Shamik Das

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Out, out, out!!!

CHAMPION CLASS: Martin Corry celebrates as the World Cup holders finally deliver a performance worthy of the name.

Marseilles, World Cup, Quarter-Finals: Australia 10-12 England

ENGLAND finally came to the party today with a tense, nervy win over their bitterest of enemies.

Four Jonny Wilkinson penalties proved enough to see off a disjointed, slothish Wallabies side in a repeat of the 2003 final.

Wilkinson and Stirling Mortlock both missed long-range penalties in the dying moments of the game; the latter's failure from 45 metres condemning Australia to their third defeat to England in the past four World Cups.

Had the Aussie outside centre succeeded it would have been rough on England – unrecognisable from the team thrashed by the springboks three weeks ago – Wilkinson having missed from the half-way line just minutes before.

Berrick Barnes    Jonny Wilkinson

Earlier, after both sides had traded early penalties, Wilkinson put the holders in front before Lote Tuqiri scored the only try of the match on 33 minutes to give the Wallabies a 10-6 half-time lead.

But it was to prove their last points of the tournament as Wilkinson slotted over twice more to condemn the two-time winners to an early flight home.

Victory will be particularly sweet for England following the comments of Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill, who'd stoked up the pre-match tension by stating that "everybody hates England".

Never has there been a better example of someone being made to pay for what he said.


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