For the second straight week, the Wallabies were beaten out of the gates by England.
But this time Eddie Jones’ men were able to make the most of their early advantage.
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England won the physicality battle early on and by winning the collision battle they dominated the opening half-hour.
The Wallabies didn’t help themselves by failing to play Test match rugby, where they went away from the percentage play required and attempted to run the ball where possible.
Doing so, however, requires ascendancy up front and the Wallabies did not have that until Taniela Tupou and Angus Bell were afforded the opportunity to carry.
The front-row duo, as well as outside back Tom Wright, were the Wallabies’ best by a mile, while Matt Philip enjoyed one of his best Tests too.
Noah Lolesio was accurate from the kicking tee and was among Australia’s better performers, too.
Having worked their way back to within five points, the Wallabies failed to capitalise on their chances midway through the second half.
With the game there for the taking, James O’Connor looked rusty as he wasn’t able to find the accuracy needed.
How the Wallabies recover in time for the third Test decider will be important, with up to 10 players missing from the squad that was named for the first Test in Perth earlier this month.
Here are our player ratings from the second Test defeat in Brisbane.
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Jordan Petaia – N/A
Selected in the No.15 jersey for the first time for the Wallabies, Petaia was forced off in the fourth minute after copping a head knock as he attempted a tackle out on the right-wing.
It was impossible to tell how Petaia would have gone in the position, but his decision to run the ball in the second minute rather than kick after calling a mark was an interesting one. Few Tests are won from running the ball from a standing start inside one’s own goal line in the opening minutes.
Tom Wright – 9
Australia’s best back, Wright was superb after being called into the side following injuries to Tom Banks and Andrew Kellaway.
Safe under the high ball, Wright was forced to shift from the wing to fullback and back to the wing after Petaia was forced off and Perese left the field with a knee-injury early in the second half.
But despite the disruptions, the 24-year-old kept a cool head and his desire to run the ball was rewarded.
In the eighth minute he did well to prevent a Freddie Stewart 50-22 and then was very smart on the ground not to get isolated and give away a penalty. In fact, England ended up giving the penalty away.
Then, in 19th minute, he elected to run the ball rather than kick long and his audacious play with Noah Lolesio managed to get Perese up to halfway.
He stole a ball in one-on-one steal in the 51st minute on Guy Porter.
Wright saved his best touch for the 63rd minute when he pinned his ears back, stepped past Lewis Ludlam on his 22m line, ran 30 metres, chipped ahead and then banged Owen Farrell into touch. It was a huge play that ultimately wasn’t rewarded after Folau Fainga’a’s lineout was deemed not straight.
Hunter Paisami – 6.5
Coming in for Len Ikitau, Paisami hardly put a step wrong.
Indeed, he pulled off a great trysaver on Jack Nowell to bang the winger into touch midway through the first-half.
He also made a strong, surging carry ahead of Taniela Tupou’s try in 38th minute.
In the 40th minute, his heavy contact to shrug off Maro Itoje left the world class forward seeing stars. That abrasiveness was missing from the Wallabies early.
Samu Kerevi – 8
It was all about Kerevi in Perth has his ball-carries got the Wallabies over the gain-line.
In Brisbane, he helped save Australia on a number of occasions and his kicking was effective.
His clearing kick in the 26th minute on his own line was a good one after Nic White and Lolesio attempted to run from their own goal line. He backed it up with another top clearing kick a minute later.
When the Wallabies found inroads in the second half, Kerevi started carrying the ball more as evident by his surging run off the back of the kick restart in the 55th minute. His try managed to bring the Wallabies back into the match.
Marika Koroibete – 7.5
Koroibete was once again strong on either side of the ball.
With little space and room, Koroibete went searching for the ball and his physicality remains a feature of his game.
Koroibete’s even kicking better now, with his clearing kick in the first minute up past the 10m line proving very effective.
Noah Lolesio – 7.5
Safe under the high ball, Lolesio helped the Wallabies get back into the match with a calm head and another faultless night from the kicking tee.
Early Lolesio was guilty of kicking the ball away too much, but he got better as the match went on.
His pass to send Kerevi into score was a beauty.
Nic White – 7
Unfortunate to have what appeared like a 50-22 reversed in what would have been a huge moment for the Wallabies with the wind at the back of their jerseys.
White was probing at the base of the ruck.
