England boss Eddie Jones hailed his side’s fight as they beat Australia 21-17 to seal back-to-back away Test series victories against the Wallabies.
Australia took an early lead through a Tom Wright try before England fought back as Freddie Steward and Marcus Smith dotted down either side of the break.
The tourists held off a late comeback to claim a famous victory in Sydney and bounce back from a sobering defeat in the first Test to clinch the series.
“The big difference between the first and third tests were that we were not at our best but we kept fighting, kept in the game and our tackling particularly at the end got us a result,” said Jones.
“We stuck at it, it was a different game for us, the conditions were not fantastic for rugby and we had to adapt to that.
“We adapted as well as we could. We were a little bit off, but we kept fighting.”
The victory marks England’s second successive Test series win in Australia, and is a real marker for Jones’ side after a disappointing 2022 Guinness Six Nations with next year’s World Cup looming.
“It is a really positive step, we always felt the team was going in the right direction, sometimes results don’t reflect that,” added Jones.
“At the end we had six players with under 10 caps – this is a young inexperienced squad and to have an experience like this is fantastic. They understand what it is like to win a series away.
“Some of our guys have now won two series in Australia. I am so proud of their efforts.
“It is like training a race horse, we don’t want to be at our best until the World Cup finals, we need to keep building the base, the depth, the competition and our style of play. We are in a good position.”
It was an edgy start at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with an Owen Farrell penalty the only score inside the opening quarter.
Tries from Wright and Steward left the game finely poised heading into the final half an hour before England took control through a brilliant run from fly-half Smith.
And the 23-year-old lauded an important evening in the development of this young England side.
“That was special,” said Smith.
“We were dreaming about this four weeks ago, it didn’t go to plan in the first game, we had a long hard look at ourselves, looked at our games individually.
“It is a young group, the senior boys led it and told us to believe.
“I’ve come through with a few of these guys through the age groups and to represent England in full colours is special, let alone in Australia and to do it at a venue like this is a bonus.”