Updated: 11:37am – England have battled to a fifth successive win over the Wallabies with a 30-6 triumph at a sodden Twickenham on Sunday (NZ time).
In difficult conditions, it was mostly a game of attrition and tactical kicking but Australia will wonder quite how they were so effectively beaten on the scoreboard after dominating most of the second half and looking the more dangerous team.
The TMO had disallowed a first-half Michael Hooper try for offside and allowed Elliot Daly’s key 54th-minute try to stand and open a 13-3 lead for England.
He also ruled out what would have been a score-equalling try by Wallabies winger Marika Koroibete 10 minutes from time.
England took full advantage of their let-off as Jonathan Joseph and Jonny May chased Danny Care kicks to score before Care finished things off to give England a record victory margin over the Wallabies.
Meanwhile, in Cardiff, a second-string Wales team held on for a narrow 13-6 win over Georgia with stout defence denying the eastern European country a first win over a top tier rugby- playing nation in a controversial finish at the Principality Stadium.
There was a single try from Wales winger Hallam Amos in a first international between the two countries that will be seen as a morale triumph for Georgia, who have been lobbying for a place in the Six Nations Championship.
Wales, who made 14 changes to the team that lost 29-21 to Australia last weekend, crossed the Georgia line three times but only Amos’s 20th-minute effort was awarded in a match that only livened up near the end as Georgia pushed for an upset result.
Wales substitute Tomas Harris was sin-binned in the final minute, handing Georgia a penalty yards from the try line.
The hosts claimed they did not have any more fit props to come on, even though Leon Brown and Nicky Smith were still standing on the sideline encouraging their teammates after being replaced, and so the referee ordered an uncontested scrum which denied the visitors an opportunity for a pushover try.
Georgia instead kicked for a lineout, then went through 11 phases as they attacked the Welsh line before being penalised for not releasing the ball and losing their chance for a draw.
The first international between the two countries will still be seen as a morale triumph for Georgia, who have been lobbying for a place in the Six Nations Championship.
In Florence, Argentina have scored two tries in the last 10 minutes to claim a 31-15 win over Italy in a see-saw encounter.
The lead changed nine times and Italy led 15-14 on the hour before Argentina broke loose in the last 20 minutes with converted tries by Marcos Kremer and Joaquin Tuculet for only their second win this year.
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