- England end 2018 with win over Australia
- Jones satisfied with England performance
- Dickson picks Cokanasiga try as stand out score
Former England scrum half Lee Dickson analyses Saturday’s win against Australia and picks out his standout England play.
My Play of the Week is Joe Cokanasiga’s 55th-minute score. A team try that took England two scores away from the Wallabies.
Before analysing the try, let's remind ourselves of the finish.
TRY! England score again with a fantastic finish from @JoeCokanasiga— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 24, 2018
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I was so impressed with how well England played in that second half; it was the best they played in this Quilter Internationals. They looked composed, controlled and there was zero panic.
This score stemmed from a scrum 40 metres out, and a fantastic carry from Mark Wilson (above red) into the Australia 22. Now you can never say you don’t miss Billy Vunipola, he’s an unbelievable player, but Wilson has been outstanding this series. He’s a grafter, and his work rate is typified here – he just won’t go down without a fight.
From here England just stick to their system, and share the workload equally between forwards and backs – a few negative carries are followed up with solid ones from the likes of Courtney Lawes, Maro Itoje (pictured above) and Sam Underhill.
Kyle Sinckler, who is the man of the moment, has multiple involvements in this passage of play and it is a lovely tip on he gives to Brad Shields (above red) that really gets England on the front foot. Sinckler doesn’t just tip and throw himself into the breakdown though; he gets back out to offer himself as an option again. Sinckler sees space, tips well, carries when he needs to, and for me, has been the complete package this autumn.
England remain patient, they work the same way, and when Australia run out of defenders and get too tight Ben Youngs' quick ball from the breakdown takes out three defenders (blue above), creating a four-on-two scenario. Quick distribution from Jonny May (number 11 above) and Maro Itoje (number 4) then gives Cokanasiga a one-on-one with Dane Haylett-Petty.
The Aussie is on Cokanasiga very quickly, but the Bath wing is so strong and just bounces his opposite man off (as seen above). He then has that turn of pace to just accelerate away and dot down under the posts for his second Test try. Just special. He is an incredible athlete.
The leaders in this England team are really leading, which shows how tight the group is. They trust their process, they trust each other and they work bloody hard for each other as well. There are no passengers in this England squad.
I’m a huge fan, I always want us to do well and I think Eddie and his coaching staff are creating a squad depth that you need – big names go down and there is no panic – players can slot into those positions seamlessly.
In a couple of months we have Ireland away from home, no one will give us a chance to go over there and win, but deep down I’m confident we can go over there and create something special. As England fans we should be pumped up for that game come February.