotland last year.

The British and Irish Lions skipper will set a new record for games played for a country at Principality Stadium this weekend.

Jones, who has played in 12 Lions Tests, will lead out a Wales side that has a blend of experience and youth.

 

Taine Basham made his first start at international level in the back row and Gareth Anscombe makes his return at fly-half against his country of birth over two years after his last Test appearance.

Anscombe has impressed after spending such a long spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Ken Owens was initially selected at hooker, but has since been replaced by Ryan Elias due to a back injury, with Kirby Myhill named on the bench.

Hooker Elliot Dee has been released from the Six Nations champions' squad due to a neck injury.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: "To win a World Cup you have to play against teams like New Zealand at some stage in the tournament and you have to win those games.

"It’s going to be a great experience for those guys who haven't played a lot of test rugby and they'll certainly know they’ve been in a match afterwards."

Wales have won only three of 35 Tests against the All Blacks ahead of the showdown in Cardiff.

 

Wales: Johnny McNicholl, Owen Lane, Jonathan Davies, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Ben Thomas.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.