Australia defeat England in rugby to win Cook Cup

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Australia has defeated England 43 points to 18 in the second match of the Cook Cup series between the two nations in rugby union. The second win for Australia saw them win the Cook Cup trophy, which was held by England entering the series. The match was played under a closed roof at Telstra Dome, Melbourne in Australia. Regular Australian captain George Gregan entered the game off the bench in the second half to receive his 120th cap for the Wallabies - setting a new world record.

The first points of the match went to England with Andy Goode booting a field goal to put them up by three points. A few minutes later George Smith charged over to score a try under the posts for the Wallabies, Stirling Mortlock added the subsequent conversion to take the Australians to a seven to three lead over the English. In the 14th minute, Mark Gerrard catches a cross field bomb from Stephen Larkem to score the second Australian try. Although Mortlock missed the conversion, Australia move to a 14 to three lead over England. Goode was able to give England another three points, kicking a penalty goal in the 25th minute. Rodney Blake, one of Australia's heroes from the previous test, appeared to have hurt his ankle and is replaced by Al Baxter. Minutes out from half-time, Lote Tuqiri scores for Australia. Mortlock is successful with the conversion to take the score to 19 points to six going into break.

Mark Chisholm runs in the first try of the second half, and with Mortlock adding the conversion, Australia's lead extended to over 20 points. Although an English comeback now looked unlikely, minutes later George Chuter scores a try for England, although Goode missed the conversion, the score was now 26 to 11 to Australia. With 20 minutes remaining, Mortlock kicks a penalty goal to take to score to 29 to 11. A few minutes later, Gerrard runs in for his second side and with Mortlock adding the conversion, Australia now moved the score to 36 to 11. A late try to Larkham, which was converted by Mortlock sees Australia take the score to over 40 points. In the 80th minute of the match, moments from halftime, Varndell receives a pass from Balshaw to run in a late try for England. The final score was 43 points to 18.