Rob Valetini – 6.5
The Wallabies back-rower was kept quieter than he would have hoped despite still proving effective with his surging carries.
But the Wallabies needed more of it.
His opposite Billy Vunipola was fantastic and for the Wallabies to win in Sydney they will need more out of their back-row, who were well beaten.
Michael Hooper (c) – 5
The Wallabies skipper struggled early.
He was run over the top by Ellis Genge in the first minute and the moment proved a decisive one early and set the tone of the match.
Unfortunately Hooper dropped a simple pass in the second minute, which added to the Wallabies’ early struggles.
He was pinged for playing the ball at the base of the ruck in the 40th minute. Was it though? After all, the halfback was allowed to be tackled by the referee because he had said it was out.
Hooper never stopped trying, his workrate was fantastic, and the Wallabies managed to claw their way back through leadership and skill, but they need to match England physically to stand a chance in Sydney.
Rob Leota – 7
The Rebels back-rower topped the tackle count in the first half with 12 and built into the game with his running game.
But like with his back-row teammates, Leota needs to demand the ball earlier.
Cadeyrn Neville – 5
Initially Neville proved effective in the lineout in the 21st minute, but he then knocked on in the 24th minute and was penalised in the 31st for coming up the side in the maul.
The Brumbies lock was replaced after 57 minutes with a knee-injury.
Matt Philip – 8.5
The Rebels lock enjoyed one of his best Tests.
As always, Philip was great in the lineout and made two effective steals (19th minute and 61st minute).
He also managed to win possession with a counterattacking ruck in the 27th minute.
Taniela Tupou – 8.5
The returning tight-head prop was penalised twice early.
The first was a suspect no-arms cleanout in the 13th minute. He was then penalised for scrummaging straight across in the 18th minute.
But from that moment onwards he was brilliant.
He won a scrum penalty in the 35th minute which paved the way for his try.
His strong carry in the 47th minute to get within a metre of the line paved the way for Kerevi to cross, too.
David Porecki – 7.5
Strong shift up front.
Porecki’s lineout was a feature and he regularly hit his target, while around the ground and in the set-piece he was strong.
Angus Bell – 8.5
Twice Bell produced surging runs ahead of his front-row partner’s opening try.
He also won a penalty against Will Stuart, who lost his bind.
Bell was, however, pinged for hinging in the 60th minute.
But given Bell was forced to play almost 80 minutes in a Test match goes to show how bright his future promises to be.
Folau Fainga’a – 3.5
After coming on midway through the second half, Fainga’a needed to hit the target with his lineout throw in the 64th minute. He didn’t and the Wallabies lost their momentum.
Scott Sio – N/A
The veteran Wallabies prop came on in the 51st minute and was injured immediately as he lost feeling in his arm.
James Slipper – 5
Unfortunately wasn’t able to provide the same impact he did a week earlier.
Should Pone Fa’amausili be fit for the third Test, it’s likely Slipper will return to the loose-head side.
Nick Frost* – 4.5
On debut, the towering second-rower wasn’t able to provide the injection needed after replacing Neville.
Nonetheless, Frost didn’t do much wrong. His maul work will need to improve ahead of the Sydney Test.
Pete Samu – 5.5
Samu came on late in the match, but the supersub managed to inject himself in the 14 or so minutes he played.
The back-rower got on the ball once and managed to steal it, while he provided some needed physicality too.
Jake Gordon – 4.5
One forward pass to Koroibete late in the match, but after coming on after 66 minutes Gordon was lively around the ruck.
James O’Connor – 3
The veteran utility back commented that he was rusty on Thursday — and it showed.
After missing the final month of Super Rugby, O’Connor wasn’t accurate enough with his kicking game.
Once he kicked out on the full after Matt Philip’s lineout steal in the 61st minute and then he failed to find touch from a penalty in the 69th minute.
His inside ball to Koroibete was too high as well, which let England off as the winger failed to take the tough pass.
Izaia Perese – 3.5
Yellow carded for a controversial “deliberate” knockdown, Perese was desperately unfortunate to be off the field for 10 minutes after coming on early for Petaia.
Unfortunately for the utility back, Perese also helped off the field after a serious knee-injury early in the second half.
Before that he made a couple of strong carries, including a good run up to halfway after enterprising play by Wright and Lolesio on own 22m line in 19th minute.