Head coach Eddie Jones said before England arrived in Australia that they wanted a 3-0 win and has warned his players against the dangers of complacency in the run-up to Saturday’s match.
Indeed, his only regret might be that having secured England’s first ever series win in Australia, he will be unable to test his team against the absolute benchmark of global rugby until 2018.
The back page of Australia’s Courier Mail for Sunday morning.
But Farrell again kept England in control with his sixth penalty before replacement winger Taqele Naiyaravoro scored a consolation try after the full-time siren.
England were given little chance to pop Australia’s World Cup bubble of self-confidence but from the moment he landed in Australia Jones has talked the talk and it has paid off in a big way, making a few experts look silly along the way too. The Wallabies’ response was immediate with Israel Folau dashing up the left touchline before sending Bernard Foley over and he levelled the scores with his conversion.
The hero of England’s Sydney triumph was Saracens sharpshooter Owen Farrell, whose 24 points proved the difference after the Wallabies outscored the tourists five tries to four.
Jones said he was an “eternal optimist” and was confident before the team’s arrival in Australia that England could beat the Wallabies 3-0.
“I’ve backed every call Squeak’s made and I’ve been happy with the calls I’ve made at the back of the game”, he said.
“He came back and we probably could have spun him out last week, but I think he needed more running in his legs”.
“We put everything into it, it was our last 80 minutes of the season and I am proud of how the guys conducted themselves the last three weeks”.
But England’s history of two-Test trips to Australia dates back to 1975, when the garrulous, hardnut Gloucester prop Mike Burton was sent off in the “Battle of Ballymore”.
“We are a team that very much believes in the way we play footy”, he said.
“Hopefully from a high performance sense we’ve got more collaboration around the states, which will ultimately result in the Wallaby team being better prepared”.
He said the series sweep was a significant achievement but represented just a small step for England. We will enjoy this for now.
“We felt like he needed some work on his fitness and he’s run hard and he’s trained hard”, Cheika told reporters.
England end a season in which they won the Six Nations Grand Slam placed second in the world rankings, but McGeechan feels the gap to the all-conquering All Blacks is considerable.
Toomua makes his first test appearance of the year after recovering from a knee injury and replaces Samu Kerevi, who started in the Brisbane and Melbourne defeats but has been dropped from the match-day squad altogether.