Australia v England LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as Marcus Smith scores decisive try and England win deciding Test in Sydney


(AP)

England outwitted and outfought an error-prone Australia 21-17 to win their July series 2-, a second success for northern hemisphere rugby after Ireland’s earlier triumph over the All Blacks.

Young guns Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith scored the tries and England’s streetwise pack bossed the breakdown as coach Eddie Jones masterminded a second series victory over his own country after their 3-0 sweep in 2016.

Australia scored tries through Tom Wright and Folau Fainga’a in front of a sellout crowd of 43,274 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but the home side’s accuracy deserted them too frequently at crucial moments.

Australia won the opening test 30-28 in Perth but England struck back with a 25-17 victory in Brisbane to take the series to Saturday’s decider.

Follow live reaction from the Australia vs England series decider below:

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Wales slip to defeat in series decider as South Africa save their best for last

World champions South Africa reserved their best for last as they ended Wales’ dream of a Test series triumph by winning the decider 30-14 in Cape Town.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber recalled eight of South Africa’s 2019 World Cup-winning team after Wales leveled the series seven days ago.

And it worked a treat as South Africa took the series 2-1 through tries from Handre Pollard, Bongi Mbonambi and Siya Kolisi, with Pollard kicking three conversions and three penalties for a 20-point haul.

Wales battled hard throughout and their defensive resistance often proved heroic, but they could only muster a Tommy Reffell try and three penalties from captain Dan Biggar as they missed out on matching series success for Ireland in New Zealand and England in Australia.

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Sky Sports have grabbed Wayne Pivac for a chat

“It was a bridge too far in the end,” the Wales head coach comments on the series defeat. “We had opportunities and probably let them off the hook a couple of times. But you can’t fault the effort that went into today, there were some pretty banged up bodies in the week and I think it took its toll in the end. Under pressure we gave away a few penalties and that is similar to the first Test.

“From our point of view, we came here to win the series – that wasn’t just talk. We have set a standard for ourselves and we have got to make sure we build on that for the autumn coming up.

“I thought some players did very, very well on this tour. Now it is around getting some continuity in selection again and making sure we build on the tour.”

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F/T: South Africa 30-14 Wales

South Africa open their Rugby Championship campaign at home, hosting the All Blacks, who will travel in rather desperate need of a win. This win should be a good platform for the Springboks to build upon – that opening match against New Zealand is in Mbombela on August 6.

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Jacques Nienaber and Eben Etzebeth are next to speak to Sky Sports

“I wouldn’t say it was comfortable,” Nienaber says of his side’s win. “It was what we expected from Wales, they are a tough team to put away.

“I must say that I thought the guys that came off the bench were really good, brought some nice energy and dominance. I’m really pleased with the result, particularly for the guys playing their 100th and 50th Tests.

“We had a plan from the start and we are just lucky to get the series win. We will have to build from tonight – there is plenty to work on.”

Centurion Eben Etzebeth gives his head coach a hug as he saunters over to the microphone.

“What a day! Getting the series win was awesome for us and I think every guy put their hand up.

On his 100th cap, Etzebeth continues: “It is special. There were guys before me, some Springboks legends, and just to be on the same list as them is awesome.

“We approached it like a final. We prepared like that and luckily we got the result today.”

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F/T: South Africa 30-14 Wales

Wales did look a little fatigued today, and it was always going to be tough to bounce back after losing Taulupe Faletau just before kick-off and then Dan Lydiate in the first half.

Still, plenty in Welsh red have shown they can step up in this series. Tommy Reffell, to little shock in Leicester, has shown his game translates to international level, and both Gareth Thomas and Dillon Lewis showed they can mix it with the Springboks’ front row up front. The backline will always cause team problems – so many more reasons for optimism about the direction of Wayne Pivac’s side than after the Italy defeat that closed the Six Nations.

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A disappointed George North speaks to Sky Sports

“It’s a tough old shift out there. For massive parts of that game we didn’t have enough ball, and then when we did have chances, we knocked it on. That is the next level, that retention of the ball.

“You always know when you play South Africa it is going to be physical. We emptied the bench out early, and it was a great shift of the lads to get to 80 minutes there.

“It’s a bit of a dream, really. About a year ago with my knee, I didn’t think I’d be in a Welsh jersey again. To fight back and get back and play in the Welsh jersey is a huge thing for me. It’s a massive honor to be in that position.”

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F/T: South Africa 30-14 Wales

Still, loads of positives to take for Wales, who began the series as real outsiders but have been fully in every game. They will rue the manner of their defeat in the first Test, when they really should have won, but they have stood up to the challenge of South Africa and proved they can match them away from home.

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South Africa beat Wales in Cape Town and won the series 2-1

Much more like it from South Africa, leaning on their dominant forwards and eventually powering to victory. The game was probably tighter than the 16-point final margin suggests, although it always felt like the Springboks were able to keep Wales at arm’s length.

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FULL TIME! SOUTH AFRICA 30-14 WALES

(AFP via Getty Images)

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PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 30-14 Wales (Handre Pollard penalty, 80 minutes)

One last job for the scorers as Pollard puts it through.

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