England captain Courtney Lawes was proud to have got through “a tough scrap” as his side held on to a 25-17 win over Australia in Brisbane.
The away side flew into a 19-0 lead courtesy of a smart lineout try from Billy Vunipola and four Owen Farrell penalties, with the Wallabies unable to cope with England’s intensity.
Tries from Taniela Tupou and Samu Kerevi brought the home side back into contention, and a Noah Lolesio penalty made it a one score game.
But England were able to find another gear and hold on for a much-needed second Test victory to keep the series alive, much to the relief of skipper Lawes.
“It was a tough scrap that, but I’m really proud of the boys,” he said.
“We stuck in there, we knew they were going to come back at some point, they’ve got some quality players, it was tough there for a little while, but we came through it.
“We’ve been working hard, we’ve been working hard just to get our strategy right, get to know each other and get used to playing with each other and it paid off this week. “
But while England, who head to Sydney next week for the series decider, were able to break the Wallabies’ 10-win streak at Suncorp Stadium, there still is much to work on according to Lawes.
He said: “The main thing is that it showed at the end there that our defence can get us on the front foot.
“But we let them score too easily, there were two pretty simple tries down there, and in international rugby, you cannot really have that.”
England head to the Sydney Cricket Ground buoyed by the large amount of travelling support, and captain Lawes was glad his side were able to put on a show for them.
He added: “The fans were unbelievable as always – thank you very much, we really appreciate it and we’re glad we could put on a performance for them and everyone back home as well.”
Farrell was outstanding from the tee and in open play with the former England captain delighting in the team’s performance.
Farrell said: “It was a tough Test match. The way we started was outstanding, we thought we didn’t throw a punch last week but we came here and started with a bang.