England is definitely better. When she arrived in Australia, she was in the worst possible shape after a failed Six Nations tournament, with three consecutive defeats… Defeated during the first test when she was nevertheless playing in numerical superiority, she managed to get up. After her success acquired last week in Brisbane, she did it again this Saturday morning in Sydney (21-17).
She therefore won the series, and gave herself a huge burst of confidence a few months before the start of the World Cup. It’s not yet Ireland (n°1 in the world rankings after its second victory in a row in New Zealand this Saturday), but there is better. Eddie Jones will also be able to leave quietly on vacation, he, who has been the target of violent criticism for months. His head is regularly requested. He holds on, and will hold on. So obviously, not everything was perfect during this southern trip, and some of his choices will be debated, even mocked, such as that of starting Danny Care, this Saturday, at the scrum, for a sixth change in six matches so far. a strategic position.
Care missed his match, and he didn’t even have time to finish the first period, replaced by the young Jack Van Poortvielt (21), yet interesting last week in Brisbane. The decisions of the breeders are sometimes illegible. When Care found the bench, Australia led the score (10-3), thanks in particular to a beautiful try scored by Tom Wright, untenable on his wing, and inserted with this school one-two played with Nic White… Three minutes after the exit of Care, Harlequins player, like Marcus Smith, the English concretized one of their highlights, with an inspiration from the small side of Van Poortvielt, and a decisive pass for Freddie Stewart, this intelligent rear, tireless sprinter, and sure-handed player on all aerial balls.
Marcus Smith’s madness counter
In the lead at the break, the English were able to maintain this lead despite an Australian reaction. In the second half, Eddie Jones’ men fell back and suffered, no doubt exhausted by the accumulation of efforts made during the season, and therefore overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the local entrants (Folaun Fainga’a, Pete Samu). But the English have found a soul, a sense of collective, and sacrifice, a desire to defend together, and protect their goal line.
It is enough to see the commitment of Courtney Lawes, or the rage of Owen Farrell, to understand that something is happening in this selection which, it is important to remember, was deprived for this match of Itoje, d ‘Underhill and Curry, all of whom suffered concussions in the first two games.
Realistic in front of their line, they also succeeded in attack, like this crazy counter from Marcus Smith, the Harlequins phenomenon, who resisted the return of four Australians (55th), to the delight of Eddie Jones , the Australian, serene in a press conference for months despite the defeats, the humiliations. He has always proclaimed loud and clear that his fifteen would be competitive in France, in the fall of 2023… There is still a long way to go, but England seem not to have taken the wrong direction.