Australia looked in total control of the match, running in six tries to one in a thoroughly entertaining game of rugby played in front of a patriotic Melbournian crowd of over 41,000.In a direct contrast to last week’s dour opening, there was plenty of action at the start of the second Test with England providing nearly all the attack, camping down in Australia’s half and looking threatening. But the Wallabies’ defence proved impregnable and England flyhalf Andy Goode, who replaced Olly Barkley in the starting line-up, was forced to resort to a drop goal on the five minute mark to open the scoring.
The Wallabies responded almost immediately through the ever alert George Smith.In their first foray into the England half, a Stephen Larkham grubber kick ricocheted off the England defence and fell at the feet of Smith who soccered the ball off the ground and received a fortuitous bounce to regather and sprinted away to score under the posts. Mortlock slotted the easy conversion to push Australia out to a 7-3 lead.The Wallabies went further ahead when winger Mark Gerrard scored a spectacular try in the 13th minute from a pin-point cross-field kick from Larkham. Gerrard embodied the spirit of the Aussie Rules and leapt high over England winger Mat Tait to pluck the ball out of the air and crash down for the five-pointer. Mortlock missed the conversion to leave the scores at 12-3.
The Wallabies look to be in control in all facets of the match except for poor line-out throwing from Wallabies hooker Adam Freier who has gifted England a healthy weight of possession with bad set play throwing. And it was from a line-out infringement that Goode kicked a long range penalty goal to keep England in the contest at 12-6 with 15 minutes left in the half. But just three minutes out from half-time, Wallabies fullback Chris Latham busted through some feeble English tackling on the half-way line, and sprinted across field where he linked up with a rampaging Lote Tuqiri who burst onto the ball and sprinted away for Australia’s third try. Mortlock converted to make the score at the half-time
The Wallabies kept up the scoring spree early in the second half with flanker Mark Chisholm crossing after some good forward play.Just three minutes later England scrumhalf Peter Richards sniffed out a gap on the edge of the ruck and scooted downfield. He was pulled down by the cover by managed to pop up a ball to hooker George Chuter who threw a huge dummy that everyone fell for and galloped 20 metres to score his first ever Test try. Goode pushed the conversion wide to leave the scores at 26-11 to the Wallabies.
To the cheers of the crowd, George Gregan replaced Sam Cordingley in the 55th minute to earn his 120th cap and in doing so, notched up the world record for the highest number of international games played. The change seemed to spark the Wallabies into overdrive and they went on all-out attack. Stephen Larkham completed the rout with a great running try just three minutes out from full time after a bust from Tuqiri on the halfway before winger Tom Varndell scored a consolation try for England after the final siren had sounded.