- Relive five Anglo-Antipodean clashes at Twickenham
- Watch highlights of a 22-19 win for England in 2000
The tradition of Anglo-Antipodean sporting rivalry is arguably the most profound on the planet. From cricket’s Ashes series through to netball, which saw Australia’s women triumph 49-48 over England at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, the nations are linked by a unique history of fierce competition across many sports.
Rugby union is no different, perennially providing intense tussles full of drama and intrigue – cast your mind back to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final for a defining night moment of sporting theatre.
There have been 22 matches between the countries at Twickenham since 1928. Here are five memorable ones from the archive.
18 November, 2000 – England 22 Australia 19
Iain Balshaw’s chip and Dan Luger’s predatory finish seven minutes into injury time 14 years ago became a seminal sequence. As well as providing a moment of history as the first time video technology was used at Twickenham, the try secured a last-gasp victory over the reigning world champions.
The confidence and ambition of Clive Woodward’s charges rocketed from this point, but the win was far from a sure-fire result. Indeed, a second-half try from wing Matt Burke looked to be enough for the ill-disciplined Aussies – who were handed three yellow cards by referee Andre Watson.
However, England pressed well into the dying moments, and were rewarded when Luger latched onto a ballsy kick from replacement Balshaw to send the 74,000 crowd into raptures.
16 November, 2002 – England 32 Australia 31
With a brace of tries from Elton Flatley and a further Wendell Sailor score, the Wallabies surged into a 31-19 lead. Twickenham was understandably subdued, but the staunch self-belief of Martin Johnson’s side did not bend.
Twelve points adrift, the hosts remained patient. Two Jonny Wilkinson penaltes dented Australia’s advantage by six before Ben Cohen burst through off the shoulder of James Simpson-Daniel to take the spoils.
No England side has ever recovered to win from a bigger deficit than this in Test match history. It was a truly special effort.
13 November, 2010 – England 35 Australia 18
This fantastic win – arguably the most domineering display of Martin Johnson’s three-year tenure – was founded on two very different tries from Chris Ashton either side of half-time.
First there was a poacher’s effort as the former rugby league man shot into a slicing support line off the shoulder of Tom Croft. The Leicester Tiger back-rower released a sublime offload to his wing, who darted over.
Next came a stunning score from 80 metres as Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes combined on an audacious counter to land an energy-sapping sucker-punch.
While the Wallabies responded in the shape of a Kurtley Beale brace, 25 points from Toby Flood’s accurate right boot took the spoils.
17 November 2012 – England 14 Australia 20
You can mark this disappointing defeat for Stuart Lancaster’s men as the afternoon that saw the phrase ‘meat pie’ – rhyming slang for ‘try’ – burst into rugby’s wider consciousness.
Of course, it was Nick ‘Honey Badger’ Cummins who uttered the phrase in his post-match interview after scorching down the right touchline for the decisive score shortly prior to half-time.
Manu Tuilagi replied following a tap-penalty from Danny Care and some slick handling. However, Michael Hooper’s all-action outing – encompassing 14 tackles and nine carries in a man-of-the-match display – helped bring Australia home.
2 November 2013 – England 20 Australia 13
Where Hooper ran riot in 2012, his influence was quelled significantly a year later. England’s back row combined magnificently, Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood bossing the breakdown and Billy Vunipola carrying strongly.
Robshaw also capitalised on a charge-down to score his maiden Test try, while Owen Farrell ghosted in from the 22 eight minutes later.
The second half grew somewhat scrappy and fractured as both sides nullified one another, but the hosts pulled through on the back of some dogged, industrious defence.