Sunday 8 December 2019

England targeting whitewash after securing first ever series win in Australia

Australia's Israel Folau jumps to catch the ball with England's Anthony Watson during the second half. REUTERS/Brandon Malone
Australia's Israel Folau jumps to catch the ball with England's Anthony Watson during the second half. REUTERS/Brandon Malone Newsdesk Newsdesk

Dylan Hartley urged England to "finish the job" and complete a 3-0 whitewash over Australia after the Grand Slam champions clinched a first series success Down Under with a 23-7 win in Melbourne.

The rivals fought each other to a standstill in an ugly but captivating second Test. England's win took them to second in the world rankings following their stirring rearguard action.

Captain Hartley, who became England's most capped hooker, crossed in the first half before Owen Farrell added the decisive try with six minutes remaining.

And Hartley insisted there was no way England would switch off with a series finale to play in Sydney next weekend.

Asked about the clean sweep, Hartley told Sky Sports: "Why not? We're a team that want to improve. We want to contend number one in the world.

"If we want to be contenders we are going to have to finish the job next week."

He added: "We know Australia are a proud team and we expect a big game next week. We'll enjoy this little bit of history right now, but the message is we go again and we prepare for next week and finish the tour off well.

"Australia are a great team with a ball in hand and (conceding) four tries last week hurt our pride. The key focus this week was defence, we put bodies on the line this week and put some good shots in and we kept the score down.

"Our tactics are always the same - we just took the onus on ourselves to defend better."

England head coach Eddie Jones insisted his team "would not be satisfied" unless they left Sydney with a 3-0 win next weekend.

He told Sky Sports: "The players are already talking about (the whitewash).

"This win is for the supporters, the people at the RFU and the people in the amateur game. They'll all be getting delight out of this game and we're so proud to represent them."

Asked if he was having to pinch himself after following up a Six Nations clean sweep with a series win in Australia, Jones added: "You have occasions in your life when you're lucky, and when you coach great players you're lucky."

Former captain Chris Robshaw, who alongside James Haskell were Jones' pick for men of the match, said: "It has been a pretty special week, topped off by a quite incredible game today.

"Everyone has been absolutely outstanding. It was (getting hairy) but today we were spot-on. When you look at the effort the boys put in, the willingness to put in the tackle, it showed the character of the team.

"It's great that all the work we did in the week has paid off today."

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