15 Nov 2010

England silence critics for now with impressive win over Wallabies

6:08 am on 15 November 2010

After years of gloom, frustration and even boredom, there is suddenly an air of real optimism and ambition around the England rugby team in the wake of their 35-18 victory over Australia on Sunday.

The win ended a four-year, seven-match home losing streak against the Tri-Nations teams New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

It was also England's highest score against the Wallabies and equalled their best margin of victory over them.

However, it was the style of the victory that will make the rest of the rugby world sit up and take note as England's backs delivered the sort of ebullient display usually only seen at Twickenham by the visitors.

Manager Martin Johnson said after the match that it was not a sudden transformation but the end result of a long period of hard work but the confidence and ambition on show throughout the team was light years on from the dour fare being served up a year ago under the captaincy of Steve Borthwick.

Former captain Lawrence Dallaglio said the win, coming on the back of victory in Sydney in June, could be the catalyst for the current group of players in the same way that his side's Bloemfontein victory over South Africa in 2000 set them on the way to their World Cup triumph three years later.

England next face Samoa this weekend before their final end of year test against South Africa on November the 27th.