Australia came to play. Amidst reports of a camp in 'disarray' and two players dropped for breaching team rules, Michael Cheika's side arrived at Twickenham and by half-time were level 13-13. Yet it could have been more.
With one last attack in the game, the Wallabies marched deep into English territory. Lock Izack Rodda's strong carrying looked certain to result in a second try but he was met by a thundering Owen Farrell hit. Eventually, Australia were awarded a penalty for England's infringing but Michael Hooper went back to highlight the hit with referee Jaco Peyper. Peyper disagreed and did not go to the TMO.
— Steve Lenthall (@steve_l15) November 24, 2018
“I thought your player (ball carrier Izack Rodda) dropped a shoulder,” Jaco Peyper’s explanation to Michael Hooper after yet another no-arms tackle from Owen Farrell prevents all but certain try.
Ummmm what the?
Wallabies kick penalty and go into sheds level 13-13 #ENGvAUS
— Christy Doran (@ChristypDoran) November 24, 2018
Another shoulder tackle from Owen Farrell and another game where he gets away with it #ENGvAUS
— martin (@16thman) November 24, 2018
There are bar stools with more arms than an Owen Farrell tackle. #ENGvAUS
— Ruck 'n' Roll (@RnRRugby) November 24, 2018
Speaking on Sky Sports, Clive Woodward claimed "England got away with it" and criticised the referee for not going to the TMO: "If I was in Cheika's seat I would be very unhappy with that. To me, it is a penalty try." Will Greenwood also said it was a certain penalty try.
It is the second time Farrell has been at the centre of a controversial tackle, with a late hit against South Africa resulting in huge debate amongst several rugby figures.
The game is the final one of a difficult year for Australia, although a positive result would go some way towards lifting the mood.