Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Australia bask in victory over England at Twickenham

Australia bask in victory over England at Twickenham

It's been grim down Australia's way on the rugby front, having been battered black and blue by New Zealand and South Africa this season. Little wonder then that few gave the Wallabies - minus a few injured stars themselves, lest we forget - a chance against England at Twickenham. Even less wonder that Monday's papers back home were reams of joy and praise.

Australia's win over England in six nation would boost confidence ahead of Sunday's crunch clash with Ireland - seen as potentially the most difficult leg of their four-match grand slam bid - newspapers agreed down under.

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Australia's rugby press were more optimistic of the Wallabies' grand slam hopes after dominating England. "The importance of this win cannot be over-estimated," The Sydney Morning Herald said.

"It will revitalise their spirits, intensify their belief, and give the young players an important boost of self-confidence when they come up against the marauding Irish at Croke Park."

The press also praised heavily-under-fire coach Robbie Deans for bringing off his bold selection punt of Quade Cooper and Digby Ioane as his centre pairing.

"The coach took an enormous gamble with Cooper and Ioane," the Herald said. "If the move had backfired, the repercussions would have been enormous. But both players stepped up to produce inspirational performances, with Cooper a crucial member of the team's impenetrable defence."

The Australian described the midfield pair as "accidental heroes". "Had it not been for the tour-ending injuries suffered by Stirling Mortlock and Berrick Barnes over the past week, the Wallabies would have employed a fairly conventional back division for their tour.

"Deans was forced to roll the dice with Cooper and Ioane as his centre pairing and they came up as winners, both individually and as a threatening midfield combination."

The Daily Telegraph said the grand slam quest was up and running but warned that Six Nations champions Ireland would be a sterner test than the 'old enemy' England.

"There is no other way but to storm Croke Park against Brian O'Driscoll's Irishmen.

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