DHAKA: England’s rebuilding process under Stuart Lancaster suffered a significant setback as Australia`s under-fire side held on for a narrow but deserved win.
Fifteen points from the boot of the impressive Berrick Barnes and a first-half try from Nick Cummins secured victory for the Wallabies, transformed from the shambles of last week.
Seven days ago Robbie Deans’ men were hammered 33-6 by France, but they were clinical where England were not and resolute in defence when the home side did threaten.
A controversial try from Manu Tuilagi and three penalties from Toby Flood had given England a 14-11 half-time lead.
But despite controlling possession and territory in the last quarter, they failed to register a single point in the second period, three times opting to turn down kickable penalties as they searched for a second try.
It means Lancaster`s men have now won just one of their last five matches and with South Africa and world champions New Zealand to come in the next fortnight, they face a tough fight to turn that run around.
There was little of the set-piece domination that many had predicted, and when they did have the ball England lacked both precision and a cutting edge.
Flood`s second-minute penalty had given them an early lead, although the Wallabies dictated the early possession and territory as a clever line-out almost sent hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau away.
Open-side Michael Hooper then made a scything outside break to set up a series of drives that led to Barnes clipping over a drop-goal for 3-3.
It was a scrappy opening quarter, Flood and Barnes exchanging penalties after the television match official (TMO) decided against awarding Ben Alexander a try as he burrowed into a heap of English defenders.
The visitors` unheralded pack was more than holding its own, only for Alexander to go off his feet as England struggled to make yards in enemy territory and gift Flood the chance to stroke over his third penalty.
BDST: 1320 HRS, NOV 18, 2012
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