England’s rugby union side were brought back to earth this afternoon as they succumbed to a 20-14 loss to an under strength Australian side at Twickenham.
A try from Manu Tuilagi and three penalties from Toby Flood were not enough as Australia capitalised on England’s ill discipline. The 15 points from the boot of Berrick Barnes was the difference on a day where neither side really got into top gear.
It is a major setback for Stuart Lancaster’s side who had looked impressive last week against Fiji and had hoped to build this time around.
The English had led at half time 14-11 from the controversial try of Tuilagi, but looked a different side in the second half and failed to make the most of more possession as they failed to register any further points.
It is not great for Lancaster, whose side have now only won once in their last five games. They need to turn it around quickly too as South Africa and world champions New Zealand lie in waiting in the next fortnight.
The day was perhaps summed up with England playing in purple and although it was easier to pass the ball to each other, could not get their body over the line.
Elsewhere, South Africa beat Scotland 21-10 with a thrilling opening half display in an entertaining game at Murrayfield.
It was the Scots fourth defeat on the spin and will result in them finishing outside the top eight in the end of year rankings. One of the consequences will be a harder draw for the 2015 world cup.