James Haskell the dictionary definition of immense as England scorch Aussies on home soil 5 years ago

James Haskell the dictionary definition of immense as England scorch Aussies on home soil

In the space of eight months, England have gone from a laughing stock to straight out laughing.

Eddie Jones took over an England side at rock bottom. In October 2015 they became the first World Cup hosts ever to be dumped out of the tournament at the group stages.


Stuart Lancaster and his coaching staff walked the plank. Jones stepped away from a Super Rugby coaching commitment to patch up a ramshackle chariot.

In January 2016, work began. By mid March, England were Grand Slam champions.

Jones was happy but he knew his side would not be truly going places until they won a series in the southern hemisphere. No better team to take on than the same Australian team that shredded them at Twickenham and ended their World Cup dreams.

Jones had called for his English players to take the game to the Wallabies and win at all costs. He harked back to the Ashes cricket 'Bodyline' tactics used by Douglas Jardine's England when they bowled bouncers and aimed for the body to take away the Aussies' swagger.

Win at all costs.

After 20 minutes, England looked as far away from winning as they did back on that dark night in Twickenham. The Aussies started like a hurricane and had England in heaps of trouble. They dug in, somehow, and were only 10-3 down when they got their second wind.


Farrell reduced the arrears even further then Jonathan Joseph raged over for a try that was converted. Farrell and Bernard Foley traded penalties and, by hook, crook and some fierce battling at the breakdown by James Haskell, the visitors were ahead at the break.

David Pocock and Michael Hooper were trying their best to win quick, clean ball for the Aussies but Haskell, Chris Robshaw and Maro Itoje were giving them one hell of a fight.

Confidence was flowing through England as they had the upper-hand up front. Two more Farrell penalties book-ended a fantastic Marland Yarde try and Australia found themselves 29-13 down.

Hooper began the fight-back by brilliantly skipping past Robshaw and evading two others on the right wing and Tevita Kurindrani barged over to leave the hosts just seven points back. They came close again but Haskell was still out there - stealing balls and making big interceptions.


Australia were awarded a penalty with four minutes to go and, passing up the opportunity to kick for an attacking 5-metre lineout, Hooper instructed Foley to kick three points.

The gambled backfired with a knock-on near halfway. As the clock ticked 80, and turned red, Haskell was the first Englishman to get his hands on the ball. Typifying the attacking spirit of the game, he flung it wide. England were not done yet and a chip over the top led to a fine Jack Nowell try.

Farrell for the conversion with the game already won. You better believe he nailed it.

In the space of eight months, England have got their revenge. Next up, a second Test and the chance to claim the series.